Facts are stubborn things
It certainly looks that way.
NBC News Anchor Brian Williams has long claimed he was on a helicopter forced down by RPG fire while reporting from Iraq in 2003.
An exclusive report in Stars and Stripes, a military publication, tells the story of Williams’ indiscretion. Williams was forced to recant when a soldier protested Williams’ rendition of the story.
As recently as Monday, Williams claimed, on national news, that he was under fire on a Chinook. Take a look:
It was during this commemoration that those involved in the incident stepped up to correct the record:
WASHINGTON — NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years.
Williams himself repeated the claim Friday during NBC’s coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry.
Misremembering; a luxury afforded only to high profile leftists and Roger Clemens.
“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
Williams made the claim while presenting NBC coverage of the tribute to the soldier who provided ground security for the parked Chinooks. It included footage of Williams accompanying a retired Army command sergeant major at the Rangers game and the stadium giving the soldier a standing ovation.
“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG,” Williams said on the broadcast. “Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”
Williams and his NBC camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook in a formation that was about an hour behind the three helicopters that came under fire, according to crew member interviews.
Williams and his NBC camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook that took no fire but landed, according to Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft that carried the journalists.
“No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft,” Miller said Wednesday.
busted contrite Brian Williams took to Facebook to make the following apology:
Except for one problem…
According to reports, Williams was an hour behind those under fire.
And Williams’ apology? It was in response to Lance Reynolds; one of the servicemen aboard the Chinook that was actually under fire.
Williams has entered the elite company of Dan Rather, who ran with fabricated reports of President Bush’s military service, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who “misspoke” about being under sniper fire in Bosnia.
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