NBC anchor and news editor Brian Williams is under fire for lying through his teeth about nearly being shot down in a military helicopter while covering the Iraq war for NBC News. And now Williams is in the hot seat for possibly lying about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina.
Williams, 55, is fond of inserting himself into major news stories -- one of the hallmarks of a narcissist who believes the world revolves around him.
THe NBC News anchor was forced to apologize to viewers on Wednesday after he was caught lying about flying on a military chopper that was hit by an RPG during the Iraq war in 2003.
In an interview with David Letterman, Williams recounted: “We were in some helicopters. What we didn’t know was, we were north of the invasion. We were the northernmost Americans in Iraq. We were going to drop some bridge portions across the Euphrates so the Third Infantry could cross on them. Two of the four helicopters were hit, by ground fire, including the one I was in, RPG and AK-47.”
But it turns out Williams was not riding in the helicopter that was hit by a missile. He was actually on another chopper that was flying an hour behind the chopper that was hit by a RPG missile.
Williams told the story multiple times over the next 12 years. The story grew more fantastic with every retelling of it.
He was forced to apologize after a reporter interviewed soldiers who said Williams was not on their chopper.
Williams's deception led other news organizations to dig more deeply into his fantastic tales of heroism.
While covering Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2006, Williams claimed to have contracted dysentery and he told of seeing a dead body float face down past his 4-star hotel window in the French Quarter.
But news coverage of the French Quarter where Williams stayed showed the streets were not flooded at all. And health experts say no one reported getting dysentery from drinking the water.
“I don’t know anybody that’s tried that [drinking floodwater] to see, but my dogs drank it, and they didn’t have any problems," Dr. Brobson Lutz told The Advocate.
Williams also said in a Tom Brokaw interview: “Our hotel was overrun with gangs, I was rescued in the stairwell of a five-star hotel in New Orleans by a young police officer. We are friends to this day. And uh, it just was uh, I look back at total agony.”
Brokaw is now calling for Williams to be fired.
“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source told The Advocate. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”
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