Disgraced former TV news anchor Dan Rather has come to the aid of embattled NBC anchor Brian Williams, saying that Williams is an “honest man.” But Williams is caught up in a scandal of his own making after admitting to lying about being in a helicopter downed by enemy RPG fire in Iraq in 2003.
Rather, who was fired by CBS in 2004 after helping to create and air a report that falsely claimed that President George W. Bush had deserted from the Texas Air National Guard, came out in support of Williams on Thursday.
“I don’t know the particulars about that day in Iraq,” Rather told Politico. “I do know Brian. He’s a longtime friend and we have been in a number of war zones and on the same battlefields, competing but together. Brian is an honest, decent man, an excellent reporter and anchor–and a brave one. I can attest that–like his predecessor Tom Brokaw–he is a superb pro, and a gutsy one.”
Rather’s vote of support came after Williams, who has been the chief anchor of NBC Nightly News since 2004, was forced to admit to his audience that he had “misremembered” the facts of the helicopter incident that he claimed he was involved in during an assignment in Iraq in 2003.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.