On Friday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and Concerned Veterans of America senior military adviser Amber Smith reacted to the controversy swirling around NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams’ apparently embellished story in which he claimed to have been in a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the skies of Iraq.
According to Smith, Williams has used up his “second chances” and in her view, “stole” another soldier’s story for his own benefit.
“Look, I respect the work that Brian Williams has done for veterans,” Smith said. “I commend him for that. Everybody deserves second chances, but Brian Williams’ second chance came in 2004 when he could have stopped this story dead in its tracks but instead he kept it going over a decade – to embellish this story to the point where in 2013 he went on the David Letterman show and said he was in the helicopter that was hit with the RPG and did a hard landing because of it and said he felt like his life was in danger and he almost died. That is embellishing and stealing another soldier’s story. The event actually happened but Brian Williams wasn’t a part of it.”
“I think he deserves the give the American people more than that,” she added. “They trusted him as a journalist and it is part of the job characteristics to have integrity. And I mean, job applications – do you tell the truth and report the truth in stories, or do you fabricate and embellish stories? That is something you have to have as integrity and I think that is lost. This isn’t a fog of war story. This is at the time as a combat journalist who stole another soldier’s combat story, who by the way is lucky to be alive, and he stole that story for a career advancement or whatever reason — bragging rights, it doesn’t matter. He used someone else’s story for his own benefit.”
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