On Wednesday night, NBC News anchor Brian Williams apologized to the American people for lying for well over a decade about a heart-stopping war story starring himself.
Williams claimed for years that he had ridden a Chinook hit by an Iraqi RPG. Last night, Williams stated, “I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.” He then added, “We all landed after the ground-fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraqi desert.”
Sadly, Williams’ apology is chock full of misleading statements and what appears to be at least one outright lie.
By stating that he was in a “following aircraft” and then adding “we all landed,” Williams makes it sound like he was next in a helicopter convoy. He actually arrived, according to members of the military, a full hour later, according to Stars and Stripes. And his statement that he spent two nights with the military is also fragmenting under scrutiny: military reporter Steve Liewer, who reported on the incident, said that crew members “said they don’t remember seeing Williams again” after his initial landing and coverage. Liewer reports:
Brian Williams wasn’t there, and they didn’t mention him when I interviewed them.
Instead, Williams had been in another Chinook coming from Camp Udairi. This one belonged to Company B of the 159th Aviation Regiment and was piloted by Chris Simeone. It was part of a four-bird flight of Chinooks.
They were carrying parts for a bridge that would be constructed across the Euphrates River by elements of the 3rd Infantry Division. These helicopters, too, were headed to Objective Rams….
Simeone remembers Williams and his crew getting out and shooting photographs of the injured Big Windy aircraft. Williams tried to interview the crew members, but they weren’t receptive….
Reynolds, Simeone and two other crew members said they don’t remember seeing Williams again.
Sadly, it isn’t just Williams’ credibility on the line. Williams’ crew, according to all accounts, was present. They took photos and videos of the other helicopters. They all knew what happened and what they saw. As Elisha Krauss, former producer for Sean Hannity, explains, “There are a host of producers, bookers, HR, PR, and management involved in any travel of any host or anchor, particularly at the Brian Williams level. There is no way NBC can’t claim they didn’t know this was a lie. They are completely complicit.”
But NBC News apparently has no interest in cutting bait with their top host. The current headline at NBC News: “Brian Williams Offers Clarification About 2003 Iraq Incident.” Clarification, not apology. Their story on the “clarification” totals six sentences. It makes no mention of the fact that Williams’ apology is itself deeply problematic, and ignores the fact that Williams told his lie multiple times over the course of 12 years.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.