Brian Williams has decided to step down for the time being from his “NBC Nightly News “ duties,following his confession that he was not on a helicopter that was shot down by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade 13 years ago. The chopper pilot, Don Helus, flying the helicopter in front of the one Williams was in has been saying for at least ten years that Williams version of events was inaccurate.He stated that he had gotten in touch with MSNBC to let them know that Williams was on a different flight that was not hit by enemy fire and that Williams landed after the attack was over. Helus added that he never got any feedback from NBC or MSNBC.
This strategy was an attempt to temporarily give NBC some time, according to individuals that know about the Brian Williams situation. The concept is to see if coverage dies down, locate any other problem videos and determine how well Lester Holt does his job. In his Saturday statement,Brian Williams alluded to his possible return, undoubtedly he is hopeful, but this is not certain.
Williams did not make his announcement about his decision to step down from his duties until after NBC made their own announcement that they were going to investigate Williams’ story on Friday.Williams claimed he was stepping aside so that his situation would not become a distraction. Lester Holt, the weekend NBC Nightly News anchor will tentatively replace Williams.
Insiders say that the agreement at Comcast and NBC is to attempt to keep their asset, Brian Williams , who holds the number one position at 6:30 by a large margin, and his news program, the one news cast that dominates consistently. The feeling inside NBC is that Williams may be too valuable to fail and that an apparent replacement does not currently exist.
One of the individuals stated in an interview that Williams was not suspended and suspension has never been discussed. The Idea was William’s and he is the one that wrote the statement. They further added that he has apologized, is rather remorseful and will probably apologize again.
In a 2005 Esquire story and a New Jersey Monthly profile in 2008 , Williams discussed how he was robbed at gunpoint while he sold Christmas trees on the street out of a truck in an effort to assist a church in Red Bank , N.J. He stated that the job was not bad until someone put a gun in his face and took the money. According to Williams, this incident mad him more appreciative of the jobs that he thought he disliked.
Neighborhood residents, however doubt the truthfulness of this story. According to them, that area was very safe during that time. No proof disproving that story about the robbery has been found.
Brian Williams may be stepping down because of his Iraq story, but his problems may just be beginning. Brian Williams has also just been accused of “misremembering “and embellishing other stories he has reported.Questions have arose about his reporting on what he saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His initial statement, that he heard about a man killed by falling from the upper deck of the Superdome, evolved into a statement that he actually saw the incident. According to Tom Brokraw, Williams predecessor, that story raised Williams’national profile.
By Gerald Sowell
Photo BY Gareth Simpson – Fickr License