After a six-month investigation by NBC News, eleven further incidents have been found in which now-suspended anchorman, Brian Williams, embellished, or fibbed, when it came to reporting his various exploits, according to USA Today and other sources. Williams publicly apologized in February for having fibbed in his account of the helicopter he was flying in over Iraq in 2006 coming under rocket fire, an event that never happened. On February 10, he was suspended for six months without pay.
The truth about the helicopter incident was that a Chinook helicopter well ahead of the one Brian Williams was in came under rocket fire. He seems to have either forgotten about the actual details, or he possibly wanted to make the story seem more vibrant by including himself directly in it.
Another alleged fib that Williams has made was one about an entirely different helicopter. Williams maintained that the Navy SEALS sent him a piece of the helicopter that crashed in May 2011 during the operation to assassinate Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The person who led the NBC investigation into possible further embellishments, or fibs, made by Brian Williams, 55, was NBC News senior executive producer Richard Esposito. It is known that three NBC executives met on Thursday morning to determine Brian Williams’ fate, NBC News president Deborah Turness, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, and NBC Universal chief executive Steve Burke. Requests for comments on the meeting have, so far, been declined.
The findings that Esposito and the other NBC execs discussed on Thursday might never be made public. It is known that what they discussed was used to determine when, or if, Williams will be returning to broadcast the news for NBC; but, the results might remain confidential, if it is related to Williams’ receiving any severance pay from the network.
One of the other examples in which Brian Williams allegedly fibbed was about what went down in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Williams might possibly have never been present at Tahrir Square, despite his having stated, in February 2011 on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, that he witnessed mounted pro-government forces beating protesters who were in Tahrir Square. He claimed to host Jon Stewart that he had looked the man riding on the lead horse in his eyes. According to an article in the New York Times, that story has also been called into question.
A video that was used during the investigation into further fibs that NBC News found made by Brian Williams appears to prove that Williams was never actually in the square. Instead, in the video, Williams is seen witnessing what happened from a hotel balcony “overlooking the square.”
As of now, without the report of the investigation made by NBC News being released, the suspension that Brian Williams is under will end in August. At that time, pending any further information or changes made by execs at NBC News, Williams will presumably be back reporting news for NBC. During the period of Williams’ suspension, his duties have been filled by a long-time veteran of NBC News, Lester Holt.
Besides these incidents, one of the other examples in which Brian Williams allegedly fibbed was the reporting that Williams did during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The remark that he made that he saw a body floating down a street in New Orleans has come into question. Yet another example in which Williams allegedly fibbed was when he stated that he had been mugged while in Christmas-tree lot in New Jersey.
Other than Brian Williams’ embellishment, or fibbing, about the helicopter he was in coming under rocket fire, the investigation reportedly examined at least five news stories that the suspended anchorman was involved with, and embellished, or fibbed, about. The suspended anchorman’s attorney, Robert Barnett, has so far declined to make any comments regarding the further alleged fibs that might have been made by his client.
Written By Douglas Cobb