Blood in the Water: Media Critics Circle Brian Williams, Challenge NBC Anchor’s Job

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“Unlike the Chinook helicopter he rode in, Brian Williams credibility is completely shot.”

— The Butcher, punditfromanotherplanet

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — NBCNightly News” anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for incorrectly claiming as recently as last week that he rode on a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq in 2003.

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“If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday.” 

— Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik

Instead, Williams said, he was in another helicopter trailing a Chinook that actually was hit. He apologized on “Nightly News” for getting it wrong.

Michelle Malkin Brian Williams

[Also see Michelle Malkin’s Lead Story, February 4, 2015]

The embarrassing admission came after a story in the Stars & Stripes newspaper The Robin Hood Foundation's 2014 Benefit - Insidepointing out the discrepancy. Williams had made the claim on the air last Friday during a story about Tim Terpak, an Army officer who he had befriended when Terpak was assigned to protect the NBC crew.

“Brian Williams has to go. NBC’s credibility is completely shot.”

— Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center

Williams reported on “Nightly News” that he had gone with Terpak to a New York Rangers hockey game. They were introduced to the audience by the public address announcer, who also repeated the claim that Williams’ helicopter had been hit.

“This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not,” Williams said on the air Wednesday. “I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology.”

“It’s hard to see how Williams gets past this, and how he survives as the face of NBC News…”

Stars & Stripes quoted Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer on the crew that rode with Williams, as saying that “it felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”

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The newspaper said Williams’ helicopter traveled about an hour behind the aircraft that actually took fire.

“An anchor’s No. 1 requirement is that he or she has credibility. If we don’t believe what an anchor tells us, what’s the point?”

— USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder

In a Facebook response to service members who had pointed out the mistake, Williams said that “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy.”

Despite the apology, some media critics are wondering if NBC News should let Williams go.

“If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday,” Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik wrote.

Zurawik continued…(read more)

CBS DC


2 Comments on “Blood in the Water: Media Critics Circle Brian Williams, Challenge NBC Anchor’s Job”

  1. […] The Butcher “Unlike the Chinook helicopter he rode in, Brian Williams credibility is completely shot.” – […]

  2. […] [See More: Blood in the Water: Media Critics Circle Brian Williams, Challenge NBC Anchor’s Job] […]


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