News & Criticism

NBC Anchor Brian Williams Cops to Fibbing About Iraq War Story


This isn't going to help the deteriorating trust and long-term slide in ratings for TV news, that's for sure.

For years, Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, has claimed to have been aboard a military helicopter that was forced to land after being hit with an RPG during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He's now copping to the fact that the story is not true. From Stars & Stripes:

Williams repeated the claim Friday during NBC's coverage of a public tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier that had provided ground security for the grounded helicopters, a game to which Williams accompanied him. In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said he had misremembered the events and was sorry….

"I would not have chosen to make this mistake," Williams said. "I don't know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another."…

One of the helicopters [in the formation] was hit by two rocket-propelled grenades — one did not detonate but passed through the airframe and rotor blades — as well as small arms fire.

"It was something personal for us that was kind of life-changing for me. I've know how lucky I was to survive it," said Lance Reynolds, who was the flight engineer. "It felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn't deserve to participate in."

More here.

Here's Williams playing fast and loose with the truth during an on-air 2007 obituary for Gen. Wayne Downing:

NEXT: Silk Road Trial Over: Ross Ulbricht Found Guilty on All 7 Counts [UPDATED With Reaction from Lawyer Joshua Dratel]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Will he lose his job?

    1. No, paid vacation followed by retraining.



      1. We are WINNING!

  2. Must have been the work of the same sniper that tried to take out Hillary in Bosnia.

    1. My Twitter feed has exploded with mockery. Such as this.

      1. I like the comment that Williams was infected with sycophant at an early age.
        We need a vaccine for that.

      2. Awesome.

        I like very few hollywood types. Woods is one of them.

        How could anyone not like the guy?…

    2. Actually that was my people… In both cases. And it was actually a famished raptor that we unleashed. It’s part of our reality tv series that all you stoopid mammals are staring in

  3. Revelations like this are what make believing the main stream media so difficult. I mean, how could you put your trust in a man who willingly went to a hockey game?

    1. It’s the main reason we aren’t subjected to a “CBC America”. Thank God.

    2. Why are we honoring government-sector workers at hockey games, anyway?

  4. At least Brian Williams is a good rapper:

  5. Get question from someone on teh Twitter: Williams doesn’t go anywhere alone. How many other NBC employees were with him and knew he was lying?

  6. He also repeated lied about the devastating effects of The Sequester. I know this because while that was going on I was staying with my old man as he recovered from heart surgery and he like to watch NBC Nightly Snooze. I assume these two things aren’t the only thing not gotten completely straight on that show.

  7. Irrelevant tidbit: Williams’ daughter Allison is an actress and is the only physically attractive girl on Girls.

    1. And of course she’s the one that refuses to get naked.

      1. Just like Deborah Ann Woll on True Blood. What’s the industry coming to these days when hot chicks on explicitly trashy shows won’t get nude?!?

        1. And conversely, the ones who *agree* to play nude…

          1. I am not going to complain about Anna Paquin being topless or in skimpy underwear.

            Of course, I would have rather seen Jessica going nude, but that shouldn’t need to be said.

      2. And of course she’s the one that refuses to get naked.

        My favorite part is that she never gets naked, but agreed to do a scene with simulated analingus.

        I think she’s a bit confused.

        1. Maybe her dad lied to her about when it was prudent to do nude scenes as opposed to ass eating scenes.

          1. I believe he told her that you can get gonorrhea from riding a tractor.

        2. These bitches should realize that Academy Awards generally go to the “edgy” performance.

          How many times has Kate Winslet been nominated? Vs Jennifer Anniston?

    2. Hmmm…I don’t see it. She seems fairly plain.

      The girl on her right, on the other hand, if quite attractive.

      1. *is* quite attractive

      2. [Claps and barks enthusiastically]

    3. I think the more disturbing revelation is that Epi watches Girls.

      1. This isn’t news to anyone, Hugh, including you. Is your Changnesia coming back again?

        1. I don’t remember ever having Changnesia.

          1. That’s the primary symptom!!!

            Also, renaming yourself Kevin.

    4. Let’s not be unfair to Zosia Mamet.

  8. When will his hot daughter get naked in that HBO show about a fat chick?

    That is the real question Americans want to know.

    1. You know, people here may actually agree with you on that.

      And not even facetiously.

  9. “Sometimes they have to lie or exaggerate stories to counter the lies Fox News tells the sheeple that view it every night. If the neutral media have to employ the right wing’s methods from time to time in order to counter their misinformation, I’m willing to accept it.”

    -tomorrow’s analysis by media critic or editor at HuffPo, The Atlantic or Vox

    1. With a special guest commentary by Dan “I Was Framed By the Power-That-Be” Rather.

    2. “Sometimes they have to lie or exaggerate stories to counter the lies Fox News tells the sheeple that view it every night. If the neutral media have to employ the right wing’s methods from time to time in order to counter their misinformation, I’m willing to accept it.”

      ‘Boooooooosh made him do it!’
      I think I’ve read that bullshit before.

      1. Ol’ Jeb is gonna ride that BOOOOSH name to the GOP Glory Land in 2016!

        He has the Bush swagger and Bush gleam in his eye! He has the fundie vote! He has the Establishment vote!

        BOOOSH IN 2016!

        1. Get lost, turd.


            1. I don’t get it.

              Are you having a stroke?

              Get help.

  10. OT: My FB just popped up with someone who is offended that Rand Paul shushed the woman interviewing him in the CNBC interview where he makes the vaccine comment. FB comment with the video: “Shush! There’s a man talking!”

    At least someone in the comments explains that the host had already interrupted him twice before and that telling her to shush rather than start yelling over her was a much better way to handle the situation.

    Reply? But shushing is ruddeeeee whannnnnnnnn.

    I seriously don’t know how we right the ship. Other than coming here, I have run into 2 other libertarians in my life. One of them being my father. Otherwise, most people seem to be overly sensitive statists.

    1. On Twitter a bunch of feminists were fuming about how they’d totally rip his finger and off and shove it up his ass if he did that to them.

      Yes, they proudly admit to reacting violently if a man did something they found demeaning. I guess that “triggers” them.

      1. there’s not a man alive who would shush me and still have that finger

        Shush, sugar britches.

        1. And go make me a sammich!

          1. Is that a statement actually calculated to get you laid, or internet braggadocio?

            1. Or maybe he just really wants a sammich.

    2. The more comfortable and wealthy the human race becomes, the more tons of shitheads will indulge in over-sensitivity and all kinds of bullshit. Because they can, because their lives are easy and not dangerous and they lose perspective. Best get used to it, because it comes with the territory.

      1. If there’s ever an apocalyptic economic crisis, I’ll take solace in the fact that these progressives are going to be hilarious. If they’re this hysterical now, imagine the insanity if something bad actually happened to them.

        1. In that case they will go full-on totalitarian, and will vote for/put in power/follow the first totalitarian who promises them “less bad”.

          I mean they’re fucking totalitarians now, just think if something really put the hurt on them.

          1. I am guessing it will be worse than that even.

            The German people suffered terrible privations prior to Hitler coming into power, and that is largely why he was able to do so.

            Serious pain for U.S. proggies would probably usher in someone that makes Hitler look like a boy scout.

        2. Got your Prepper Shelter ready for the Apocalypse?

          1. You got your glory-hole ready for the 2016 Democratic National Convention ?

      2. Which explains why there was so much fucking whining on TNG over trivial shit. Shit that shocked people from less advanced cultures and the past.

        Think about that.

      3. From the South Park episode with the Romanians:

        “Look, people have it so good in America that they get bored very easily. And when people get bored, they start protesting things.”

    3. What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?

      1. Nothin.. You done told her twice!

  11. Spot the Not: Brian Williams

    1. I will be asking my network to lead a discussion on the issues of class, race, energy, the environment, disaster planning, Iraq — all those things and more. This encompasses so many of the major issues of our time.

    2. Katrina gets you to Iraq. It gets you to petroleum. It gets you to presidential politics. It has laid bare so many cracks and fissures in our system.

    3. Tensions in Washington are high as the Republican-dominated House threatens the country with another government shutdown. Polls show that these obstructionist tactics are alienating independent voters.

    1. 3

      1. Winner!

        You have a choice of a date with Amanda Marcotte or being slapped on the lips with a dead rat while you sleep.

        1. Can I instead send Irish on that date?

          1. I don’t know, can we?

        2. Would you be able to tell the difference?

    2. 1. Even Williams couldn’t utter such crap.

      On second thought, I’ll agree with DwT. I don’t think those tactics alienated independents.

      On third thought, Williams is a documented liar. So, 2.

  12. Was Hillary Clinton inside that helicopter, too?

  13. Probably the most fascist article I’ve read in at least 3 hours.

    Americans have nothing to learn from Nazis

    Free speech exists to protect ideas worth discussing, not white supremacists

    Whenever “race realists” plan to gather in public, the standard antifa operating procedure is to call the venues, inform them that the “heritage” groups they’re planning to host are actually bunches of neo-Nazis and give them the chance to cancel. Larger companies usually do; the 2010 American Renaissance national conference, for example, was forced out of the Sheraton and into a strip mall Bertucci’s. When venues agree to host despite the warning, antifascists find other ways to put a halt to white supremacist organizing.

    That sounds sinister. You give them ‘a chance’ and if they dont’ agree you ‘find other ways?’ Such as?

    Anti-fascists like Jason Hammond don’t blind themselves to history or bind their hands with liberal tolerance. They know that now, as before, the swastika belongs under a hammer. As fascist elements organize, the violence required to confront and marginalize them only increases. As the antifa group One People’s Project puts it, “Hate has consequences.” Better to fight now.


    1. I’m a firm believer in the safety valve theory. It’s better to let kooks speak than for them to lash out. Breivik said one of the reasons for his attack was that it was impossible to get out his message peacefully.

    2. Free speech exists to protect ideas worth discussing, not white supremacists

      I would like to know who decides what ideas are “worth discussing”. As others have said here, these people never think that their “ideas” won’t be the ones deemed “worth discussing” by the TOP.MEN.

      1. “I would like to know who decides what ideas are “worth discussing”.”

        I’d bet you really wouldn’t. It’s better to keep your sanity.

    3. The abject, completely unaware projection never ends, does it?

    4. actually, the whole point of free speech is to protect those who say unpopular things, like the Nazis. But this is a news outlet. Why would I expect it to understand free speech.

    5. American Renaissance is basically Derb when he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Not my cup of tea, but pretty fucking far from Nazis.

  14. Robert Reich on the evils of technology

    Worker safety? Social Security? Uber says it’s not the employer so it’s not responsible.

    Amazon’s Mechanical Turks work for pennies, literally. Minimum wage? Time-and-a half for overtime? Amazon says it just connects buyers and sellers so it’s not responsible.

    Defenders of on-demand work emphasize its flexibility. Workers can put in whatever time they want, work around their schedules, fill in the downtime in their calendars.

    But this argument confuses “downtime” with the time people normally reserve for the rest of their lives.

    There are still only twenty-four hours in a day. When “downtime” is turned into work time, and that work time is unpredictable and low-paid, what happens to personal relationships? Family? One’s own health?

    Other proponents of on-demand work point to studies, such as one recently commissioned by Uber, showing Uber’s on-demand workers to be “happy.”

    But how many of them would be happier with a good-paying job offering regular hours?

    An opportunity to make some extra bucks can seem mighty attractive in an economy whose median wage has been stagnant for thirty years and almost all of whose economic gains have been going to the top.

    Must be nice to get paid to write screeds decrying human progress.

    1. I featured him in a round of Spot the Not yesterday:…..nt_5064931

    2. and here is the evidence to support the claim upstream of a prosperous society reaching way down in order to gin up outrage.

    3. Maybe if they don’t like Uber, they can work elsewhere?

  15. Extra, extra! Marcotte criticizes Rand Paul!

    “Look, if you say publicly that you think parents have a right to force their kids to sleep outside, you aren’t redeemed by showing pictures of yourself laying in bed. You’re just highlighting that you’re accessing the life necessities that you would deprive others of. This is no different.”…..ine-stunt/

    1. if you say publicly that you think parents have a right to force their kids to sleep outside, you aren’t redeemed by showing pictures of yourself laying in bed.

      She gets paid to write this. Actual money, legal tender and everything.

      1. I think it may be more of a special needs, Goodwill kind of job.

        She wasn’t able to work in the lightbulb factory, so they put her someplace where she couldn’t do any harm.

    1. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.- MG


    2. Well, Fuck me. How could I have been so horns waggled by you libertarians and all your talk of liberty and self ownership and all that other crazy shit? See you jerks later, its off to Huffpo for me. Thanks beardy cap wearing you-tube guy for helping me see the light.

  16. When I was living in San Francisco in 1974 I saw the film “I.F. Stone’s Weekly” (1973). He was critical of the cozy relationship between the press and the Nixon. One scene in the film showed Walter Cronkite playing tennis with a Nixon minion. Don’t remember for sure but it might have been Tricky Dick’s mouthpiece Ron Ziegler.
    Old Walter didn’t sound quite the same after that.

  17. French dog owner forced to change name of his dogs:…..d-Eva.html

    1. “France has a laissez-faire attitude to naming animals but there is one exception: you cannot call a pig Napoleon, due to a law aimed at preserving the image of the Emperor which remains on the statute books.”

      Suck it, George Orwell!

  18. Free speech has a limp. Most don’t notice. And this limp is called the politicians whim.

    1. worker bees can leave
      even drones can fly away
      the queen is their slave

      1. +1 Robert Paulson

    2. I am keeping an eye on you.

  19. Spot the Not: Jessica Valenti

    1. The widely held belief that the heterosexual nuclear family is best for children has long been used as a smoke screen for homophobia and as a talking point to quash marriage-equality efforts.

    2. Businesses have no right to interfere in the personal lives of their employees by denying access to birth control.

    3. Once you get married, women are still implicitly expected to do the majority of the housework and take care of any future children.

    1. I have heard all of those used seriously, and I don’t know who Valenti is.

      I will close my eyes and throw a dart.

      It hit 3.

    2. 2. Businesses have no right to interfere in the personal lives of their employees by denying access to birth control.

      Employees have no right ro interfere in the personal lives of their employers by forcing them to pay for their birth control.

    3. I sure hope it’s 1, but I’m going to say 2. It’s very generic.

    4. 3

    5. No more bets! No more bets!

      And the Not is….


      Our winners get a choice of Theory of the Lesiure Class audiobook read by Keanu Reeves or a 1985 Chevy Celebrity with no radio, no air conditioning, and bad brakes*.

      *my 17 birthday present

    1. You want a feminist song?

      Here’s the Attorney-General nominee, Loretta Lynn –

  20. I looked up Valenti to see who she is. Holy fuckin’ gods. She is either very smart and trolling the fuck out of everyone, or bugfuck crazy. Ok, I know those two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Derp, you dropped the ball by not including this quote ;

    “The Patriarchy is using equality to oppress women. Now we need a new wave of feminism to be more equal than men.”

    1. That quotes fake, although the Reddit thread where I discovered it was fake contained a gem of its own:

      That was a fake quote supplied by “Judgy Bitch” (her own moniker) Janet Bloomfield, a MRA who believes that this sort of libel is “just a joke”.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Jokingly attributing a fake quote to someone in order to mock them is now ‘libel.’ Okay.

      1. Ah. Well, the truth is I can’t tell the difference between the real ones and parodies. They have become that crazy. While looking around for evidence I came across this: feminist-advise-women-to-avoid-feminist-men/

        (remove the space)

        “Valenti recommends mothers not to breastfeed their sons so boys are less likely to develop muscle mass (which in today’s industrialised age is obsolete and used to overpower and inflict violence towards women) thus girls will be equal to boys in physical strength and less likely to be raped.”

        I don’t even know what it is if not insanity.

  21. I think I see why Obama nominated Loretta Lynn:

  22. White House says Taliban is not a terrorist group:…..p-n1949588

    1. Yet the White House kills the fuckers on sight….


    3. Lesson to you. Watch what they do – not what they say.

      Learn something today, will you?

    4. Seriously, why inflame your enemy with rhetoric when you could kill him with action?

      DERP! is no excuse for stupidity, man.

    5. I think you triggered some kind of seizure in PBP with that post.

      1. I think it exposed a bug in its reply algorithm.

      2. I thought it argued that The Chocolate Jesus ended those stupid Bush wars? If by ‘ended’ it means TCJ completely fucked them up, then it is correct.

  23. My last pay check was $ 9500 working 10 hours a week online. My Friend’s has been averaging 14k for months now and she works about 21 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out
    ????? http://www.Workvalt.Com

  24. Late to this, but it looks like Williams is doing his best to not come completely clean.…

    He is now admitting that he wasn’t in the chopper that got hit, but in the one behind it. However, if you read the accounts of the people who were there, he was in a chopper that was an hour behind the one that got hit.

    So I guess he is technically correct (the best kind of correct) on this, but knowing that he was an hour behind the chopper does make it harder to accept that he “misremembered”.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.