Brian Williams: Great Storyteller, Questionable Journalist
by Alexander Jones | published Feb. 16th, 2015
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has landed himself in some trouble recently, and it’s definitely not in a crashed helicopter in the Iraqi desert.
Military newspaper Stars and Stripes helped break a story last week outing Brian Williams for heavily exaggerating personal accounts of his time in Iraq in 2003. Williams reported that he was among two helicopter convoys heading to the Najaf war zone, just south of Baghdad, from Kuwait, one of which was struck by enemy fire. Initially, Williams’ reports placed him behind the helicopter that was brought down by Iraqi insurgents, but he has since embellished the story.
Despite making no claim in his original 2003 report, Williams has now placed himself firmly in the scene of the near-tragedy. Williams has now frequently referenced the helicopter he was in getting shot down on several occasions,
As an aspiring journalist as well as someone who just flat-out detests liars, the current scandal surrounding Williams deeply troubles me. Journalists, regardless of stature, should be held to a basic standard of truth, honesty and objectivity. Beyond
This outing of Williams’ lies concerning his time in Iraq has inspired others to come forward with further examples of Williams’ diminishing journalistic integrity. The Washington Post has now questioned Williams’ famous account of his New Orleans hotel being overrun by armed gangs in the aftermath of Katrina. New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass has stated that this straight up never occurred, and another man staying at the hotel at the same time as Williams claims to not remember any gangs whatsoever. On top of this, another famous Williams story — the one where he claimed to be robbed at gunpoint outside of a Red Bank, New Jersey in the ‘70s while selling Christmas trees — is also becoming subject to suspicion. An Asbury Park Press article describes the neighborhood at which Williams placed the robbery as harmless, and that a robbery so bizarre in such a small town would have been huge news.