There are things in life you forget, and there are things you never forget. Being shot out of the air by an RPG is on the “never forget” list.
But Brian Williams, Anchor of NBC’s Nightly News would have us believe the opposite – that that heart-stopping terror of being in a Chinook taken down by enemy fire is something that could slip your mind, like forgetting where you placed your keys or the name of a restaurant he ate at last year.
You can watch his implausible explanation here:
Reaction online to the news of Williams’ deception has been massive and harsh from both the public and the veteran community. Brandon Webb, former Navy SEAL and CEO of Force12Media stated, “Brian Williams is an example of everything that’s wrong with TV news entertainment today.”
This wasn’t some one-time slip of the tongue. Check out Brian Williams on David Letterman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS3NAwZ4hGk&feature=youtu.be&t=3m50s
The smug grin on Williams face as Letterman heaps praise on him being a “war hero” really says it all.
Williams’ false claims were called out by members of his aircrew after he repeated the claim again on NBC Nightly news on January 30th.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, the flight engineer on Williams’ helicopter, is quoted by Stars and Stripes as saying “No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft.”
As implausible as “forgetting” if your chopper was shot down, is that many, many people didn’t know Williams’ story was bullshit.
A highly distinguished 4-Star General, Wayne Downing, was travelling with Williams at the time of the incident – as were other as yet to be disclosed journalists. General Downing has since passed on, but if a chopper carrying a senior journalist and a 4-star General was shot down, it would have been huge news both in the military and the press.
I suspect none of those people spoke up because calling out the anchor of NBC Nightly News as a liar is a very brave act. Too brave an act for the other journalists there at the time, and too politically damaging for military brass.
It took a soldier’s courage to call Williams out. I am not sure what kind of honor can bestowed for that kind of bravery, but Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, and the other members of the 159th Aviation Regiment that called bullshit on Williams should get it.
As for Williams, if he had an ounce of honor himself, he would resign. Failing that, NBC should fire him.