NBC investigating Brian Williams over fake Iraq war story as questions mount about Katrina reports
NBC News is investigating primetime anchor Brian Williams following his admission that his story about getting shot down in a military helicopter was fake, Politico reported.
NBC News President Deborah Turness informed staff members of the probe in a memo sent on Friday.
“Yesterday, Brian and I spoke to the Nightly News team,” Turness’ memo stated. “And this morning at the Editorial Exchange, we both addressed the wider group. Brian apologized once again, and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.”
USA Today reported that the head of NBC News’ investigative unit, Richard Esposito, is leading what Turness described as “a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired.”
On Wednesday, Williams apologized and recanted after being questioned over his story about riding in a Chinook helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) while flying over Iraq in 2003.
He also issued an on-air apology, saying he “made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” and that it was actually another helicopter on the same mission that sustained fire, but CNN reported that that account has also been called into question.
The New Orleans Advocate reported that Williams is also facing increased scrutiny over his story that he saw a body float by him in the city’s French Quarter following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” he said in an interview a year later.
Other reports noted that the area was devoid of the flooding that plagued other parts of the city. However, according to the Advocate, photographs and other accounts from that time do show significant flooding around the Ritz-Carlton, where Williams stayed.