10th Anniversary NBC Promos Celebrated Brian Williams's 'Integrity,' 'Humility,' and 'Battle Scars'

As Curtis Houck at NewsBusters reported last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is in serious trouble after he, in Houck's words, "admitted to not being aboard a helicopter that was shot and had to be rescued following RPG fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003." Williams's apology, also carried at Houck's post, only refers to the "mistake" he made "on this broadcast last week" — as if it was the only time in 12 years he has recounted the incident. It's not; his "war story" has been relayed several other times, including in 2013 on David Letterman's show (video here; note the level of detail now effectively admitted as having been fabricated).

In his apology attempt, Williams also told America that he was in "a following aircraft." That's very misleading. Larry O'Connor at Truth Revolt noted, that Williams "neglected to explain that he was in an aircraft that followed the one hit by RPG fire by an entire hour," which "makes it sound like he was right behind the copter in question." It seems more than fair to compare what we've learned in recent days to how NBC promoted Williams on the tenth anniversary of his presence in NBC's anchor chair last year.

Oh, but we're not done vetting Wiliams's "apology," which contains a suspect claim to having spent "two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert."

In a comment at NBC Nightly News's related Facebook page, Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer on the helicopter that was hit (i.e., the one Williams was not on), wrote, in part:

I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened. Then I remember you guys taking back off in a different flight of Chinooks from another unit and heading to Kuwait to report your "war story" to the Nightly News. The whole time we were still stuck in Iraq trying to repair the aircraft and pulling our own Security.

Now let's show those tenth anniversary videos. The first four of eight clips carried in a playlist carried at Deadline.com on October 15 extolled Williams's alleged virtues as a journalist, with actor Michael Douglas narrating (direct links to the four clips are here, here, here and here):

Transcripts:

Clip #1 — "Battle Scars"

Narrator Michael Douglas: Some battle scars are worn on the inside, formed by things you see and never forget. Experiences that move you, inspire you, change you. And for anyone who's been there, there's a secret: It doesn't harden you. It makes you more human.

(On screen: "He's been there. He'll be there. NBC Nightly News, 10 years with Brian Williams.")

Clip #2 — "What Matters"

Douglas: Values aren't like fashion. They're permanent, bedrock things, like integrity, experience, compassion. Things change, but what really matters, doesn't.

(On screen: "He's been there. He'll be there. NBC Nightly News, 10 years with Brian Williams.")

Clip #3 — "Experience"

Douglas: You can't see experience, not right away. It shows itself, though, in tragedies covered, triumphs seen, and traits like humility and grace, determination, and compassion. You can't see experience, but you know it when it's there.

(On screen: "He's been there. He'll be there. NBC Nightly News, 10 years with Brian Williams.")

Clip #4 — "Trust"

Douglas: It's a thing that you build slowly, over time. It can happen during big moments. More often, it's the day-to-day things. And what you build if you work hard enough, if you respect it, is a powerful thing called trust.

(On screen: "He's been there. He'll be there. NBC Nightly News, 10 years with Brian Williams.")

John Nolte at Breitbart summarized matters Wednesday night:

Brian Williams stole someone else’s war story and made it his own … for 12 years. He repeated the lie on the air at NBC … for 12 years. He only confessed to his lying after he was caught.

This is the Brian Williams equivalent of 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" lie. In a total non-surprise, the Media Research Center at the time reported that "None of the broadcast evening networks stories, nor CNN's NewsNight mentioned, as did FNC's Carl Cameron on Special Report with Brit Hume, that as a result of John O'Neill and his Unfit for Command book, the Kerry campaign has had to back off Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968."

That was during final months of NBC anchor Tom Brokaw's tenure. MRC and NewsBusters have documented for over a decade how Brian Williams has continued and refined the "art" of shielding the public from bad news about leftists and their causes while attacking conservatives and their beliefs.

Why NBC would expect anyone from anywhere on the ideological specttrum to cut Brian Williams any slack is beyond me — especially after how quickly the network ran away from Bill Cosby over credible but still unproven allegations.

Here we have documented proof of fabrication, followed by a failure to own up to its true extent. How can NBC now let Brian Williams carry on as if there's no problem?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.