Brian Williams Under Fire for Leaving Medal of Honor Ceremony

October 3rd, 2006 12:20 PM

NBC anchor Brian Williams was criticized for skipping out on the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony that he had agreed to MC. He had another engagement: a two-minute appearance on Saturday Night Live.

Reports the Boston Herald:

“NBC Nightly News” nabob Brian Williams came under fire yesterday after he reportedly beat a hasty retreat from his MC duties at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society soiree in Boston to appear on “Saturday Night Live.”

One event participant griped to the Track that the newsie “was there for the reception, then kicked off the program around 7:30 and was out of there by 8:30.”

And shortly after 11:30, Williams was “Live from New York!”

Six months ago, we’re told, the NBC anchorman had re-upped to host the annual Patriot Awards gala that honored, in addition to the 61 medal-wearing war heroes, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace.

What happened:
The anchor said he talked at length to Gen. Pace during the cocktail hour, introduced a few people on the program and then “called the roll” of the 61 vets in the room.

“It was the longest spontaneous applause I’ve ever witnessed,” he told the Track. “It gave me chills.”

After that, the Peacock People’s primo newsman - who was replaced at the podium by Society leader Tom Lyons - hopped a private plane back to the Apple to appear on “SNL” for less than two minutes.

To kick off a new season of “Weekend Update,” Brian joined Amy Poehler at the anchor desk. He was then summarily “booted” by her new “Update” partner Seth Meyers.

Call it an Honorable Discharge!

Watch the Saturday Night Live clip.