Maybe This Forced NBC's Hand: In 2007, Williams Says He 'Looked Down the Tube of an RPG' in Iraq

February 7th, 2015 6:36 PM

This is for the "false memories" and "he's an untouchable 'brand' crowds defending Brian Williams, who this afternoon announced that he has "decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days."

At the 2-minute mark of the 2007 interview with a collegiate reporter following the jump, watch Williams speak of his alleged brushes with danger, including how he "looked down the tube of an RPG" during what has now been described by the Associated Press as his "fake Iraq story" (HT Ace and several others):

Relevant transcript (bolds are mine):

I think that is, y'know I, that makes me, it gets me to thinking, I’ve been very, very lucky the way my life has turned out. I’ve been very lucky to have survived a few things that I’ve been involved in. At a reception a few minutes ago, I was remembering — I tend to forget the war with Hezbollah in Israel a few years back — where there were Katyusha rockets passing just underneath the helicopter I was riding. A few years before that, we go back to Iraq, and I looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us, and it hit the chopper in front of ours. And I’m so fortunate to be sitting here.

Barring a surprise no one expects, it has been firmly established that Williams could not have been in a position to look "down the tube of an RPG" as he has claimed.

A short time later, Williams also refers to Katrina, talking about how "we fell apart" as a nation in that storm, and observing that "we beat the first responders to Katrina because we were there early." The reference to the "nation" appears to be an attempt to take a dig at the Bush administration, which was still in office, when any reasonable evaluation of the response in the Jazz City has to place a preponderance of the blame on then-Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and then-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

The New Orleans Advocate is questioning several aspects of the NBC anchor's Katrina account.

There also appears to be a potential discrepancy relating to those "Katyusha rockets," as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notes (link is in original; video of the NBC report is also at the link):

Williams interviewed Martin Fletcher about it in July 2006 while in Israel, who was on the ground in Israel when the Katyushas hit. There is no mention of a close call for Williams, even though it would have fit within the framework of this interview

Morrissey notes, again with accompanying video, that Williams regaled the Comedy Channel's Jon Stewart shortly after the incident about, in Morrissey's words. "the Katyusha rockets whistling past him" — 1,500 feet below. But "15 months later, Williams tells the college reporter that they’re “passing just underneath” the helicopter and that he’s lucky to have survived it."

Perhaps the "looked down the tube of an RPG" remark is what pushed Wiliams, with his NBC bosses surely lurking in the background and giving him little choice, to stop broadcasting "for the next several days."

As they say, "developing ..."

Cross-posted at