Brian Williams must have thought that the worst was over after his career blew up earlier this year when it came out that he had falsely claimed for years that he had been in a helicopter hit by a grenade in 2003 during the Iraq war. Who could blame him for thinking things were looking up when the Post was settling for making jabs about him holding puppies? But it seems Williams has not turned the page yet: the Times reports today that NBC has been investigating a "half-dozen instances in which he is thought to have fabricated, misrepresented or embellished his accounts."
The occasions being investigated include: the 2003 Iraq incident; Williams' claims about a missile attack in northern Israel in 2006; a story about receiving a fragment of a helicopter during the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011; and Williams' reporting from Tahir Square in 2011. The Times points out some glaring discrepancies in his account:
In an appearance that month with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” Mr. Williams described his reporting from the square. Speaking of clashes between protesters seeking the overthrow of the Egyptian government, and a pro-government group on horses and camels, he said he had “actually made eye contact with the man on the lead horse.” Mr. Stewart then referred to reports that the pro-government group had used whips. “Yeah,” Mr. Williams replied, “he went around the corner after I saw him, they pulled out whips and started beating human beings on the way.”
The NBC News report on the clash between the protesters that day did not show Mr. Williams in Tahrir Square during the protest. Subsequent reports said that Mr. Williams was reporting “from a balcony overlooking Tahrir Square,” rather than from inside the square itself, a description that matches footage that was broadcast, and that he repeated in an interview with The New York Times last year.
You can see the Daily Show appearance in question below.
Williams remains suspended by NBC News; it is believed that he is still being haunted by the ghost of Tom Brokaw; and the news anchor position remains an antiquated and somewhat silly relic of the early years of television.
Update: The Washington Post now reports that Williams embellished stories on at least 11 occasions.