Fox News contributors Bernard Goldberg and Charles Krauthammer appeared on separate Fox News Channel (FNC) programs on Thursday to weigh in on the controversy surrounding NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams severe case of lying with Goldberg declaring it “a special kind of lie” Williams committed and Krauthammer remarking that “what stuns me is how dumb this is.”
On Friday's CBS This Morning, substitute co-host Jeff Glor introduced a report on the growing scandal surrounding NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams by proclaiming: "This morning, one of the biggest names in media is fighting for his reputation....On Wednesday, Williams said he was sorry for saying his helicopter in Iraq was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in 2003. That never happened. It's an account that has changed over the years."
If Brian Williams or any of the executives at NBC thought that the controversy over his "fake Iraq story" might start to die down, developments this evening have proven that they were sadly mistaken.
The quoted words in the previous sentence are from a headline at an Associated Press story by David Bauder, the wire service's TV writer. The fact that the nation's self-described "essential global news network" felt comfortable using those words to describe the 12 year-old saga of Williams's fabricated adventure in Iraq is actually among the least of his and his network's troubles tonight. Two major stories at the New York Post's Page Six appear to have made their continuing with the status quo very difficult to imagine.
Appearing on the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Hannity on Thursday night, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell called on NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to do “the honorable thing” and “resign” following the lie that he had told for years that his helicopter was hit by an RPG over Iraq in March 2003.
Bozell told host Sean Hannity that Williams’s claim about his false story being “a bungled attempt” to thank a veteran simply “just doesn’t pass the smell test” considering how: “If he bungled it, then he also bungled it on the Letterman show two years ago. How do you bungle it twice and how do you bungle being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade?”
Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik appeared on Thursday’s CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin and continued to hold little back in criticizing NBC's Brian Williams for having falsely claimed his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. While also speaking with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Zurawik minced no words in describing what Williams did as lying and something that is grounds for his dismissal from his positions at NBC after having insulted the “millions of military families in this country who suffer everyday diminished lives by the injuries and the wounds that people who fought honorably in those wars suffered.”
On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Brian Stelter contented that Brian Williams's false account about his helicopter coming under attack in Iraq in 2003 "just does not pass the smell test," and added that "this is a serious blow to [his] credibility." He also underlined that "all those times in the past where...the story got murkier over time – that seems like it was maybe intentional, and not just an innocent mistake."
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" was 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.
While NBC anchor Brian Williams admitted on Wednesday that he falsely claimed a helicopter he was riding in was hit by enemy fire over Iraq in 2003, his Nightly News broadcast scolded Hillary Clinton for making similar false war zone claims during the 2008 presidential campaign. On March 24, 2008, Williams opened the show by proclaiming: "Also, war of words, a new eruption among the Democrats and why Hillary Clinton is changing her story about a trip to an overseas war zone."
On Tuesday night, Lawrence O’Donnell devoted nearly four minutes of MSNBC show The Last Word to reading from and professing his complete admiration for President Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams From My Father as the “most honest,” “open,” “artful,” and “finest literary work ever authored by a President of the United States.” He spent no additional time on the book’s many inconsistencies, which stands in stark contrast to O’Donnell spending 32 minutes and 22 seconds of his program on January 27 and 28 obsessing over the late Chris Kyle’s book (turned hit movie) American Sniper and bringing on multiple guests to discredit Kyle and his story.
On Wednesday, Stars and Stripes reported that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams 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 stated that he “feels terrible” and “was wrong” for not telling viewers that he was instead “on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG.”
The story comes after he reported on Friday's NBC Nightly News that he was reunited on the day prior with the U.S. Army Command Sergeant who was put in charge of his NBC News crew after the helicopter they “were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG” and had to be “rescued, surrounded, and kept alive by an armored mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry.”
Two Jonathan Weisman reports from Monday on Obama's big-spending new budget underlined the New York Times' ongoing liberal obsession with "income inequality," with Weisman's report loaded with language that could have come straight from a liberal protester: "the rich are getting much richer."
On Thursday night, the major broadcast networks declined to cover reports that one of the five Taliban detainees swapped for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May 2014 has been seeking to rejoin the terrorism ranks by contacting Taliban members back in Afghanistan.
The news, which was broken by CNN Thursday afternoon, came following reports on Wednesday from Fox News and NBC News that the Army could be pressing desertion charges against Bergdahl for leaving his post prior to his capture in 2009. Since those stories arose, the Pentagon has denied those allegations.