On Day Hezbollah Kills Toddler, Williams Guilts Israeli About Inevitably Killing a Kid

On the same day that a Hezbollah rocket killed two children in Nazareth, Israel, NBC's Brian Williams visited an Israeli Defense Force artillery outpost in northern Israel and noted how the soldiers “don't think a whole lot about where these shells go” in Lebanon and laid a guilt trip on an Israeli officer by predicting how one of his shells will inevitably “kill a six-year old boy.” Williams proposed to the officer: “One of these shells today or tomorrow, if we go with the law of averages, is going to kill a six-year-old boy somewhere. And it's not the intended target of one of these shells."

Earlier on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Richard Engel highlighted how “in Qasmiya in south Lebanon, an Israeli bomb left a crater where children were playing. Ismail lost his son today. 'They were small children. Do you see Hezbollah here?' he asked." Martin Fletcher soon related how a Hezbollah rocket “smashed into the roof of a car dealership in the Arab town of Nazareth. Two boys playing in the garden were killed instantly. They were ages three and nine.” (Partial transcript of Williams follows)

For a July 19 NBC Nightly News piece, Williams traveled to a unit on the Israel/Lebanon border which was firing artillery shells into southern Lebanon. The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the relevant portion.
Brian Williams: "The young men here are like soldiers anywhere.”

Israeli soldier: “Actually they took us from the beach and our girlfriends. We don't really want to be here.”

Williams: “They dream about the outside world. They know parts of Lebanon are being pulverized by what they do. They're proud of the accuracy of their weapons, but they know that's a relative term. And they don't think a whole lot about where these shells go. After a long stretch of silence during which these guns were mostly idle, then came a sudden volley, apparently in response to intelligence on a target from a spotter in the air.”

Williams to Israeli officer Darone Speelman, a native of the Detroit area who moved to Israel after college: “One of these shells today or tomorrow, if we go with the law of averages, is going to kill a six-year-old boy somewhere. And it's not the intended target of one of these shells."

Speelman replied: "I don't think there's any way to rationalize the death of a six-year-old child. I think a six-year-old child is, having children myself, is unbelievably painful. However, I know the pains, having been here for days, that we're taking not to hit civilians. However, my family's at risk right now. Israel's at risk."

The online version of the Williams story.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center