On Tuesday's The 11th Hour show, MSNBC's Brian Williams began his last few weeks hosting the show by spreading more misinformation as he accused Republicans of running a "disgusting smear campaign" against veteran and then-Democratic Senator Max Cleland when he ran for reelection in 2002.
Picking up on the recent passing of the former Senator, Williams recalled some of his heroism that led Cleland to lose both legs and one arm, and to earn a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star. The MSNBC host then took a shot at Republicans over something that happened 19 years ago.
Williams recalled: "He went on to get involved in politics -- U.S. Senator from Georgia -- later defeated by a disgusting GOP smear campaign that somehow he wasn't tough enough on terrorism. The attack ad showed him next to imagery of Osama bin Laden."
Although it has been repeatedly claimed in the liberal media that Cleland's face was paired next to that of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, the image of bin Laden was used in a different frame, as can be seen in video of the ad.
As for the reason he was defeated, which Williams did not elaborate on, Cleland's colleague from Georgia, then-Senator Zell Miller -- a conservative Democrat -- chalked up the loss to the more liberal Cleland supporting the unionization of the newly formed Homeland Security Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Williams notably was never seen complaining in 2008 when his then-colleague Keith Olbermann attacked Republican Senator John McCain's patriotism and used imagery of bin Laden as McCain ran for President.
This episode of The 11th Hour with Brian Williams was sponsored in part by Volvo. Their contact information is linked.
The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
November 9, 2021
11:52 p.m. EASTERN
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Arlington got us to thinking about my friend Max Cleland. Back when he was a young captain, Cleland, outside of Khe Sanh in '68 he picked up a live grenade which cost him three of his limbs. Max Cleland came home to the states with a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, and one arm. And with the help of the magicians at Walter Reed, he put himself back together.
He went on to get involved in politics -- U.S. Senator from Georgia -- later defeated by a disgusting GOP smear campaign that somehow he wasn't tough enough on terrorism. The attack ad showed him next to imagery of Osama bin Laden.
After his defeat, which laid him low, Cleland was named VA secretary. And as an enlisted man grievously injured, he had this way of talking to fellow veterans that fancier Washington types never quite mastered. Max Cleland has died at the age of 79, and we have lost an actual patriot - one tough guy who leaves behind his own chapter of our American history.