Brian of Arabia: Brian Williams Also Fibbed About Arab Spring

April 25th, 2015 11:36 AM


That was actually the greatest danger facing Brian Williams as he reported about the Arab Spring protests at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February 2011. Williams shortly afterwards told Jon Stewart on the Daily Show (45 second mark of video below) that he made eye contact with the man on the lead horse of a pro-government group on horseback and camels whipping the protesters. Unfortunately for the viability of Brian Williams' fib, the New York Times reported yesterday he was actually reporting in relative safety from a balcony near Tahrir Square.



It is not clear precisely which parts of Mr. Williams’s reporting from Tahrir Square have been scrutinized by NBC or what the network’s investigation shows. But discrepancies are evident in accounts given by Mr. Williams in February 2011.

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.


Here is the video of Williams' actual balcony report overlooking Tahrir Square with nary a horseman nor camel rider in sight:

Since Brian Williams has a lot of spare time on his hands due to his six month suspension from NBC Nightly News, perhaps he can watch Lawrence of Arabia and envision himself charging on horseback as he morphs into Brian of Arabia screaming "NO PRISONERS!" although judging from his Arab Spring situation perhaps "NO ROOM SERVICE!" might be a more appropriate battle cry.