This week it was discovered that NBC News anchor Brian Williams fabricated a story about being in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 that was shot at. Although NBC is undertaking their own ‘investigation’ of Brian Williams, most of the ‘expert’ reporters reporting on a story about another reporter report that Brian Williams isn’t likely to be fired because with Williams at the desk, NBC News is the no. 1 ranked evening news show. Of course nowadays being the no. 1 ranked evening news is like having the no.1 rated flip phone. Of the 23 people that still watch evening news apparently 14 of them watch Brian Williams on NBC.
He was in Iraq in a helicopter in 2003. That part of his story is true. His helicopter didn’t get shot at. A helicopter that landed an hour ahead of his in the same place did take enemy fire. It seems Brian didn’t want to report the news, he wanted to be the news, but not the cool kind with Huey Lewis.
I’ll cut Brian some slack. I remember that feeling. When I was a kid, Saturday Night Live was watched by everyone. On Monday in school at lunch, someone would say, “Hey, did you see that Eddie Murphy Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood skit?” If I had a busy day on the playground Saturday and was too tired to stay up for SNL, I’d still pretend that I saw it and laugh along as someone re-enacted the skit. That’s what Brian Williams did, kind of. Instead of saying he saw the helicopter that took fire, he said he was in it. Kind of like if I had said, “Of course I saw the Eddie Murphy skit. I was in it. Didn’t you see me standing next to Eddie?”
The problem is, people kind of rely on our news to be at least somewhat truthful. Later in the week someone dug up a Hurricane Katrina story in which Brian Williams may have also created some ‘facts’ to make his first person account seem more exciting. So I got curious and decided to review my VCR tapes of Brian Williams’ newscasts to see if I could find some other discrepancies. Here’s what I found. The Top Ten Things Brian Williams Made Up:
10. “I invented Gangam Style,” said Williams. In a 2012 interview Williams claims that Korean rapper Psy stole the lyrics and dance moves from him after attending Williams’ son’s bar mitvah.
9. Williams Responsible for Patriots Super Bowl win: The day after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, Williams reported that he had in fact slightly deflated the Patriots footballs in the controversial semi-final game. “I had a sideline press pass and was standing right next to the bin of footballs. I know how Tom likes his balls, so I thought, what the hell.”
8. “I might as well have pulled the trigger on Bin Laden” says Brian Williams: I was right next to the Special Forces guy who shot him. He didn’t even see Bin Laden until I said, “Hey, doesn’t that beardy guy over there by the fridge look kind of familiar?”
7. “I’m sorry. I caused tsunami,” says NBC’s Williams: “My bad everybody. Sorry Japan. I was on vacation in Mexico. When I was on a boat off the coast I did this awesome cannonball off the back. I had no idea it would create waves like that.”
6. Williams fesses up: “I let the dogs out.” “Yeah, I did it and I’m not ashamed,” he said.
5. The Pope was my choice: “When the voting number came up on TV I just sat there with my cell phone texting Francis to 866 IDOL over and over. Me and Fran go way back. I had to support my bro.”
4. “I made Bruce Jenner a woman”: In an interview just this week Williams said, “About a year ago me and Brucie were out for some drinks and I may have had one too many. So I said to Bruce, ‘I don’t give a shit about those Kardashians. If you were a woman you’d be prettier than all of them. Then he gave me his gold medal and to this day I wear it under my clothes all the time.”
3. “I’m responsible for Phil’s success,” say Williams. In an upcoming interview for The Phil Factor, Brian Williams said, “Phil’s books, his blog, his Sexiest Blogger Alive award, everything he has he owes to me. If I hadn’t mentioned how great his books were on the NBC Nightly News he wouldn’t have sold a single copy.”
2. “I taught Gordon Ramsay how to cook”: “Are you kidding me? That guy was a hack when I met him. If he tried to boil water he’d burn it,” said Williams. “And that shouting bit he does on his show? That’s mine too. Once over a few drinks I may have told him how my father berated me mercilessly and I guess Gordon liked the idea. He still yells at me to this day.”
1. “Bill Cosby drugged me and …” well, you can guess the rest,” said Williams. “I was young and naive. Cosby told me he was going to do a reverse Diff’rent Strokes thing on The Cosby Show with the Huxtables adopting a white kid, so I ‘auditioned’. I did the same thing with Brokaw to get the news gig, but at least that time there was a real job at the end.”
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