NBC anchor Brian Williams apologized to viewers this week after recounting a story from his time reporting the war in 2003. Williams claimed the chopper he was being transported in was hit by an RPG, but this was in fact, not true.
In his original broadcast, Williams said, "The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG. Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry."
A pretty harrowing tale, and one that turned out to be untrue.
Williams and his camera crew were actually aboard a Chinook in a formation that was about an hour behind the three helicopters that came under fire, according to crew member interviews.
That Chinook took no fire and landed later beside the damaged helicopter due to an impending sandstorm from the Iraqi desert, according to Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft that carried the journalists.
The lies were exposed when multiple commenters on Facebook called Williams out.
"Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft," wrote Lance Reynolds. "I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened. Then I remember you guys taking back off in a different flight of Chinooks from another unit and heading to Kuwait to report your 'war story' to the Nightly News. The whole time we were still stuck in Iraq trying to repair the aircraft and pulling our own Security."
As new details emerged, Williams was forced to issue an on air apology.
"On this broadcast last week, in an effort to honor and thank a veteran who protected me and so many others after a ground fire incident in the desert during the Iraq War invasion, I had made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago. It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the aircrews who were also in that desert. I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft. We all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert. This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran, and by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not. I hope they know, they have my greatest respect and also now my apology," he said.
Watch the apology below:
The amazing thing about this story, in Glenn's opinion, is not just the lies but how those lies were exposed.
"In today's world, you cannot get away with it," Glenn said. "In today's world, you have somebody that will verify or deny the reality."
"It was the internet that exposed him. It wasn't the government. It wasn't ABC News. CBS News."
See Glenn's full analysis below:
After the story started to get out, several people took to Twitter to mock Williams and his apology. Here are some of the best: