NBC News anchor Brian Williams spoke Friday for the first time since his suspension and demotion, saying “my ego got the better of me” when he told a false story on the “NBC Nightly News” about being forced down by enemy fire in a military helicopter during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Without fanfare, apology or comment about his recent troubles, Brian Williams returned to television as a news anchor Tuesday for the first time in seven months as he led MSNBC’s coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.
Brian Williams, the popular NBC News anchor who became embroiled in controversy over false statements he made about his reporting, will no longer be the anchor of the network’s evening newscast and will be assigned to handling breaking news on cable network MSNBC.
Sportscaster Keith Olbermann is no stranger to being suspended -- he was briefly taken off his ESPN show last month after getting into a fight on Twitter -- so it’s not surprising that he has great sympathy for embattled newsman Brian Williams.
While most in the media will only go public with statements of shock and disbelief at Brian Williams’ on-air exaggerations that led to his six-month suspension, Alec Baldwin offered up a more psychological reasoning.
In the hallways at NBC headquarters here, the walls are adorned with photos of “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams covering stories around the world, underscored by snippets from a recent ad campaign: “He’s been there.
The following statement from NBC Anchorman Brian Williams was posted on the network’s website Saturday: In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
It seems like everybody in media, from the cable news chatterers to the morning radio crews is talking about Brian Williams and the controversy that has erupted around an erroneous story Williams has been delivering about his time reporting in Iraq in 2003.
“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months without pay for exaggerating his role in a helicopter incident in Iraq, marking the first time a network news anchor has been stripped of his duties.
An exaggerated tale of combat in which no one was injured has proved injurious to the career of Brian Williams, who was suspended for six months without pay from his post at the top-rated “NBC Nightly News.”
Brian Williams’ false statements regarding his experience on a military helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq have triggered an investigation amid escalating criticism of the anchorman’s actions.