Crock and Awe: What Was Brian Williams Thinking?

February 5, 2015 4:01 PM

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Crock and Awe: What Was Brian Williams Thinking?

Here’s what the rest of us know for sure about Williams’ Iraqi misadventure. On the Jan. 30 NBC Nightly News, the anchor told a story about having been on a helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during the 2003 invasion. Soldiers who were there said it wasn’t so, a story appeared in military newspaper Stars and Stripes, and Wednesday night on the news, Williams recanted his story and apologized, saying he was actually on an aircraft following behind the one that was hit.

What we don’t know is whether Williams’ explanation–that he was on a helicopter behind the one that got shot down and “conflated” the two in recalling the story–holds water. We don’t know if he “lied” or “misremembered.” Both of those involve intent, and none of us is psychic. It may seem weird that...

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