According to Greek mythology Icarus plunged to his death after his waxen wings melted when he flew too close to the sun. It is a fitting metaphor for millionaire celebrity NBC News anchor Brian Williams who had to retract and publicly apologize for a career burnishing fib that he told. Williams had regaled people with the tale that he had been on a helicopter that was forced down under fire in Iraq back when battle raged in 2003. But the pride of NBC Nightly News repeated his fairy tale one time too many and was called out for it.
As reported by Reuters in the story “NBC's Brian Williams apologizes for Iraq story after soldiers protest”:
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said on Wednesday he was sorry for "making a mistake" when he said he was on a helicopter that was hit and forced down by rocket fire during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, after soldiers complained it was not true.
Williams made the claim on his broadcast last Friday while reporting a tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier who provided ground security during the incident. Williams said he and his news crew were protected by a mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry after their Chinook helicopter was crippled by enemy fire.
That prompted crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment's Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire to tell the Stars and Stripes military newspaper that the journalist had arrived on a different helicopter an hour later.
In a statement responding to the soldiers, Williams said they were absolutely right and he was wrong.
"In fact, I spent much of the weekend thinking I'd gone crazy. I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in '08, and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing," Williams wrote.
He said he supposed that repeatedly watching a video of himself inspecting the impact damage, plus "the fog of memory over 12 years," made him conflate and misremember events, some of which took place in a thick "Orange Crush" sandstorm.
The “fog of memory” that Williams uses as an excuse is more like the fog of bullshit and an obvious and shameful effort to deceive the American public. But that is why a guy like him makes the big bucks and the temptation was just too much to mix a lie of his own in with the big government propaganda that he recites. It is even worse than Dan Rather’s similar fall from grace after his sloppy work on a story about George W. Bush’s National Guard Service. Mr. Rather, long hated by conservatives for perceived bias was arrogant to the core and his blunder resulted in his unceremonious exit from CBS and Bush's reelection. Williams also should surrender his anchorman throne for this lie because how can he possibly have any credibility going forward?
A story from the BBC provides a bit more detail on the exposure of Brian Williams as a pompous liar:
His apology came after veterans who were on the helicopter that was hit posted comments on the broadcaster's Facebook page.
Flight engineer Lance Reynolds, who was on the helicopter that was hit, wrote: "Sorry dude, I don't remember you being on my aircraft. I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened.
In a later posting he wrote: "The place we were shot at was a long ways away from where we even saw him and his crew. "
Replying to the criticism, Mr Williams said that "constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area - and the fog of memory over 12 years - made me conflate the two".
Mr Reynolds told the military newspaper Stars and Stripes: "It was something personal for us that was kind of life-changing for me. I know how lucky I was to survive it."
"It felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn't deserve to participate in."
The hashtag #chopperwhopper has now appeared on Twitter, with many contributors criticising Mr Williams and questioning whether he should stay in his job.
The quote from Lance Reynolds is priceless, “sorry dude” though will not be enough from Williams who should do the right thing and resign. Not that NBC, much higher up the totem pole than Democrat party propaganda arm MSNBC should be spared from criticism over Williams’ whopper about the chopper. If anything this validates what conservatives have long been saying about the network’s credibility.
There is a line of celebrities with less baggage than Brian Williams who would work for less money and jump through flaming hoops to get a shot at his gig. Americans will adjust quickly because as they have proven time and again, they will just gobble down the bullshit biscuits no matter who it is that is feeding them the precious morsels.