by Yvette Carnell
After soldiers noticed discrepancies in Brian Williams’ harrowing tale that he was under attack and shot down in a military helicopter over Iraq, the NBC news anchor admitted that he’d lied and recanted the story he’d told since 2003.
Williams, a veteran news anchor, apologized, and it looks as though he’ll escape with only a bit of haranguing from the Twitterverse. The same cannot be said for the black journalist who lied more than once while writing for the New York Times. So why the disparity?
Many will recall that Jayson Blair misled Times readers and editors with false dispatches from numerous states. Of Jayson Blair, the Times wrote in 2003, “He fabricated comments. He concocted scenes. He lifted material from other newspapers and wire services. He selected details from photographs to create the impression he had been somewhere or seen someone, when he had not. “
Yes, and Williams said he was shot down over Baghdad. That was a fabrication. A concocted story. Since soldiers from the 159th Aviation Regiment told Stars and Stripes that Williams was “nowhere near” the attack.
Some will point out that Blair’s offenses outnumber those of Williams, but ask yourself: How can we even know that when no one has fine tooth combed through Williams’ previous dispatches? How do we know that this blatant lie about being shot down from a helicopter is a first for Williams? Are we to just trust that the veteran journalist misremembered being shot out of the sky? Sort of like how a woman misremembers giving birth to a child?
While appearing on Alec Baldwin’s show, Williams, when asked if he thought he was going to die, answered, “briefly sure.” This wasn’t a mistake. It was a lie. A lie told over and over again since 2003, which seems almost pathological. Williams should pay a far heavier price for that lie than just having to say “Sorry.”