NBC News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday retracted his story from 2003 that his helicopter was forced down in Iraq by RPG fire and that his life was saved by U.S. soldiers who surrounded the chopper. Williams and NBC News have repeated the claim since then, most recently at a New York Rangers hockey game last week. On Wednesday’s Nightly News broadcast, Williams apologized for his false claim.
“I made a mistake in recalling an event from 12 years ago,” he said. “This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran. I hope they [veterans] know they have my greatest respect and now my apology.”
Williams’s admission came after crew members of a Chinook that was hit by two rockets told Stars and Stripes that the anchor wasn’t near the action. They said that Williams arrived in the area about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three made an emergency landing.
At the Rangers game, Williams made it sound like his life was in danger. “Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded, and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”