Brian Williams’ Troubles at NBC Continue
The trouble isn’t quite over yet for Brian Williams. Williams, who headed up “NBC Nightly News,” was suspended for six months by NBC this winter. The suspension came in light of the revelation that Williams had not been truthful about an instance in which he claimed to have been in a military helicopter that took fire during the early days of the Iraq War. Now it has come to light that there were other instances in which Williams lied or embellished aspects of his reporting–at least ten have been reported so far.
The current investigation is being conducted internally at NBC, and is said to have five different journalists working on it. The investigators are being led by NBC News senior executive producer Richard Esposito. Given that Williams’ suspension will technically end in August, NBC is under pressure to figure out whether or not they’ll reinstate him to the position. Lester Holt is currently manning the news desk while Williams’ fate remains up in the air.
However, the new discoveries of deception don’t bode particularly well for Williams. Anonymous sources with knowledge of the inquiry told The New York Times about the nature of the new findings, stating:
The episodes under review included details of the incident in Iraq in 2003; statements Mr. Williams made about a missile attack while he was traveling in another helicopter over northern Israel in 2006; and the circumstances under which he received a fragment of a helicopter that crashed during the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011.
According to the Washington Post, there was also an inconsistency in his reporting of events during the Arab Spring uprisings. Williams claimed on “The Daily Show” that he saw certain events of the uprisings firsthand in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, but now it’s unclear if he was actually reporting from the location.
Whether or not the exact details of what Williams was not truthful about will be released to the public remains unknown. If he is, in fact, let go from his position at NBC, executives may need to keep those accusations secret in light of some sort of severance agreement.
According to inside reports, high-ups at NBC are currently meeting to determine Williams’ future. These top players include NBC Universal chief executive Steve Burke, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, and NBC News president Deborah Turness. While NBC hasn’t confirmed much of this, and this information appears to have mainly come from anonymous sources, it’s clear that matters are on the move. Right now, it doesn’t seem like it would be a particularly good idea to bet on Williams keeping his job, particularly if more instances of exaggeration or untruthfulness come to light.