Posted by Curt on 7 February, 2015 at 10:48 am. 2 comments already!


Ed Morrissey:

Via Ace and Twitter user Niedermeyer’s Dead Horse, yet another tale of Brian Williams’ heroism on that fateful day in Iraq in 2003 has emerged, this time from 2007. Don’t forget that the absolutely false version of his helicopter ride being hit by an RPG had been floating around since 2004, this time the story has even more compelling detail. Williams tells Fairfield University reporter Emily Fitzmaurice in November 2007 about all of the close calls he’s had as a reporter, including the 2003 incident in Iraq in which he looked down the tube of the RPG launcher. Pick up the tales of Williams’ adventures at the two-minute mark:


WILLIAMS: I’ve been very, very lucky the way my life has turned out. I’ve been very lucky to have survived a few things that I’ve been involved in. At a reception a few minutes ago, I was remembering — I tend to forget the war with Hezbollah in Israel a few years back, where there were Katyusha rockets passing just underneath the helicopter I was riding. A few years before that, we go back to Iraq, and I look down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us, and it hit the chopper in front of ours. And I’m so fortunate to be sitting here.

Note that this time, though, Williams tells his interviewer that the RPG hit the chopper in front of his, rather than his own chopper. The target of the RPG keeps changing back and forth in these narratives, but in 2004, NBC News producer Justin Balding told author Mary Ward that the RPG hit their helicopter. Ward recounts the conversation in her October 2004 book Letters Home:From 9/11 to Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Military Mom Shares Her Family’s Story of Patriotism, Courage and Love (page 125):


It’s possible that Ward mistook what Balding said about which chopper got hit by the RPG, but the witnesses from that time have been consistent since it happened that Williams’ chopper never took fire of any kind, let alone an RPG. Williams never “looked down the tube” of an RPG, at least not on that trip — which Williams himself acknowledged this week.  Once again, this shows that the lie about coming under attack is not some new conflation caused by the fog of war, but a fable Williams has spun ever since it happened, even while the details kept changing. Ward’s book also shows that Williams wasn’t alone in telling the fable.

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