Saying his piece. Brian Williams interrupted his NBC Nightly News broadcast on Wednesday, Feb. 4, to issue a public apology.
The veteran journalist, 55, addressed viewers about controversy surrounding his coverage of the Iraq War in 2003. His recollection of the events that took place 12 years ago was brought up once more just days ago.
“On this broadcast last week, in an effort to honor and thank a veteran, who protected me and so many others after a ground fire incident in the desert during the Iraq War invasion, I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” Williams explained.
Williams’ reflection on the events took place late last week when he spoke about reuniting with one of the soldiers who, according to NBC Nightly News, “saved [his] life.”
“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq,” he said in last week’s broadcast. “The helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG. Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded, and kept alive by an armored mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”
While the soldier in question, Tim Terpak, responded with gratitude on NBC Nightly News’ Facebook page, Williams said he soon heard from other veterans and members of the military.
“It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the air crews who were also in that desert,” he said. “I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by [rocket-propelled grenade] fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.”
“We all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert,” Williams continued. “This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and, by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not. I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology.”
Watch Williams’ admission in the video above.
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