NBC newsreader Brian Williams sounded a bit like John Kerry this morning when he insisted he told the story of his time in Iraq correctly before telling it "incorrectly."
"Was it conscious, Brian? Because let's go back to January when you went on Nightly News and you recounted a story about a military veteran who played a role in a harrowing chopper ride you took while covering the Iraq war. And you told the story, you had told some versions of it in the past in other venues," said his colleague Matt Lauer. "Did you know it was not true?"
"I told the story correctly for years before I told it incorrectly," said Williams. "I was not trying to mislead people. That, to me, is a huge difference here," said Williams.
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and new Republican presidential candidate, appeared on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers Tuesday to talk about her candidacy. Host Seth Meyers brought up the fact that Fiorina had failed to purchase the internet domain carlyfiorina.org before launching her campaign this week. Someone else purchased the domain instead, publishing on the site a short message about Fiorina's layoffs at HP and representing all 30,000 of them with a frowning face emoticon.
The Scrapbook is not in the habit of closely following show biz gossip—well, not too closely. Still, we couldn’t help but notice that the Manhattan media world is abuzz about the return of Andrew Lack, after several years’ absence, as chief of NBC News. This, in itself, is of no particular significance, except that Lack, among other things, must soon decide what to do about Brian Williams.
NBC News has just sent out this statement stating that anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months:
We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately. We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly encouraged embattled NBC anchor Brian Williams to come on her show for an interview. She said "the desire by so many to tear him down is also somewhat discomfiting."
"If I were Brian Williams," Kelly said, "I think the only thing he can do at this point is come out and say, 'I truly screwed up the Iraq coverage.' I think he can still credibly say, 'In my mind, I was scared, I was confused, I guess I was just wrong from beginning and now I realize I was wrong, and I really was wrong when I then added the RPG fire into it in my helicopter.'"
In 2013, NBC newsreader Brian Williams re-told the fake story of how his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. The story, which he passionately retells to David Letterman, begins about the 3 minute mark, with many details that we now know do not reflect reality:
Williams admitted today that indeed his helicopter was not shot down in Iraq. (He was in the follow-on chopper.)
Vice President Joe Biden appeared to be the butt of a joke on tonight's Parks and Recreation, when a character on the show pulled out the (sadly) nonexistent Biden the Rails: 1001 Poems Inspired by My Travels Through Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, by Joe Biden:
President Barack Obama's brief trip to Phoenix Thursday included an off-schedule trip to a housing development and a policy speech at a local high school. But, as NBC affiliate KPNX noted in its report, the president's motorcade drove past the campus of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital, which became "ground zero" for a nationwide scandal after reports that at least 35 veterans died while waiting to receive care.