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Story ID:10309
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:All All USA
Person:Bryan Williams
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By Fred Wickert

I have written before about false reporting of the members of the media. This essay is about yet another of those situations. This time it is the top News Anchor for NBC News, one Brian Williams.

For ten years he has been telling a story about being on an Army helicopter in a war zone that was hit by an RPG and a lot of small arms fire, and how it landed hard, being forced to crash land from the RPG hit.

Several different times he has told this story and then embellished it a bit more with each telling. He got caught so then he changed the story to say he was on a different chopper that was following close behind the one that was hit, which was one of three flying in a group.

Later still, he got caught in that lie. Some Army troops who were aboard the helicopter that got hit, plus the pilot of the chopper he was actually on, which was not following the one that got hit but rather passed it going the opposite direction, got tired of hearing his tales and reported the truth to the Stars and Stripes. The Stars and Stripes is a military newspaper.

Finally he apologized when confronted with the truth, blaming it on foggy memory during the hazards of war. That too is a lie. If you are on a chopper that crashes due to a hit from an RPG you recall it vividly unless unconscious from wounds at the time, which he was not.

Now news people all over are speculating on whether he will lose his job over it. They are wondering what NBC will do. He is their number one man. They gave him a ten million dollar contract. Can they afford to fire him? Can they avoid firing him? After all some are saying, it was just a small mistake.

They are wrong! It is not just a small mistake. It is an out and out lie! There was no mistake about it. He knew it was a lie. Once he told it, he had to keep on lying.

He was there and he did ride in a chopper that was one of a group of three. He was not in the same group of three that had one of them shot down with an RPG. He talked with enough of the men that he learned what happened. Then, trying to impress his audience with his bravery in facing danger, he told the story as though he were aboard the downed chopper.

Psychologically I suppose that made him think the folks back home were going to be more impressed with him and his bravery. As a veteran of two of this nations wars, it strikes me as no different than the guy who never served but puts on a uniform he bought and wears it displaying a Purple Heart or some other medal he never won, to try to impress people. They call that STOLEN VALOR which is against the law.

To those members of the news corps and anyone else that thinks Brian Williams just made a little mistake, I say you are wrong. It was a lie and there was nothing little about it. He not only lied, but he repeated it several times over a ten year period. I am no expert on the English language, but I believe the term, ”lie” fits much more accurately than, “little mistake.”

The first amendment protects freedom of speech and therefore protects what the news media reports. I believe in the first as well as all the other amendments. I also believe the honest and truthful reporting of the news is a sacred trust. Perhaps we should ask Congress to pass a law making it mandatory that anyone in the news reporting business report everything as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Then perhaps we could trust our news media again. Unfortunately, we cannot do that now. There is too much false reporting in our news media today.

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