February 14, 2015

DID HE EVER EVEN MEET DASHIELL HAMMETT?:

Brian Williams: the steady drip of doubt over clips and claims (Tom McCarthy, 14 February 2015, tHE gUARDIAN)

One anecdote under examination is his evolving account of having met the pope. Asked in 2002 to recall a visit by Pope John Paul II to Catholic University in 1979, when he was a student there, Williams briefly said he had done some public relations work to help prepare for the pope's arrival.

But in a commencement address at the university two years later, first flagged by CNN, Williams said he had met the pope in person. Then the story became, in a 2005 interview Williams did with Esquire, that he had plotted to intercept the pope on campus. "During a work-study job at Catholic University, I met Pope John Paul II on his visit to the campus simply by positioning myself at the top of the stairs of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception," Williams said. "I just figured that's where he'd be stopping. For me, it's like some force intervenes. Go forward. Meet that person."

A similar narrative evolution has been remarked in a story Williams has told about flying into Baghdad with members of Navy Seal Team 6, the group credited with killing Osama bin Laden. After the Bin Laden assassination, Williams said on the air that "I happen to have the great honor of flying into Baghdad with them at the start of the war."

A year later, in an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Huffington Post noted, Williams elaborated the description. "I flew into Baghdad, invasion plus three days, on a blackout mission at night with elements of Seal Team 6, and I was told not to make any eye contact with them or initiate any conversation," Williams said. But Navy sources told CNN that Team 6 did not accept passengers and such a trip would have been impossible.

Williams has talked about possessing a piece of the Berlin Wall, the dismantling of which he witnessed in 1989 as a reporter with WCBS TV in New York. But in a February 2008 appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, flagged by CNN, Williams went further, saying he was there the night the wall "came down."

"I've been so fortunate," Williams said. "I was at the Brandenburg Gate the night the wall came down. I chipped a piece of my own off of that wall, and it's framed and hanging in my den with the next day's newspaper headline."

It was Brokaw, however, not Williams, who was the sole American anchor to report live from the scene on 9 November, 1989, the night the wall was opened.

This is why we nominate the Bushes.

Posted by at February 14, 2015 1:48 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« THE FUTURE OF THE CITY IS THE THEME PARK: | Main | HAS ANYONE WHO'S EVER SPOKEN TO CABANA BOY NOT WANTED TO PUNCH HIM?: »