Yesterday, NBC Nightly News Anchor, Brian Williams, announced he had “misremembered” the facts about a helicopter flight he had made during the Iraq War in 2003. Hmmm, “misremembered”, what does that mean?
Williams has reportedly told on several occasions over the past 14 years that he was in a helicopter that drew rocket and rifle fire and was forced to make an emergency landing. Why would he have ever said that if it were not true? How can anyone “misremember” events like that? Who knows, besides Brian, but his explanation last night shed little light upon his reasons.
Dan Rather ended his news anchor career over an alleged “mistruth”. Rather reported that George W Bush had consciously worked to avoid being deployed to Vietnam based upon certain documents. Rather was forced to admit that he had not fully vetted the documents and therefore could not prove what was widely thought to be the case. Rather alleged something about someone else, in essence confirming circumstantial evidence, but could not prove it. Rather’s report had violated his public trust.
Williams, on the other hand, has alleged something about himself. In the scope of Williams career, the helicopter event is close to meaningless. Most likely the “misremembering” got its life by inflating Williams image as a “player”, someone who had more substance than just a news reader. And like sticky paper, the “misremembered event” just would not go away.
I guess that when Williams chose to describe his “mistruth” as “misremembered”, he was trying to divert the public from thinking he was really “Lying Brian Williams”.