Speed Reads

retractions

NBC's Brian Williams admits he wasn't on a helicopter shot down in Iraq

On Wednesday, NBC News anchor Brian Williams said that a story he has repeated for years about being on a helicopter under fire in Iraq actually isn't true.

Williams has said that while covering the invasion in 2003, the Chinook he was on came under enemy fire and was forced down. He last shared this story on Friday during a tribute to a retired solider at a New York Rangers hockey game, but the military newspaper Stars & Stripes reached out to crew members who were on that helicopter, and they said Williams was not on board, and actually arrived on a different aircraft an hour after the damaged helicopter landed.

Williams told Stars & Stripes he "misremembered" the details of the story. "I would not have chosen to make this mistake," he said. "I don't know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another." He added, "Nobody's trying to steal anyone's valor. Quite the contrary: I was and remain a civilian journalist covering the stories of those who volunteered for duty."