NBC News has launched an internal review of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ 2003 reporting mission to Iraq, details of which he acknowledged this week he had recalled incorrectly.
NBC News president Deborah Turness announced the review in a memo to staff Friday afternoon. Her memo followed Williams’ on-air apology Wednesday, and a clarification of the events that led his news team being protected by the Third Infantry, and his recent honoring of one of the Army veterans who was there, Sgt. Maj. Tim Terpak.
In a piece last week on Nightly News, Williams took Terpak, who just retired with three Bronze Stars, to a New York Rangers hockey game, where the vet was honored with a standing ovation at Madison Square Garden. Williams told the story of his helicopter being hit by a rocket propelled grenade. But that was not accurate. Williams and his team were actually in one of the aircraft following a Chinook helicopter that was hit.
In fact, in the original Dateline special on the incident that aired in March 2003, Williams said, "On the ground we learn the Chinook ahead of us was almost blown out of the sky," acknowledging he was not in the lead helicopter.
On Wednesday's Nightly News broadcast, Williams admitted, "I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago."
In her memo to staff, Turness wrote: “As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are — and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.”