Investigation Confirms That Brian Williams Told Many Lies

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The investigation in to Brian Williams’s tendency to bend the truth has uncovered 11 lies — or, as the Washington Post put it, “instances in which the anchorman publicly embellished details of his reporting exploits.” While most of those instances have already been reported by various news outlets, sources told the New York Times that the review — which is being led by NBC News’ senior executive producer for investigations, Richard Esposito — has turned up at least one new entry in Williams’s not-so-true story collection.

It seems that Williams exaggerated what he saw while reporting from Egypt’s Tahir Square in 2011. From the Times:

In an appearance [in February 2011] with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” Mr. Williams described his reporting from the square. Speaking of clashes between protesters seeking the overthrow of the Egyptian government, and a pro-government group on horses and camels, he said he had “actually made eye contact with the man on the lead horse.” Mr. Stewart then referred to reports that the pro-government group had used whips. “Yeah,” Mr. Williams replied, “he went around the corner after I saw him, they pulled out whips and started beating human beings on the way.”

The NBC News report on the clash between the protesters that day did not show Mr. Williams in Tahrir Square during the protest. Subsequent reports said that Mr. Williams was reporting “from a balcony overlooking Tahrir Square,” rather than from inside the square itself, a description that matches footage that was broadcast, and that he repeated in an interview with The New York Times last year.

Sources say that the results of Esposito’s ongoing inquiry will factor heavily into whether Williams will be allowed to return to his job as the anchor of NBC Nightly News. “It is not clear when that decision will be made,” the Times reports. In the meantime, Williams is keeping busy.