Brian Williams Will Not Return as Anchor to NBC’s Nightly News

The past few months haven’t been too kind to Brian Williams as he continues to reel from the accusations and findings that he lied about a number of stories he reported on. Most recently it was announced that he would not be returning as anchor to NBC’s Nightly News due to an internal investigation finding a number of instances in which he fabricated details of his experiences while reporting abroad.

In his first interview since his suspension, Williams sat down with the Today Show’s Matt Lauer, acknowledged his mistakes and apologizing for what he said that led to his suspension and ultimate demotion.

“I said things that weren’t true,” Williams said.

He continued, “It has been torture,” speaking of his months of suspension. “Looking back, it has been absolutely necessary. I have discovered a lot of things. I have been listening to and watching what amounts to the black box recordings from my career. I’ve gone back through everything – basically 20 years of public utterances.”

Williams was initially suspended from NBC back in February for six months as it emerged that he had lied about an experience while reporting on the Iraq invasion back in 2003. He had claimed that the helicopter that he was flying in had been hit by a grenade when in reality it was the helicopter in front of his that had been hit.

After a lengthy investigation a number of other fabrications came to light and Williams fate at Nightly News was unclear. It was announced earlier this month that Williams would not be returning as host of NBC Nightly News and that Lester Holt, who had been filling in over the past few months, would be taking over the anchor chair.

Williams’ most recent apology is a far departure from his original statements when first confronted with allegations of fabricating stories. Many took his first explanations of the lies as an aloof attempt to dismiss any criticism, but his most recent apologies appeared to be much more sincere.

“I was reading the newspaper stories, not liking the person I was reading about, wanting – I would have given anything to get to the end of the story and have it be about someone else, but it was about me. These statements I made, I own this; I own up to this and I have to go through and see and try to figure out how it happened.”

Although Williams will not be returning to his seat at Nightly News, he will be joining MSNBC to anchor breaking news and special reports beginning this August, a position that he had held from 1996 to 2004.

Follow Sean on Twitter @BuffaloFlynn.

About Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn is a recent graduate from City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. His work has appeared in The Buffalo News, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times 'Fort Greene Local', The Daily Meal, and
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