This corroborates yesterday’s report from Variety that there have been voices within NBC who have told Williams to stop telling the chopper whopper.
According to the NY Post Tom Brokaw “is out for blood.”
NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.
“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source said. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”
Brokaw, 74, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.
“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.
NBC News execs had counseled him to stop telling the tale.
Even though NBC News execs are thus far standing by Williams – who in December signed his newest $10 million-per-year, five-year contract – this is looking increasingly bad for him.
Now there are reports that he made up some aspects of his Katrina coverage – including his contention that he caught dysentery by drinking flood water, and saw a body float by his hotel in the French Quarter.
Again, via the New York Post:
However, the The New Orleans Advocate noted that the French Quarter was not flooded and quoted a local health expert who did not recall anyone getting such a stomach ailment.
Williams recalled his bout with the bug in an interview with Tom Brokaw last year, when he said: “I accidentally ingested some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery.”
The Advocate said a public health official never heard of people getting things like dysentery after the storm.
I consulted Wikipedia, and found this:
On September 6, E. coli was detected in the water supply. According to the CDC, five people died from bacterial infections caused by the toxic waters. The deaths appear to have been caused by Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, of the Cholera family.
So that dysentery story does not seem far fetched to me. It could have happened.
Williams said also during an interview in 2006 that he saw dead bodies float past his window in the French Quarter.
“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” Williams said in 2006.
This was approximately one year after Katrina that he spoke of seeing a body floating by his hotel window.
Numerous sources say the French Quarter dodged the massive flooding that was experienced in other areas. Williams may have heard the story of floating bodies from Mayor Ray Nagin, who told CNN during the flooding:
“There are dead bodies floating in some of the water,” Nagin said. “The rescuers would basically push them aside as they were trying to save individuals.”
Nagin said that as of late Tuesday “a significant amount of water” is flowing into the bowl-shaped city and sections of the city now dry could be under 9 or 10 feet of water within hours.
80% of the city was flooded. CNN reported that the water was 20 feet deep in some places, and linked to video (no longer there) of “knee-deep and rising water in the French Quarter.”
You need at least 18 inches of water for a body to float …
Via The Hayride, here’s a pic of Williams standing in the French Quarter in his “waders” which seems like overkill given the amount of water he was standing in. There may have been some low dips in the road that filled up with a foot of water.
But he saw bodies floating in that?
The problem for Williams and NBC is – after the chopper-whopper – everything the anchor has said in the past and will say in the future will be forever scrutinized. The man has a huge credibility problem.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers for both of those stories.