By Thursday afternoon, much of the media had done what it could to rehabilitate the image of NBC anchor Brian Williams, and by Thursday night he was once again a sympathetic figure. CNN gave Williams’ story extensive coverage, with Jake Tapper interviewing Rich Krell, the pilot of Williams’ helicopter.
Meanwhile, Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” interviewed Krell for an online piece:
Krell said of Williams, “Yeah, he messed up some things and said some things he shouldn’t have. I [first] heard it a few years ago. … Actually one of my flight engineers said, ‘Did you hear him say that? Wasn’t he on our bird?'”
Krell didn’t seem overly bothered by Williams’ revisionist history — he chalked it up to wartime theatrics. “After a while, with combat stories, you just go ‘Whatever,'” he said.
The big news of the day, then? Williams was telling the truth about his helicopter taking fire. It was just small arms fire, though, not an RPG. And he wasn’t shot down. But he did take fire, technically, and that was probably scary, so shut up.
And thus, CNN declares it so.
New York Post columnist Kyle Smith seems to be one of the few thinking it’s awfully strange that, despite the multiple allegations documented in Stars and Stripes, no one else has emerged to correct the record. That is weird.
Or hate. Politico’s Blake Hounshell can’t believe all of the pent-up hatred for a well-liked news anchor.