Tags: brian williams | berlin wall | doubts | reagan library

Doubts Arising About Williams' Berlin Wall Claims

By    |   Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:03 PM

News questions are arising about suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams' claims that he was in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down.

During a question-and-answer period at a 2008 forum a forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Williams was asked what his "wow" interview or moment was, reports Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCBS.

"I’ve been so fortunate. I was at the Brandenburg Gate the night the wall came down," he replied.

Williams was referring to the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989, but reports show that he didn't get to the wall until the day after it toppled.

Instead, his predecessor in the NBC anchor chair, Tom Brokaw, was the lone American anchorman reporting live from the scene when the wall came down.

Williams, who was a reporter for WCBS-TV in New York at the time, traveled to Berlin to cover the wall's demolition, reports CNN Money, and Williams has often mentioned it.

However, the wall came down on Nov. 9, 1989, when only Brokaw was there. Williams has credited Brokaw and NBC with beating him to the scene, including in 2004, when Williams said he "arrived at the Berlin Wall a day after — more like 12 hours after — Tom Brokaw did."

"But I got there, and I have my own piece of the wall, my own piece of that memory that I'll always hold tight to," he continued.

In other interviews, William has merged his experience with Brokaw's, including telling people at a gala on Nov. 8 that "Here's a fact: 25 years ago tonight, Tom Brokaw and I were at the Berlin Wall."

Later at the same event, though, which was held by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to honor Brokaw, Williams joked that he was "very ------ off 'cause Tom had arrived [in Berlin] first" but "everyone else in journalism" was racing to catch a flight from New York to Berlin, and "so by the second night of the story, we were all there."

An NBC News source confirmed to CNN that Williams "arrived the day after the wall came down."

Jessica Levinson, vice president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, told KCBS that it really "shakes the public" when journalists such as Williams make themselves part of the story, and since Williams became part of the Berlin Wall story, he may have started believing his own version.

Questions about Williams' Berlin Wall story come as his career is being examined for other invented or exaggerated stories, including reports about his claims of flying to Baghdad with SEAL Team Six.

Talking to David Letterman in 2012, Williams said he flew to Baghdad with the elite unit, and described being told not to make eye contact or talk with them.

But as Williams' history is being investigated following his admission that his helicopter was not fired on in Iraq, the chronology of what he said about SEAL Team Six also is being called into question.

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News questions are arising about suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams' claims that he was in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down.
brian williams, berlin wall, doubts, reagan library
Saturday, 14 February 2015 02:03 PM
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