Tags: brian williams | nbc | jay leno | talk shows | lie

Brian Williams Once Hoped to Be the Next Jay Leno

Image: Brian Williams Once Hoped to Be the Next Jay Leno
(Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 09:25 AM

Suspended NBC anchorman Brian Williams, who in recent years has been a frequent late-night talk show guest, had at one time hoped to be picked as "Tonight Show" star Jay Leno's successor, according to reports.

Two NBC insiders told New York Magazine that Williams lobbied NBC to give him Leno's job, and that the anchorman has another dream: he "wants to be a late-night comedian."

And even though Williams was passed over for the spot that eventually went to Jimmy Fallon, a former colleague told the magazine that Williams "traded on being 'Nightly News' anchorman-war reporter to ingratiate himself with Jimmy, Lorne Michaels, and Jon Stewart."

On Tuesday, Williams was suspended as managing editor and anchor of "NBC Nightly News" for six months without pay, NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a memo to staff. Williams' last broadcast was on Feb. 6, when he apologized on air over statements he'd made about his work in Iraq in 2003, and blamed his recounting on "the fog of memory."

It was during an appearance on the David Letterman show in 2013 that Williams told the story that would lead to his suspension, reports The New York Times.

In his recounting, Williams told Letterman an exaggerated story of being in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq in 2003.

His downfall, though, came after he appeared at a New York Rangers game with an Iraq veteran in a tribute to a retiring command sergeant major, and the later suggested on his newscast that the sergeant had protected him when "the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG," or a rocket-propelled grenade.

"Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry," he said.

The military publication Stars and Stripes got a tip that the report was inaccurate, and exposed Williams.

Williams succeeded anchorman Tom Brokaw in 2004, reports The Times, and five years ago, when Leno was retiring told NBC, he wanted either Leno's job or a late-night show of his own.

He was told the idea was "ridiculous," insiders told The Times, that he was a journalist, not a comedian, and that he should stick to news.

That did not stop him from making frequent guest appearances not only on the late-night talk show circuit, but also on the NBC comedy "30 Rock."

There has been some new speculation, though, that Williams should replace Jon Stewart, who announced Tuesday his plans to leave "The Daily Show."

The announcement of Williams' suspension came about an hour after Stewart's departure, and the buzz began, reports The Washington Post, including from NPR's Scott Simon, who tweeted: 

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Suspended NBC anchorman Brian Williams, who in recent years has been a frequent late-night talk show guest, had at one time hoped to be picked as "Tonight Show" star Jay Leno's successor, according to reports.
brian williams, nbc, jay leno, talk shows, lie
483
2015-25-11
Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 09:25 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved