Late-night hosts Jon Stewart, Larry Wilmore and Conan O’Brien all teed off on “fellow purveyor of fake news” Brian Williams during their programming yesterday:
- “Tonight, we revisit the film ‘Black Hawk Down,’ or as Brian Williams calls it, ‘The Brian Williams Story,’” Wilmore said while teasing his opening segment.
- “Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War,” Jon Stewart quipped.
- “Brian Williams won the Grammy for best spoken word fiction at the Grammys yesterday,” Conan O’Brien zinged. “At least, that’s what he told me.”
Ever since an oft-told story about Williams taking rocket-propelled grenade fire aboard a Chinook helicopter in Iraq came into question last week, things have gone from bad to worse for the NBC anchor. The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency disputed Williams’ claim that he saw bodies floating down the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Over the weekend, word came out that Williams was not going to be appearing on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” the same show where Williams told a very dramatic version of the story. In a column published online Saturday, the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd pointed out that NBC executives were warned a year ago that Williams had a penchant for “inflating his biography.”
Williams also announced he was taking a leave of absence last week. “It has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions,” Williams said in a statement Saturday.
Late last week, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather came to Williams’ defense, calling him an "honest, decent man." But other than that, support from colleagues has been in short supply. Williams’ bosses at NBC, which handed the anchor a rich contract extension back in December, have stayed silent about how they plan to handle the situation.
Watch Stewart's shot below.