A team of Washington Post reporters did more myth-busting in the claims of Brian Williams in a Sunday front-page story that continued to two whole pages inside the paper. The headline was “Williams undone by his gift of storytelling: Anchor’s love of a good yarn played a role in his downfall.” Wild exaggerations? “That’s Brian being Brian” was the “newsroom shorthand.”
Reporters Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham, and Amy Brittain forwarded supportive statements from former NBC chief executive Bob Wright, but also added more rebuttal of Williams tall tales, like one we suggested on NewsBusters about Slim Jims:
In Williams’s telling, the pathos of the scene extended to his crew’s access to food. “We were desperate for food and drink. But not like the people we were seeing in the streets,” he said in the [2006 prime-time] documentary “In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina.”
“I remember seeing a box of Slim Jims and thinking, ‘That’s better than any restaurant meal right now. That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,’” he said.
However, there was abundant food at the Ritz-Carlton, according to DeGersdorff. The hotel was stocked for a fully booked weekend, and it set out buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners each day.