NBC News is in the middle of an investigation into “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams’ recent disclosure that he falsely claimed to have been on a helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire while on an NBC News reporting trip in Iraq in 2003, according to a memo issued Friday by NBC News president Deborah Turness.
Despite the probe, Williams is expected to anchor “NBC Nightly News” Friday evening, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired,” Turness said. “We’re working on what the best next steps are – and when we have something to communicate, we will, of course, share it with you.”
Williams has apologized to NBC News staffers in recent days, Turness said, “and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.”
NBC is following what has emerged as a sort of textbook procedure when gaffes of this scope come to pass. CBS News did something similar in 2013 when an October 27 report by Lara Logan on “60 Minutes” about a 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was found to contain material from a source that had not been properly authenticated.
Logan made an apology on air for the report, and, after an internal investigation, took a leave of absence from CBS News, along with her producer on the questionable segment, Max McClellan. She returned to the news organization in June of last year.