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US journalist admits faking story about Iraq attack

IANS 

Washington, Feb 6 (IANS/EFE) Veteran journalist Brian Williams, the popular host of NBC's nightly prime time newscast, has apologised after admitting that he made up the story he told about travelling in a helicopter that was attacked during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Williams retracted the story he recounted last week after crewmembers of the US chopper that was attacked told Stars and Stripes newspaper that the reporter was not on board at the time.

The journalist, 55, apologised Wednesday evening in a statement he read during the "NBC Nightly News", that he hosted since 2004.

"I want to apologise," Williams said.

"I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago...I feel terrible about making this mistake...about the incident...and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the rocket-propelled grenade(RPG) in the tail housing."

Williams spoke about the attack last Friday on the broadcast while reporting a tribute at a New York Rangers hockey game for a retired soldier who provided ground security during the incident.

He said that he was on board the helicopter that was hit by the RPG and forced down.

Williams also said he did not know why he had confused one aircraft for the other in his story.

At present, it is not known what the repercussions of the false story will be for Williams at NBC, although his credibility has now been questioned by some of his journalism colleagues.

He has also been the butt of online jokes since the story broke, including photo-montages in which he was shown reporting from the Moon and messages on Twitter.

--IANS/EFE

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First Published: Fri, February 06 2015. 03:20 IST
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