Brian Williams will be back on TV in less than two weeks.
Williams was suspended from NBC and the nightly news program he anchored in March, as iMediaEthics has written. Williams apologized in February after veterans bsuted him for faking a story about being in a helicopter during the 2003 Iraq invasion that was attacked by RPG fire. NBC News suspended Williams for six months and opened an investigation into his claims. In June, Williams issued a public apology in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, NBC moved him to MSNBC and Lester Holt was named Williams’ replacement.
Williams’ first day at MSNBC is Sept. 22, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which noted Williams’ new role comes with a pay cut. “He’ll anchor live breaking news that day, which is expected to include coverage of the U.S. visit of Pope Francis.”
The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reminded readers that one of the questions raised about Williams’ previous stories included an account of Pope John Paul II. “He reported having met Pope John Paul II as a student at Catholic University in 1979, though his accounts of the encounter varied.”
CNN summarized the concerns about Williams’ previous Pope stories:
“Williams was a student at Catholic University in 1979 when Pope John Paul II visited the school. In a 2002 interview about the visit, Williams said he was there but never mentioned having had any interactions with the Holy Father. But several times over the next few years, Williams claimed that he shook hands and even received a blessing from the late pope.”
Wemple added: “NBC News has neither officially cleared Williams of pope-oriented exaggerations nor admitted the offense and apologized specifically for it. That makes the topic ripe for critics to re-hammer the anchor in the event that he spends a lot of time on pope coverage later this month.”