Brian Williams will not be on NBC News for “the next several days” because of the controversy surrounding his false story about being shot down in a helicopter in 2003 in Iraq.
In a statement from Williams posted on the NBC News’ press website, the news anchor announced he is essentially giving himself a voluntary suspension.
“In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
“As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”
As iMediaEthics reported yesterday, NBC News is running an internal investigation into Williams’ false story about being in a helicopter shot down by an RPG.
Williams apologized Wednesday on air and in a Facebook post for the fabrication. He said he mistakenly thought he was in the helicopter shot down but in fact he was in the next helicopter. His confession came after veterans called him out for telling the false story last week in an NBC News report.
Williams had said on Jan. 30 that “the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.” His comments and re-telling of the story were part of his report for NBC News’ Nightly News about the retirement of U.S. Army Major Tim Terpak, who he said “was put in charge of our safety” after the incident.
UPDATED: 2/7/2015 4:25 PM EST Added more info