NBC News anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for mistakenly claiming he had been on a helicopter that was shot down by ground fire in Iraq in 2003.
Last week, NBC Nightly News filmed Williams taking a soldier to a New York Rangers game. The public address announcer at the game explained to the crowd that "U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tim Terpak was responsible for the safety of Brian Williams and his NBC News team after their Chinook helicopter was hit and crippled by enemy fire" during the invasion of Iraq.
Terpak received a standing ovation, and, on Facebook, where NBC posted a video of the story, Williams was also praised. But one commenter cast doubt on the story, which Williams also told in specific detail to David Letterman in 2013.
"Sorry dude, I don't remember you being on my aircraft," wrote Lance Reynolds on Facebook. "I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened."
The military newspaper Stars and Stripes, which first reported on the Facebook comment, identified Reynolds as the flight engineer on the helicopter. He and other crew members told Stars and Stripes that Williams was not in their helicopter that had been shot down but in one that arrived an hour later.
On Wednesday, Williams admitted on Facebook that he had made a mistake. "You are absolutely right and I was wrong," he wrote, adding that he had in fact been on the helicopter behind the one that had been hit. Constant viewing of the video showing him inspecting the impact area, he said, "and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize."
E.B. White classics going digital
Three E.B. White classics read by millions of parents to their children will soon be available on the digital screen. HarperCollins announced Wednesday that "Charlotte's Web," "Stuart Little" and "The Trumpet of the Swan" can be purchased as e-books starting March 17. White's granddaughter Martha White said that family members had worried electronic sales would hurt business for their preferred format, paper. "After discussing this with our agent [Amanda Urban], it's become apparent to us that e-books complement sales of paper books, instead of replacing sales," White said. "The print books of 'Stuart Little' and 'Charlotte's Web' have been selling strongly, and we felt like it was time to allow the books into the market in other formats." White, whose grandfather died in 1985, said she imagined the e-editions being read by travelers, at airports and train stations, or by people in waiting rooms at doctors' offices.
Grammy performers: Beck, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and the Electric Light Orchestra are among a new batch of performers added to the bill for Sunday's Grammy Awards. The Grammys continue their signature of pairing artists for one-time performances. Beck will take the stage with Coldplay's Chris Martin. Mary J. Blige will duet with Smith. Brandy Clark will perform with Dwight Yoakam. Sheeran will take the stage with Herbie Hancock, John Mayer and Questlove of the Roots. Sheeran will also join ELO, recently reunited by its leader, Jeff Lynne.