Brian Williams has been shot at by Iraqi forces, contracted dysentery, and watched as a dead man floated by after Hurricane Katrina, according to reports by Brian Williams. Now, after being suspended for six months from NBC for misleading statements about his Iraq War activity, the news anchor is being examined for other suspicious tales. One story involves Williams' 2008 claim that "I was at the Brandenburg Gate the night the [Berlin Wall] came down" (it's widely known Tom Brokaw was the only American anchor to report live from there, per CNN). There's also Williams' constantly evolving story about meeting Pope John Paul II at Catholic University in 1979—each telling of the tale has become more "colorful," CNN notes. And the Huffington Post has parsed Williams' contentions that he flew into Baghdad with SEAL Team Six, that a SEAL once sent him a knife as a gift, and that he also has a "piece of the fuselage of the blown-up Black Hawk" used in the Osama bin Laden raid.
Readers will have to scan Williams' differing accounts of these incidents on their own (too many variations to get into here). But regarding the SEALs flight, a Special Operations Command official told CNN, "We do not embed journalists with any elements of that unit." And Brandon Webb, an ex-SEAL who helped train "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, isn't buying Williams' story about the chopper. "It seems very strange that professional operators are going to take a souvenir off a classified stealth helicopter and then send it to Brian Williams," he tells HuffPo. "If Brian wants to re-establish his credibility, let's have him show us a picture of the piece." As the world waits for such evidence, we'll have to make do with Williams popping up "Forrest Gump-style," as the Los Angeles Times puts it, in Internet memes such as Williams at the Last Supper, involved with the moon landing, and capturing Saddam Hussein. (#BrianWilliamsMemories and #BrianWilliamsWarStories are two particularly fruitful hashtags.)