Dan Rather Defends Brian Williams: He’s ‘An Honest, Decent Man’

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather rushed to Brian Williams’ defense after the NBC News anchor apologized for falsely claiming that he was on board a helicopter that took rocket propelled grenade fire during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

“I don’t know the particulars about that day in Iraq,” Rather told Politico on Thursday. “I do know Brian. He’s a longtime friend and we have been in a number of war zones and on the same battlefields, competing but together. Brian is an honest, decent man, an excellent reporter and anchor–and a brave one. I can attest that — like his predecessor Tom Brokaw — he is a superb pro, and a gutsy one.”

Although Williams’ apology appears to be enough for Rather, who resigned in 2004 during an investigation into a story he wrote on President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, other members of the media have demanded additional answers from Williams and NBC News.

Williams has told multiple versions of the story on the 2003 attack, and numerous individuals have contested details he shared about the attack. It appears that the helicopter on which Williams rode was not hit with RPG fire, but the pilot of the helicopter claims that the aircraft was hit with small arms fire.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: