Photos published online in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina show flood waters surrounding the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, where NBC anchor Brian Williams has said he saw a body float by his room.
A Louisiana newspaper raised questions on Friday about the story Williams had told about the body. Some of Williams’ Hurricane Katrina anecdotes came under scrutiny on conservative news sites after the news anchor was forced to apologize this week for a bogus story he’d repeatedly told about coming under fire aboard a helicopter in Iraq in 2003.
The Advocate newspaper reported that Williams had claimed in a 2006 interview that he’d seen a body floating by his hotel while covering the 2005 hurricane.
“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” Williams said at the time.
The newspaper noted that the French Quarter was spared from the kind of devastating flooding that the rest of New Orleans suffered in the hurricane.
But later Friday, the Advocate surfaced photos and a press account published in the storm’s aftermath that did show water outside of the Ritz Carlton.
Williams specifically referenced the Ritz Carlton Hotel as the location where he saw a body in a 2005 blog post.
“I remember the body outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel… I remember the bodies floating by face-down in the water,” he wrote. “Back then, in those frantic and lawless early days of the crisis, the living were preoccupied with their own continued survival. The sight was horrifying then, and has lost none of its impact with the passage of time.”