Brian Williams is taking a leave of absence from “NBC Nightly News” for a couple of days. The anchor announced the news in a personal note where he revealed his colleague Lester Holt would be filling in for him for an unmentioned amount of time.
“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,” Williams says. “Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”
The anchor’s leave comes after several reports of the scandal in which Williams admitted to lying about being shot down by enemy fire in a helicopter in Iraq during 2003. On Jan. 30 an “NBC Nightly News” clip posted to Facebook started quite the controversy around the incident. In the clip, Williams repeated the story he has told on many occasions that he was a passenger in the said helicopter. When his story was questioned by a soldier who claimed to have served in Iraq during the time in question, the anchor issued an apology where he admitted to lying about incident.
“In fact, I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy. I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08,” Williams said on his Facebook page. “I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp.”
Friday (Feb. 6) “NBC Nightly News'” president Deborah Turness issued a memo saying the whole team was trying to “make sense” of the incident.
“We’re working on what the best next steps are,” Turness said. “When we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.”