Disgraced NBC anchorman Brian Williams blames ego for exaggerating stories

Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:10am EDT
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By Bill Trott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fallen anchorman Brian Williams said on Friday he was not trying to mislead people by exaggerating stories about his work but that his ego drove him to make the mistakes that cost him his job on NBC's "Nightly News."

Williams, who will end a six-month NBC-imposed suspension in August, appeared on the network's "Today" show and said he was sorry for the inaccuracies.

"I got it wrong," Williams said. "I own this and I own up to this."

NBC said on Thursday that Williams, 56, will not return to his prestigious anchor job but will join the network's cable channel MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports in mid-August.

Before his suspension, "Nightly News" was the nation's most-watched evening newscast and Williams one of television's best-known journalists and frequent guest on talk shows because of his geniality and sense of humor.

Williams came under scrutiny in January because he had told increasingly harrowing stories about coming under fire during a helicopter ride while covering the Iraq War in 2003.

Williams, who took the "Nightly News" anchor chair in 2004, described his suspension as "torture" but "absolutely necessary."

"Looking back, it had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else, put myself closer to the action," he said.   Continued...

Television personality Brian Williams arrives at the Time 100 Gala in New York, April 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson