Brian Williams Resigns From Medal Of Honor Foundation Board

Brian Williams-Embellishment
Brad Barket/AP
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, the subject of strong criticism over his apparently exaggerated claims of fire in Iraq and in his reporting during Hurricane Katrina, has resigned from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board of directors, the group announced on Thursday. Williams had served on the board since 2006.

The foundation supports the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which consists of all people awarded the country's highest military award, and promotes the values of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity, and commitment. The foundation's goal is to "perpetuate the Medal of Honor's legacy through outreach and collaborative efforts," the organization's website says. The board of directors is populated by Medal of Honor recipients and captains of industry. Williams was apparently the only journalist or media personality on the list.

The loss of the board position is just another of the repercussions of allegedly false stories he had told. Williams is under a six-month suspension without pay, according to the New York Times. He had to lawyer up, as AOL Jobs previously reported, to protect his job from a "morality clause" in his contract, a standard one in the entertainment field, that might allow the network to fire him. He faces questions of credibility and whether audiences will trust him again, according to PBS NewsHour. NBC has forbade him from making public appearances, as People reported.

Ironically, his future is up in the air only two months after Williams signed a new long-term contract with NBC, as AOL Jobs reported then. He reputedly was in line to receive pay of $10 million a year. He told the Los Angeles Times:

It's probably time I admit that I am a one-trick pony. I am, I think, designed and put on this Earth to do what I'm doing now - and that is to eat, sleep and breathe nonfiction and the news going on in the world. And then at 6:30 every night I get to deliver it, and I get to hear from the audience, and I get to know them.

In a staff memo, NBC News president Deborah Turness called Williams "one of the most trusted journalists of our time."

The newscaster's daughter, actress Allison Williams, defended her father on Thursday, as PRNewser reported:

He's an honest man, he's a truthful man. He has so much integrity, he cares so much about journalism. And yes, he's a really good dad, but I know you can trust him because as any good daughter does. I've tested him on that so many times.

Williams is not the only broadcaster facing scrutiny over war stories. Mother Jones called Bill O'Reilly's war reporting veracity into question. The magazine said that the Fox News star's claims about having experienced combat during the 1982 Falklands conflict between the U.K. and Argentina could not be substantiated. He worked for CBS News at the time, and multiple sources, including Bob Schieffer, who was the organization's lead correspondent in the war, contradicted O'Reilly's claims.

O'Reilly called the author of the Mother Jones piece "a liar, a smear merchant," according to Fox News. A major point of the article was that O'Reilly claimed to be on the Falklands but wasn't. According to the Fox report, O'Reilly say, "Nobody was on the Falklands and I never said I was on the island, ever." However, Mother Jones referred to past quotes of O'Reilly in which he mentioned being in a war zone in the Falklands.
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