This is pseudo-scientific bullshit:
When we tell stories about our lives, most of us never have our memories questioned. NBC’s Brian Williams, like other high-profile people in the past, is finding out what happens when questions arise.
Williams’s faux pas – retelling a story of his helicopter coming under fire in Iraq a dozen years ago when it was actually the helicopter flying ahead of him – was much like Hillary Rodham Clinton’s during the 2008 presidential campaign. Her story was about coming under fire during a visit to an airfield in Bosnia 12 years earlier. George W. Bush also misremembered when, on several occasions, he told audiences that on 9/11 he watched the first plane fly into the north tower of the World Trade Center on TV, just before entering that classroom in Florida to read a book to school kids. In each case, these were highly emotional moments. Williams’s helicopter made an emergency landing in the desert behind the aircraft that was hit; Clinton was made to don a flak jacket and was told her airplane might not be able to land at the airport in Bosnia because of sniper fire in the area; and Bush was told by an aide about the first crash into World Trade Center just before entering the classroom.
That each of those memories was false created huge public relations headaches for Clinton and Williams. But the fact is that false memories are not that uncommon, especially when they involve highly emotional events.
If you want the dirty details you need to follow the link to read them. It’s quackery. There are several articles and blog posts the last couple days claiming that Brian Williams didn’t lie, he just had a faulty memory.
I call it BULLSHIT.
Yes, memory can be tricky. There are a lot of different reasons why eyewitness testimony is unreliable. But there is also good old fashioned LYING.
I could be mistaken about where I was when the twin towers were attacked on September 11th. I could be wrong about what exactly I saw when I turned on the television. But I know I saw footage of planes hitting the towers, the towers burning, and then the towers falling. Those things really happened, even if I can’t remember whether both towers were already burning when I turned on the television.
But I know I turned the television on because a friend called and told me to turn it on. I know at least one tower was already burning. But more importantly, I know I wasn’t in NYC watching it happen live.
Brian Williams flew into Iraq as an embedded reporter during the US invasion in 2003. But his helicopter wasn’t shot at, let alone hit by enemy fire. Neither was the chopper in front of his. A DIFFERENT helicopter on a DIFFERENT flight was shot at and damaged. An hour later Brian Williams saw the damaged chopper.
He changed the story to make it sound more exciting and to make himself look braver. He told the bogus version repeatedly over a period of years. He did it to impress people.
HE WAS LYING.
It’s really that simple.