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Brian Williams Cancels Appearance On Letterman Following Scandal

Brian Williams opted to cancel an appearance on CBS' The Late Show shortly after stepping down from NBC Nightly News for an undetermined period of time. Both incidents stem from allegations that a story the news anchor has been telling for years is false. Public opinion surrounding the controversy has been loud, and canceling his appearance on David Letterman’s late night show is reportedly part of Brian Williams’ “recovery strategy.”

Williams was initially scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday, February 12. Politico reports that Williams decided not to commit to The Late Show appearance after he took some time off of NBC Nightly News. While the anchor is expected to return to the anchor desk, his future is currently up in the air, and the man doesn’t even know when he will return to primetime at this point. If I were him, I wouldn’t want to answer questions thrown at me by the sharp-as-a-tack David Letterman, either.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Brian Williams scandal, here’s what has been going on. Basically, in 2003 Williams was sent to Iraq where he briefly acted as a war correspondent. When he returned, he told several variations of a story about being hit with ground fire while in a helicopter in Iraq. Williams actually recounted the story when he appeared on Letterman in 2013.

In the video, Williams blatantly talks about being in a helicopter and getting hit by ground fire, including RPGs and AK-47s.

We were going to drop some bridge portions across the Euphrates so the third infantry could cross on them. Two of our four helicopters were hit by ground fire including the one I was in. Uh, RPG and AK-47.

However, recent evidence has suggested that Williams may not have been hit by ground fire, and was certainly not part of the helicopter crew that was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade. Further reports indicated Williams may have only heard about the attack via radio. After those reports surfaced, Williams apologized, noting he was in a “following aircraft” when the incident actually occurred. He then decided to take some time off of NBC Nightly News.

While Williams has appeared on David Letterman’s The Late Show many times in the past, the timing is extremely poor this time around. Letterman would no doubt ask about the controversy that is currently still in motion, and it would probably be better to stay out of the public eye rather than contribute to the fire at this point, especially while NBC mulls over whether or not to keep the journalist in his current role. We’ll update you as more news breaks.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.