Tom Brokaw Comments on "Tricky" Relationship With Brian Williams
"I had my own strong feelings about how things should be done, but I never interfered," the former 'Nightly News' anchor was quoted as saying.
If lengthy post-suspension articles are a guide, there's been no love lost between Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw since the Nightly News anchor's fall from grace for retelling a false Iraq helicopter war story for years.
But while anonymous quotes attributed to supporters/friends/confidants have graced the pages of revealing magazine features, there hasn't been much said by Williams' predecessor. Brokaw is now opening up to clarify his standing.
"There's been way too much speculation about it," Brokaw was quoted saying by CNNMoney on Monday. "I want to say two things. One is that Brian and I had a cordial relationship. You know, it was tricky because he succeeded me, and I had my own strong feelings about how things should be done, but I never interfered with it. I would make suggestions from time to time."
That telling feeds a narrative presented in a Vanity Fair feature that Williams was disappointed Brokaw "didn’t try to save him" during the frenzy when his embellished stories dominated the news cycle. According to an unnamed friend of the anchor quoted by the magazine, Williams even went so far to say, "Chalk one up for Brokaw."
Williams' quick fall from the anchor's chair began when the anchor admitted to Stars and Stripes in a Feb. 4 article that he made a "mistake" saying his helicopter was hit by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. The anchor was suspended on Feb. 10 for six months without pay from Nightly News and replaced in the interim by Lester Holt. Other stories told by Williams came under greater scrutiny.
An NBC investigation into embellished anecdotes by the anchor was also announced. On Monday, Brokaw also offered an update on that review, saying, "We owe it to everybody ... to let the process play out, to hear what the final conclusions are and then deal with it at that point."
Brokaw's quoted comments, part of a discussion at the University of Chicago, appear at the 55 minute mark in the below video: