Will Hillary Be Hurt by Williams Episode?Posted: February 12, 2015
Will Hillary Be Hurt by Williams Episode?
by JBS President John F. McManus
NBC’s Brian Williams has been suspended without pay for six months for making up a story about his 2003 coverage of U.S. military operations in Iraq. He said the helicopter in which he was being transported took a hit from a rocket propelled grenade, and he and his crew had to be rescued by alert U.S. military personnel. He recently repeated that version of the event. Trouble for Williams followed swiftly because it never happened. He was forced to admit he had told a lie while lamely claiming he “misremembered.”
Brian Williams aside, the incident reminded us of a somewhat similar claim made by Hillary Clinton in 2008. Attempting to build her own foreign policy experience back in 1996, the then-First Lady journeyed to Bosnia, a headline-grabbing hotspot at the time. Later in 2008, now a U.S. Senator and the potential nominee of the Democratic Party for President, she recalled for an audience at George Washington University the harrowing ordeal she claimed to have experienced when the plane arrived in Bosnia. “I remember landing under sniper fire,” she stated. “There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
That tale was a complete fabrication. Videotape footage of her arrival at Bosnia’s Tuzla Air Base showed her calmly walking from the plane with daughter Chelsea. With her head held high and in no danger, she spent several minutes talking with a group of U.S. officials who had brought along an 8-year-old Bosnian girl to present a poem to America’s First Lady. No sniper fire. No hurried exit from the plane. Eventually, the truth emerged when Sinbad, a fellow passenger on the plane who made the trip to Bosnia to entertain U.S. troops, told of the uneventful landing.
Asked later about this apparent falsification, Hillary said she “misspoke.” (Brian Williams said he “misremembered.”) Her attempt to downplay her fabrication followed: “So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.” But the fairy tale about Bosnia wasn’t her lone misstatement. Years before, she claimed she had been named for Edmund Hillary, the first man who made it all the way to the top of Mount Everest. How interesting! Except that Edmund Hillary’s feat hadn’t yet occurred and not many people even knew he existed when she was born.
Then there’s her fanciful recounting of daughter Chelsea’s stroll on the streets of New York just prior to planes crashing into New York’s Twin Towers. Supposedly, Chelsea was fortunate to have avoided that area but she could easily have died under the rubble of those buildings, said Hillary. Luckily, friends were told, Chelsea got away from the danger zone in time. That whopper was shown to be just as false as others by Chelsea herself who happened to write in her own book that she was at a friend’s apartment that day – far away from the World Trade Center.
Brian Williams violated the trust of his listeners. But all who watch TV news had the opportunity to switch to another station. After her falsehood about snipers in Bosnia, Hillary Clinton won a seat in the U.S. Senate and then, as Secretary of State claimed (along with Barack Obama) that a two-bit video in Los Angeles led to the attack in Benghazi that cost the lives of four Americans including our nation’s ambassador. More falsehood. She now wants to be President. Williams got suspended for six months and will probably never be a news anchor again. TV news anchors have to be believable. But shouldn’t the same standards apply for someone who wants to be President? The American people can’t switch to another channel to get a different president.
Disappointed Americans in great numbers see no reason to sweep the Williams mendacity under a rug. It remains to be seen how many will be willing to skip over lies told by Hillary Clinton.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.