Geraldo Rivera defended embattled newsman Brian Williams on Tuesday.
Rivera, a Fox News Correspondent and runner-up on Monday’s finale episode of NBC’s “Celebrity’s Apprentice,” said the recently suspended NBC Nightly News anchor deserves a second chance after he was caught embellishing the story of his helicopter journey in Iraq.
“To wreck a guy’s career, behind one tall tale, I think is really out of line … You can’t tell me that in six months they’re going to let him back and just say all is forgiven,” Rivera told HuffPo Live. “Do [Comcast and NBC] really want to regurgitate the whole scandal? They want it to go away … I lament that. This is a country of second chances and I wish that they would give him a second chance.”
Rivera went on to say he had traveled through war-torn regions of the Middle East with Williams in the past.
“Brian Williams at least put his ass on the line. Brian Williams went into Iraq and Afghanistan,” Rivera continued. “And the vast majority of people who are tearing him apart have never risked anything but a broken fingernail on their computer in their mother’s basement. I just resent that.”
As TheWrap previously reported, Williams’ account of being struck by enemy rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire while in a helicopter during the initial 2003 Iraq invasion came under scrutiny after crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit told Stars and Stripes newspaper that Williams was nowhere near when the helicopter was shot down.
NBC News handed Williams a six months suspension on Feb. 10, saying the anchor had “jeopardized the trust of millions,” and set Lester Holt as the program’s interim anchor in Williams’ place.