New York, NY – On the heels of perhaps the most bizarre, unnecessary, and outright absurd instance of stolen valor, NBC correspondent Brian Williams agreed to sit down with Hit the Woodline and explain himself. Though the interview was scheduled to cover Williams’ most recent public scandal, in which he — for more than a decade — has clung to a narrative claiming his helicopter was shot down during the invasion of Iraq, Williams had other plans.
I had been waiting for Mr. Williams inside a Starbucks for nearly two hours, sifting through articles by Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, washing a banana nut muffin down my gullet with giant doses of the truth. When Williams finally sauntered through the door, sporting an OD green shirt with the words Combat Veteran scribbled across the chest in Magic Marker, I knew I was on the cusp of finally getting to the bottom of this story. I waved over to him and he made his way to the table quickly, but not before he solicited a free coffee from the Barista, “Got a coffee…for a Vet?”
The following transcript of the interview has been unedited:
HTW: So, Mr. Williams, in light of recent facts that have surfaced, do you in anyway regret stealing the story from soldiers—who were actually downed in those helicopters during the Iraq invasion—and creating your own narcissistic account of events that not only took attention away from them, but also turned the spotlight on yourself?
BW: What I did was, in the best way I could, illuminate the sacrifices our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and journalists make on a daily basis.
HTW: Wouldn’t simply recounting the events as they actually happened accomplished that, and added a certain amount of credibility to the reporting?
BW: Credibility? You wanna talk credibility, you should look into my actions during the D-Day Invasion. Shit. Got. REAL!
HTW: Whoa…D-Day Invasion? Like, Normandy?
BW: Yeah, the goddamn D-Day Invasion. Nazis… Machinegun nests… Intense Firefights… Brothers sucking their last breath while you hold their lifeless bodies, D-Day Invasion.
I put the interview on hold so I could run the story by my editor over the phone. When my boss tells me to “just hand him the shovel and watch him dig” I head back, finding Mr. Williams presenting a pre-school class on a field trip with a furious diatribe about “dirty, nasty civilians” and the “shit he’s seen.”
HTW: So, we’re actually gonna do this. Why don’t you start wherever you feel most comfortable.
BW: So, no shit, there I was: France ’49, ripped to shreds and ready to face-fuck anything that moved. And then it happened…a phone call… it’s Eisenhower on the SAT phone and he’s asking for me personally….
HTW: You were in France already? Using a…satellite phone?
BW: Good God, man, do you want to hear the story or not?
HTW: Please, continue.
BW: So, D-Easy, that’s what us grunts used to call him, he tells me we got 300 Somalis surrounding the beach and they need me and Seal Team 6 to go bail these guys out pronto, and real hush-hush too—because that’s what Navy SEALs are all about: quiet professionalism. But here’s the kicker: we were already in the air, AK-47s loaded, halfway to the objective. So I ask him, ‘Do you want Stalin’s head in one piece or two?’ He doesn’t answer, so I toss the phone to the ground, taking out a top SS operative in the process. But the kill had put us on the radar, and now we’re sitting in the crosshairs of some god damn Commie with SCUDS, just dying to give him a little piece of the ole red, white, and blue. So I jumped into action, slap the pilot on the shoulder, he yells, “Irene” and we start our descent. Now, Hanks is taking casualties like crazy, but we don’t care, we’re there for one reason and one reason only: Matt Damon’s whole family is dead, and this time the man was the mission. So, we cleared the beach by the end of the day, got Bin Laden, struck a deal with Hussein for peace in the Middle East and debilitated Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
HTW: That is…pretty…pretty…pretty crazy.
BW: Oh, it was. It was intense, and it was brave… Majestic, barrel-chested stallions riding into battle on the backs of giant freedom-fighting beasts. The saddles on our backs bore the hopes and dreams of America, and for a short time, we were heroes. Real. American. Heroes. But do you know what my favorite part is? This. Sharing my stories with you, about myself, to honor the men and women who fight for this country. Did I even take a paycheck? Of course not. That’s why there’s no paper trail to this whole thing. Single-handedly restoring the honor to America’s warfighters was enough. And that’s what I did. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my PTSD is kicking and I need to be going.
And just like that, the highly-decorated NBC anchor bolted out of the emergency exit and stole a cup of change from a homeless man before mounting a Clydesdale horse and riding off into the sunset — once again demonstrating his selfless nature as he flees from the spotlight. His story shall live on forever in the hearts of his comrades and countrymen, and his contributions to the veteran community will not go unnoticed. Hit the Woodline, Veterans, and every single American owes a debt of gratitude to this great man, I just hope I’m alive to see that balance paid in full.