Brian Williams Explains Oil Spill Gaffe

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By Alex Weprin Comment

Nightly060810.bmp On May 25, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Shell president John Hofmeister about a possible solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the interview, the former oil executive thought that using supertankers to skim oil off the surface might be an effective way to minimize damage to the Gulf coast.

But as Andrew Tyndall reports, in another discussion with Hofmeister a week later, Williams said the executive shot down the supertanker plan.

Tyndall calls it “Williams’ Supertanksized Fib,” but Williams tells TVNewser it was an “honest mistake.”

“I made an honest mistake while anchoring from the field and interviewing John Hoffmeister via remote,” Williams told TVNewser. “He had appeared on our broadcast before — I confused his view on supertanker efficacy with that of a previous guest. I’ve apologized to John.”