Red Bank Residents Question Brian Williams Christmas Tree Tale

Ho ho hold on, say locals in this New Jersey hamlet

Just how bad are things getting for Brian Williams? Well… He’s lost the New Jersey senior citizen vote.

From a weekend Page Six item:

“Don’t listen to Brian Williams,” 85-year-old Red Bank resident Les Carbone said. “He’s going to tell you a lot of things. I doubt he was robbed at gunpoint. I was born in Red Bank, there were no crimes like that. Tell Brian Williams to stop lying.”

Carbone was addressing the claim, told by Williams over the years to New Jersey Monthly and several other outlets, that he was robbed at gunpoint as a teenager while selling Christmas trees out of the back of a truck. Ho ho hold on, says Mr. C and several other Monmouth County borough locals interviewed by the Post. Here’s the relevant passage from the June 2008 New Jersey Monthly article:

“There wasn’t a lot of money at home, so I had to pay my own tuition to Mater Dei,” Williams says. “I was a busboy at the Perkins Pancake House on Route 35; I worked at Sears, which was right near our house. I even sold Christmas trees out of the back of a truck in Red Bank. That wasn’t a bad job, until a guy came up and stuck a .38-caliber pistol in my face and made me hand over all the money. Merry Christmas, right? Of course, I suddenly appreciated the other jobs I thought I hated.”

Media outlets left, right and center are combing over every portion of the Williams anecdotes trail. For example, today in the Washington Post, Terrence McCoy is challenging the veracity of another chunk of the newsman’s first-person Hurricane Katrina accounts.

[Photo: Craig E. Devine/]