Home > Terms > English (EN) > Choppergate


A scandal involving NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for falsely claiming that he was in a helicopter struck by an RPG during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Over the years, Williams told differing versions of his story: In 2003, immediately after the incident, he said that he was on a helicopter behind the one hit by an RPG. “The Chinook ahead of us was almost blown out of the sky," he said on NBC. In 2013, Williams told David Letterman that he was in the chopper that was hit by the RPG. Then in 2015, he told viewers about "a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an R.P.G."

On February 4, 2015, Williams apologized publicly for having misremembered exactly which helicopter he was on but insisted he was in a helicopter directly behind it. "I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp," Williams wrote. However, it was this version of the story that backed fired on him. His apology was called into question when two of the pilots on his helicopter said that they did not recall their convoy of helicopters coming under fire.

It is one thing to make a mistake and apologize for it. It is a far graver offense to mislead people and then mislead them again while claiming to come clean -- especially for the anchor of the NBC Nightly News. On February 7, 2015, Williams announced that he would temporarily step down from his news anchor role to remove a distraction from NBC's news coverage and to enable the network to investigate the issue.

On December 2, 2004, Brian Douglas Williams assumed the position of anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News on. In 2005, NBC News was awarded the Peabody Award for its coverage of the Hurricane Katrina story, the award committee stating that Williams and the NBC staff displayed the "highest levels of journalistic excellence" in their reporting.

Collect to Blossary

Member comments

You have to log in to post to discussions.

Terms in the News

Billy Morgan

Sports; Snowboarding

The British snowboarder Billy Morgan has landed the sport’s first ever 1800 quadruple cork. The rider, who represented Great Britain in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, was in Livigno, Italy, when he achieved the man-oeuvre. It involves flipping four times, while body also spins with five complete rotations on a sideways or downward-facing axis. The trick ...

Marzieh Afkham

Broadcasting & receiving; News

Marzieh Afkham, who is the country’s first foreign ministry spokeswoman, will head a mission in east Asia, the state news agency reported. It is not clear to which country she will be posted as her appointment has yet to be announced officially. Afkham will only be the second female ambassador Iran has had. Under the last shah’s rule, Mehrangiz Dolatshahi, a ...

Weekly Packet

Language; Online services; Slang; Internet

Weekly Packet or "Paquete Semanal" as it is known in Cuba is a term used by Cubans to describe the information that is gathered from the internet outside of Cuba and saved onto hard drives to be transported into Cuba itself. Weekly Packets are then sold to Cuban's without internet access, allowing them to obtain information just days - and sometimes hours - after it ...

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Banking; Investment banking

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution established to address the need in Asia for infrastructure development. According to the Asian Development Bank, Asia needs $800 billion each year for roads, ports, power plants or other infrastructure projects before 2020. Originally proposed by China in 2013, a signing ...


Online services; Internet

Spartan is the codename given to the new Microsoft Windows 10 browser that will replace Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer. The new browser will be built from the ground up and disregard any code from the IE platform. It has a new rendering engine that is built to be compatible with how the web is written today. The name Spartan is named after the ...

Featured Terms

  • 0


  • 41


  • 4


Industry/Domain: Arts & crafts Category: Oil painting

The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is widely recognized as one of the most famous paintings in the history of art. It is a half-length portrait of a seated woman painted ...

Edited by

Featured blossaries

Common Birth Defects

Category: Science   1 5 Terms


Category: Languages   2 7 Terms