NBC has expanded its probe into embattled news anchor Brian Williams to examine his expense accounts, New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reports.
Williams, whom NBC suspended for six months without pay on Tuesday, has come under fire since admitting last week that he misled the public by claiming to have come under enemy fire aboard an Army Chinook during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The "NBC Nightly News" anchor also faces scrutiny over claims he's made about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina and the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War.
Sherman, a media reporter best known for his deeply-reported biography of Fox News president Roger Ailes, writes that NBC insiders have expressed concern for years over Williams' alleged pattern of embellishing stories. Among those said to have confronted Williams on the subject are former network president Steve Capus and Tom Brokaw, Williams' predecessor as anchor of "NBC Nightly News."
But, Sherman reports, Williams could face problems on other fronts. NBC's Richard Esposito will continue the network's fact-checking inquiry into Williams during his suspension, and according to one source, that probe now includes Williams' expense accounts.
"In the meantime," Sherman writes, "NBC executives will be poring over [substitute anchor] Lester Holt’s ratings data to gauge his strength as a possible full-time replacement."