Brian Williams, who has officially lost the NBC Nightly News anchor chair to Lester Holt in the wake of a scandal that got him suspended for six months, began his apology tour on the Today show this morning, blaming his embellishments on ego.
“I said things that weren’t true.” The exaggerations, he said, “came from clearly a bad place, a bad urge inside me. This was clearly ego driven, the desire to better my role in a story I was already in.”
However, Williams insisted that he didn’t try to mislead anyone, and added that the embellishments he told were not spoke in his capacity as a news anchor, but as a guest in talk show appearances.
In addition to apologizing repeatedly, Williams asserted that “it had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else,” and admitted it was his mistake. “I own this.”
He also conceded that his suspension was absolutely warranted, but that it has been “torture” for him personally.
Williams can return to NBC in August, though he has been moved into the NBC News graveyard: He’ll be covering breaking news for MSNBC.
Williams will continue the apology tour tonight on NBC Nightly News.