This afternoon Brian Williams sat down with Rev. Al Sharpton for his first interview since NBC suspended him for fabricating stories. Following is the transcript of that conversation that can be seen tonight on Sharpton’s show, PoliticsNation, at 6:00 pm on MSNBC.
AL SHARPTON: Welcome to my show on MSNBC where I host.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. Sharpton.
AL SHARPTON: You may call me Reverend.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Of course, Reverend.
AL SHARPTON: You have been suspendered from your job at NBC hosting your show.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Yes, and I was humbled by the network’s judgement.
AL SHARPTON: The network judge gave you a hummer?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (Looks confused) What I mean is, it’s a time of humility for me. I am ashamed that I may have led the American public to believe certain things about me that may not be accurate.
AL SHARPTON: So you felt humidity in your suspenders?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Uh, it’s humbling when you have to look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge the wrongs you’ve committed.
AL SHARPTON: Did you stop taking selfies?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I, uh … I hope that at some point the American people will see that I may be a flawed man, but I am earnest in my determination to heal and give closure to my fans.
AL SHARPTON: How many fans do you have?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Well, at last count I had over 200 million Twitter fans.
AL SHARPTON: Two hundred million? That’s more than I owe in back taxes.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I’ve been fortunate to have the number one rated news show for many years.
AL SHARPTON: Whoa, Mr. Brian, hold on. My producer says you have two hundred thousand Twitter fans, not two hundred million.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (playfully slaps himself on the forehead) There I go again.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I was with our brave military on a helicopter in Iraq when the helicopter ahead of us was hit by an RPG. I misremembered the helicopter I was on being hit, which I’ve been reminded of by the brave soldiers who were there.
AL SHARPTON: You were dismembered? Are you wearing a prophylactic?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Uh, no. I meant that I incorrectly remembered being hit by an RPG.
AL SHARPTON: I’ve instrubated lots of riots that got out of hand but I never thought I was hit by a bomb. I was hit in the head with a can of beans once.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I was hit in the head with two cans of beans one time investigating a story.
AL SHARPTON: Two cans of beans? What kind of beans were they?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I don’t know the kind of beans but I saw the Del Monte label before the can hit me. What kind of beans were you hit with?
AL SHARPTON: Baked beans. We ate them for dinner that night with some cornbread.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Mmm … cornbread.
AL SHARPTON: (looks at Williams strangely) Uh, Mr. Brian, now that you have been exposed as a liar, what do you feel the future of your life has in the store for you?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I have confidence the American people will see it in their hearts to forgive me and allow me back into their living rooms.
AL SHARPTON: Why would they want you in their living rooms?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I mean that I would broadcast the news to them in their living rooms.
AL SHARPTON: Why not just do it from NBC studios. Or have you been banned?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I would broadcast from the NBC studios. I meant that I want the folks at home to watch my newscast from their living rooms.
AL SHARPTON: Why can’t they watch it in the kitchen or the family room? Sometimes I watch my own news show when I’m on the commode.
AL SHARPTON: What are you going to do during the six months you are suspendered?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I’m going to spend some quailty time with my family. This ordeal has not been an easy time for them.
AL SHARPTON: Did you lie to them too?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Oh, of course not. I just …
AL SHARPTON: How do we know you didn’t lie to your family?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I can only hope the American people trust me on that one.
AL SHARPTON: How can they trust you when you lied to them? And how do America’s people know that your family is really your family?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I can assure you, my family is my family.
AL SHARPTON: Do you have pictures of them in your wallet?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I have pictures on my phone.
AL SHARPTON: How do we know you didn’t get those pictures from the Internet?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Well, I took them myself.
AL SHARPTON: From the Internet?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: No, with my phone.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Katrina was such a devastating storm. There was so much destruction and pain, I guess I must have allowed that to affect my memory.
AL SHARPTON: So you didn’t see a dead body?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: At this point I don’t really know.
AL SHARPTON: Maybe it was a horse, or maybe a couch.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (squirming) I guess that’s possible.
AL SHARPTON: Once I saw a log float by on a river and I thought it was Yul Brenner.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (Looks bewildered)
AL SHARPTON: Mr. Brian, do you have any African American friends of color?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Oh of course I do.
AL SHARPTON: Do you really, or are you dismembering again?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I’m pretty sure I have some African American friends.
AL SHARPTON: So now you’re pretty sure. A minute ago you were certain. Which is it Mr. Brian?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I uh, there is a chance I may have misremembered.
AL SHARPTON: So now you admit to dismembering African Americans of color?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Oh, God no!
AL SHARPTON: So which is it? Did you dismember your African American friends or did you not?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (Nervously clears his throat) I’m very confused right now.
AL SHARPTON: Would you care to apologize to me and the African American communalties in America?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (nervously) I uh … I guess so.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (Looks nervously into camera) Uh … (clears throat) I apologize to Rev. Sharpton and African Americans for my indiscretions and pledge to do my best to build a foundation of trust in the future.
AL SHARPTON: Would that trust include some reparations money for the African Americans you dismembered?
BRIAN WILLIAMS: (sighing) Sure, why not.
AL SHARPTON: Well, that’s all the time we have today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when President Obama takes me for a ride on Airplane One where we’ll discuss racial anuses in America.