BREAKING: Pictures Show Ritz Carlton Where Brian Williams Stayed During Katrina Surrounded by Flooding
Here’s an interesting development – the media is now turning to scrutinize the claims Brian Williams made during the Katrina disaster, including my find that he exaggerated witnessing a man commit suicide, and my other exclusive comparing a story of a cop saving him from gangs.
Another story many have doubted is Williams saying he saw a dead body float by his window at the Ritz Carlton – some bloggers have found evidence that flooding never reached that part of New Orleans. But newly surfaced pictures form the Ritz Carlton show flood waters deep enough to support a boat.
The pictures are reportedly from a U.S. Army Chaplain who was stuck at the Ritz Carlton himself, and they are archived in a report from the storm in 2005.
While the NO Advocate didn’t say how they knew Williams was in the Ritz, Jessica Heddings (another SooperMexy investigator) discovered that Williams himself said he was in that hotel in his book:
This doesn’t completely disprove the doubt in Williams story, but it takes away that evidence that there could not have been water for a body to float in.
From the USA Today account, it appears that the mistake comes in Brian Williams thinking the Ritz Carlton was in the French Quarter, when it really isn’t.
In a 2006 interview with former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Williams said he witnessed a body floating in the French Quarter area of the city. “When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” Williams told Eisner, who suggested in the interview that Williams emerged from former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw’s shadow with his Katrina coverage.
Citing former city health director Brobson Lutz, the New Orleans Advocate reported Friday that the French Quarter was largely dry. “We were never wet. It was never wet,” Lutz told the Advocate.
“There were bodies in other parts (of the city), but there were no bodies in the Quarter,” Lutz told USA TODAY, adding that the only body he retrieved from the neighborhood at the time was a restaurateur who died of a heart attack.
Still, that doesn’t mean he saw the bodies at all, only that bloggers are eviscerating him based on a mistake in geography he made. Given that he obviously exaggerated the suicide story to Tom Brokaw, it’s not beyond imagining that he would have done the same about seeing a floating corpse.