From what I understand he made up stuff about Hezbollah firing missiles at them. I suppose one could make the claim that Williams or even NBC were falsely trying to put a negative spin on Hezbollah.
I'll admit that I'm pretty ignorant of exactly what was claimed. I don't watch much TV news (essentially none) so the Williams thing didn't get much interest from me besides "Well, that was dumb".
Dumb, yes. Probably the result of re-telling a story over and over and it gradually changing over time. And yeah, a bit of "exaggerate my own personal part of it to make my story more compelling". Not shocking by itself, but it's interesting to watch the process over time. Basically, in the early versions he was very clear to state that he didn't come under fire, but that helicopters ahead of his did. Later versions played a version of the pronoun game: "*I* was in a group of helicopters and *we* came under fire, two of the helicopters were hit with RPG and AK fire, and *we* were forced to land" (I'm paraphrasing here just to illustrate the point, not actually quoting him). All technically true, but vague enough not to preclude the possibility that he personally was fired at. The most recent bit was where he just kinda lost track of the facts and actually said that his helicopter came under fire. Ooops.
While the directly false claim is just wrong on its face, for me it highlighted a more troublesome trend in journalism. I almost get the sense that journalists are so afraid of making a false claim that they tend towards specifically vague statements that could mean a broad number of things, and thus can't directly be called false. They then imply the facts rather than stating them clearly. The problem with this is that you can easily make the public accept a false claim without ever actually saying it directly (which I suspect is where he went wrong because he failed to see the line he crossed until he crossed it). Also, it leads to a strange situation where the media deliberately avoids presenting direct clear statements of fact to the audience, and the audience accepts this and adopts a method of interpreting the vaguely worded media reports as "fact".
Thus, despite him giving the vague version, which was technically true, but strongly implied to anyone hearing the story that he came under attack for many years, no one bothered to say "hey. Maybe you should be more clear that it wasn't your helicopter that was fired at". We basically accepted the implication either because we didn't research it to realize the implication was wrong *or* because if we did we accepted that the vague statement didn't directly make a false claim. Which, over time, probably contributed to him embellishing it further until he finally just made a direct false claim.
Yeah. TL:DR, whatever. I find this kind of process interesting is all.