Body Language and Deception Analysis of Brian Williams Apology Statement. Letterman.

Body Language and Deception Analysis of Brain Williams’
Apology Statement Letterman

Williams certainly wanted to get through the apology as quickly as possible. Perhaps, because this time, he was hit by real “ground fire’ criticism from the public and the media. Time is a nonverbal communicator. Rushing through the apology shows his desire to distance himself from his guilt and get on with things rather than sincere remorse.
"I said I was in the aircraft that was hit… I was instead…” Newscasters often use the words, “rather” and “instead” when they have made a word or phrasing blunder in their news story. This was more than a misspoken word. This was a lie. If an actor had lied we would think, bad boy. This is however a news correspondent whose words we rely on for the truth of what is going on in the world.
He then goes on to give the “excuse” that the story was, “a bungled attempt to thank one special veteran…” I watched him tell the story on Letterman 6 times, and it was not a story of thanks to one special veteran. A content analysis of it instead categorizes it as a comic, “I had a bad night in Vegas” variety story. He does mention that one soldier was hit in the ear when he told the story on Letterman and he touches his ear after he says that showing he distances himself from that soldier and his injury and did not feel the pain that soldier had in that moment. Yes, he is a journalist and he is trained to distance himself, but if someone was being projected as the hero of the story it was him. Watch as he tells it how Letterman leans forward and goes, “Wow.”
As he says, “I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology” watch how his head goes down and his eyes close and his voice goes unusually soft and faint as he says the word, “apology.” I would like to say this is normal shamed behavior. But, I will say, it shows embarrassment. I would have liked to have seen him look in the camera and say, “I messed up and I am truly sorry.” He should have said, “What I did was to claim pain and hardship that was not mine to claim.”  Instead his pride overrides what should have been true humbleness. Brian Williams rushes through the content with body language that does not show he is truly contrite.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at