ENTERTAINMENT

Brian Williams: NBC weatherman was dialing phone, not relieving himself in snow

NBC news anchor Brian Williams poses at the "Stand Up To Cancer" television event, aimed at raising funds to accelerate innovative cancer research, at the Sony Studios Lot in Culver City, California September 10, 2010. The one-hour live commercial-free fundraising event was aired across multiple broadcast and cable channels at the same time. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH HEADSHOT SOCIETY) - RTR2I68T

NBC news anchor Brian Williams poses at the "Stand Up To Cancer" television event, aimed at raising funds to accelerate innovative cancer research, at the Sony Studios Lot in Culver City, California September 10, 2010. The one-hour live commercial-free fundraising event was aired across multiple broadcast and cable channels at the same time. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH HEADSHOT SOCIETY) - RTR2I68T

It's a story important enough for NBC's "Nightly News": Weather forecaster Mike Seidel did not relieve himself in the snow.

NBC's Brian Williams said on Monday's broadcast that Seidel "was the victim of some wild misinformation" that floated after his aborted live report on a snowstorm in North Carolina on Saturday's edition of the network's national newscast.

Anchor Lester Holt introduced Seidel, who apparently could not hear him or know that he was on camera. Seidel, who also works for The Weather Channel, had his back to the camera and was slightly hunched over, both hands near his waist. Holt quickly ended the report.

The clip spread online and generated some media reports that suggested Seidel had been caught in the act of relieving himself, even though there was no evidence of that to the naked eye.

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"Social media owes our friend Mike Seidel an apology," Williams said Monday, as "Nightly News" replayed the scene.

Williams said Seidel had lost cellphone contact with NBC's control room, so he didn't know Holt had introduced him. The reporter turned his back to the camera — and to the wind — to dial his phone.

"That's when the rumors hit the Web that he was perhaps writing his name in the snow," Williams explained to the newscast's 8 million viewers, many of whom likely hadn't seen the clip in the first place. "It was just Mike working to make it right."

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