“Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday,” David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun writes, prefacing his forecast with the words, “If credibility means anything to NBC News.” Ahh, but there’s the rub — credibility means little to NBC News, based on their corporate history since 2008, as their history of employing deceptive edited stories to advance a partisan narrative illustrate. But as Zurawik asks:
How could you expect anyone who served in the military to ever see this guy onscreen again and not feel contempt? How could you expect anyone to believe he or the broadcast he leads has any credibility?
I wonder how the newsroom Williams is supposed to be leading will look at him tomorrow morning when he arrives for work.
Zurawik also notes, “if this was 10 or 15 years ago, an anchor at any network would be gone by Friday after an admission of such deception — especially when it is placed alongside the sacrifices made and pains suffered by military personnel and their families.”
Really? Flashback to 11 years ago, in October of 2004, when Dan Rather was in the thick of Rathergate, and the presidential election polling numbers were still relatively close. The late Peter Jennings of ABC and Williams’ predecessor Tom Brokaw were eager to join up to publicly defend Rather from, “What I think is highly inappropriate is what’s going on across the Internet, a kind of political jihad against Dan Rather and CBS News that is quite outrageous,” as Brokaw told the crowd at a New Yorker-sponsored event.
Near the end of the presidential election in 2008, when Barack Obama’s leftwing ideology and radical chic leanings were obvious for all to see, Brokaw was more than happy to feign the same level of amnesia about Obama in an interview with Charlie Rose as Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker pretended to suffer last night when dissembling on Twitter in effort to provide damage control for Williams, his fellow member of the MSM guild.
As with CBS in the fall of 2004, I’m sure NBC is in bunker mode right now, and it’s quite possible that the network is monitoring Williams’ reputation with low-information voters who rely solely on TV news, avoiding the big scary Internet, hoping this will all blow over if they ride it out long enough. (As with Rather, whom the Gods Destroy, they first make to suffer Nixon comparisons.) But Zurawik’s basic thesis is sound: Williams’ fables provide further damage to NBC’s already bottom-feeding reputation. And at the Washington Post, Erik Wemple concurs that the Williams debacle is an NBC News-wide scandal:
Why did it take pushback from ‘some brave men and women in the air crews,’ however? Do these folks have to fight our wars and fact-check NBC News? A production crew accompanied Williams on the helicopter outing. The Erik Wemple Blog has asked NBC News who and how many people were on that crew. But where have they been as Williams has gone about misremembering the episode in media appearances in recent years?
As Glenn Reynolds responds, “Williams is a bigfoot. A mere crew person who told the truth about him would never work again in TV news.” I don’t recall a lot of CBS employees coming forward in the fall of 2004 confirming Slate’s judgement of “Dan Rather: The anchor as madman.”
And to bring this post full-circle, look who’s endorsing Williams today: “When Dan Rather tells you that something is trustworthy, you can take that shizz to the bank,” as Allahpundit jokes.
Related: “Video: When Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News covered Hillary’s ‘Tuzla Dash,'” from Ed Morrissey. Yes, NBC was quite harsh when it came to exposing Hillary’s wartime fables. But in early 2008, the MSM as a whole were united in finding any excuse to toss her out of the race to clear a path for The Anointed One.
And the Media Research Center spots a further irony: “Brian Williams Sits on Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Board.”
‘Cause he’s all about the troops, man, when he’s not personally stealing their valor.
Update: Well so much for maintaining the firewall around low information voters, when USA Today is running a headline titled “Brian Williams’ Unmitigated Disaster.”
Williams can always rely on BuzzFeed though, to BenSmith his fables away.
More: This Photoshop sums up the current pitiful state of NBC:
— Kevin Eric Snell (@KevEnoch) February 5, 2015
And from Ace complete with trademark flaming skull icon, “Variety Source: NBC Execs Told Williams Years Ago To Stop Telling Chopper Whopper.” As Ace writes, if what showbiz bible Variety is reporting is true, “we are closer to the end than to the beginning.”
Last night on Twitter, someone suggested some sort of rehab-style excuse for Williams to buy time. This is also a possible modified limited hangout for NBC:
Oh God, the smug cloud might kill us all. RT @DanFosterType: Prediction: Brian Williams will appear in an SNL sketch making fun of himself.
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) February 5, 2015