(h/t Hot Air)
Former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw pushed back Friday against reports that he wants his embattled successor, Brian Williams, to be fired for falsely claiming to have been aboard a helicopter that came under rocket-propelled grenade fire in Iraq.
“I have neither demanded nor suggested Brian be fired,” Brokaw said in an email to The Huffington Post. “His future is up to Brian and NBC News executives.”
The New York Post on Thursday quoted an NBC source who said Brokaw wanted Williams’ “head on a platter” and had suggested a more junior employee would have been fired or suspended.
CNN’s Brian Stelter said his reporting inside NBC had backed up the Post’s assertion that Brokaw is “furious” over the incident.
While Brokaw may not have asked for Williams to be punished over the incident, he didn’t defend his colleague in his statement to HuffPost the way former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather did a day earlier.
Rather, who was embroiled in his own media scandal, said Thursday that Williams “is an honest, decent man, an excellent reporter and anchor — and a brave one. I can attest that — like his predecessor Tom Brokaw — he is a superb pro, and a gutsy one.”
When the “sources” reports hit the news last night many were speculating whether NBC brass were behind them and providing cover for themselves should they move against Williams. As is always the case with reporting based entirely upon anonymous sources, however, the stories are easy to deny. That Brokaw didn’t take the opportunity give even a tepid endorsement to Williams is probably a sign that things are shaky for the news anchor.
A ringing endorsement from Rather about honesty is laughable, of course, but it shows that he still doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
That’s really the problem here.