Don't be so hard on Brian Williams

Author’s note:  This is an interactive post.  I just didn’t feel like proofreading it, so you read it, and let me know where the errors are.  I might correct them later, but probably not.

He’s actually done us all a big favor.

By now, it should be obvious to everyone that Brian Williams is a liar.  He’s a liar, but an honest liar, if there can be such a thing.  It is clear that his main agenda was the promotion of Brian Williams and he didn’t try too hard to hide it.  

Brian’s lies were relatively harmless.  Who really cares if it was the chopper that he was in, that encountered enemy fire, if he saw bodies floating through New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, or if he was at the Brandenburg Gate the night the wall came down?  Just like with Indiana Jones, these events would have unfolded exactly the same way if he was there or not.  

Most of Brian’s stories are easy to verify.  It’s relatively easy to find out whether or not a reporter for a major network was anywhere at any particular time. The only real consequence of all this is that Brian ended up looking stupid, perhaps because he is stupid, but consider this:

What if, what if, other people in the news media aren’t quite as self serving as Williams?  What it they have some agenda other than self promotion?  What if they aren't quite so stupid?  What would the consequences of these things be?  There is an excellent chance that many of the people at the major networks lie every bit as much as Williams.

This whole thing has eroded Williams trustworthiness:

source: New York Times

Brian Williams Loses Lofty Spot on a Trustworthiness Scale

If Brian Williams’s future as the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” rests on his trustworthiness and ratings, new research delivered some sobering news on Monday.
Before Mr. Williams apologized for exaggerating an account of a forced helicopter landing during the Iraq war, he ranked as the 23rd-most-trusted person in the country — on par with Denzel Washington, Warren E. Buffett and Robin Roberts. On Monday, he ranked as No. 835.

My question is: Why do we trust anyone at the network news?  There are just as many holes in the story of global warming as there are in any of Brian’s tall tales, and reporters that treat global warming as an accepted fact aren’t facing suspension without pay.  The consequences of them promoting their lies have a much greater negative potential for all of us than Williams claiming to be where he wasn’t.
Dishonesty has many forms besides just lying too.  The major networks were pretty much silent when it came to questions about Obama’s background in 2007 and 20008, and hardly covered any of the Obama scandals since then.  The result - We elected and reelected the worst president in U.S. history and suffered all the damage he caused.
By comparison, what Williams did seems pretty tame, even beneficial.  We can’t trust Brian Williams, but then again, we can’t trust anyone else at major network news either.  If Brian’s lying causes the general public to realize this, he will have done us more good than any reporter in history.

No comments:

Post a Comment