NBC suspends Brian Williams for 6 months without pay
NBC announced Tuesday that it is suspending Brian Williams as "Nightly News" anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War.Now, I wonder if the camera crews and other folks that accompanied Williams are also suspended for six months. I mean, if they were there, and knew he was lying, shouldn't they have come forward? Or, maybe they did come forward, and were told to keep quiet. Hard to tell.
The network's decision came less than a week after Williams apologized for saying on the air that he was in a helicopter hit by a grenade in 2003. Instead, another helicopter flying ahead of his was hit, and some veterans involved in the mission called him out on it.
I think it's a pretty safe bet that he wasn't the only person that knew his story was BS. I also think - well, I'd like to think - that at least one person from the crew would have the guts to stand up and say, hey, this story isn't right. Judging from how it is carefully omitted from the official record at NBC, I'd wager the higher-ups knew as well it was an embellishment.
The scary thing, though, is reading the comments (I know, I know, never read the comments). They break down into roughly three camps:
1. People lie all the time and don't get caught/fired/etc.;
2. Politicians all lie to us, so why can't reporters;
3. BUSH! FOX NEWS! RETHUGLICANS! WITCHHUNT
Someone in a FB comment thread even had this to say:
Well if you remember they kinda did the same thing to Dan Rather!Yes. The nebulous and shadowy "they" did "this" to Dan Rather. After promoting a shoddily done forgery, Rather was kicked to the curb. And now, after years of lying about his experience in Iraq, Williams has gotten an unpaid leave. "They" seem to be punishing liars, although I suspect the commenter falls more into the BUSH! FOX NEWS! camp and sees no reason why either man should be punished.
In a way, though, they've got a point. Williams is a talking head who basically reads whatever is put on the teleprompter in front of him. He's got great hair, a good speaking voice, and he can fake sincerity with the best of 'em. How lying about getting shot down in a helicopter affects his ability to read words on a screen is anyone's guess.
Of course, in all the comments I read, while many blamed Bush, not a single person mentioned Hillary "We came under sniper fire" Clinton...
That is all.