What Brian Williams did is unacceptable. Upholding the public trust is all-important and he lied to his viewers – and then lied again to try and get out from under the first lie. And now some apologists are trying to make excuses for his actions. Possibly because lying has become so commonplace as to be acceptable in contemporary American culture?
Must we be reminded that journalists are held to a higher standard than politicians?
Being shot down in a war zone is not something you would later “conflate,” it is an event that would mark your life. It is something you would never forget.
What Brian Williams did is unacceptable. Unless NBC wants to admit that it is no longer in the business of doing Journalism. They have no right to claim the same ground as Larry Greene of CBS, Bill Stewart of ABC or Don Harris of NBC. Three three of the many who have given their lives for the craft.
Journalism, is a serious business. Some standards are never to be violated. Knowingly lying to your viewers or readers, is one of those standards. This is no joke. Or at least it should not be. The fact that more in the Journalism community aren’t more concerned is alarming.
But then, nothing is really all that important anymore, what with dozens of channels bringing us the “news” 7/24, and the near impossibility of discerning the difference between “real” news outlets and infotainment wonks.
If NBC is strictly in the business of doing entertainment programming to sell products and they no longer feel the need to uphold the standards of Journalism, then they need to come out and tell us that. In fact, it would be nice to hear a statement of purpose from all the big nets. What is their purpose? What’s their policy on honesty and accuracy? To do the best they can given the circumstances in light of advertiser’s and stockholder’s demands? Whatever Fox came up with would surely be side-splittingly funny.
This situation makes a mockery of all the hard working honest journalists who continue doing the best they can in spite of corporate cutbacks and the explosion of greed-driven infotainment on the tv side with anchors being paid multiple millions of dollars annually, not necessarily to do the news, but to promote themselves and their product, whatever that might be, automobiles, noodle soup or a cure for erectile dysfunction.
Those who turn their backs and claim otherwise, are only contributing to the problem, which, in its current condition, may be beyond repair.
In the end whether Williams stays or goes will probably depend upon one simple issue: If NBC thinks they can keep him without hurting their ratings, then he will stay. If they feel he’s going to cost them ad revenue, then he’s gone. Public trust and public service be damned, it’s only business and you are just one more customer.