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THE BRIAN WILLIAMS SUSPENSION

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 12, 2015

Brian Williams got off easy, too easy. The Golden Boy of NBC News was essentially reprimanded, told to take some time off and not to fabricate any more stories. By giving him a suspension as opposed to terminating his employment, NBC is leaving the door open for his return. The network wants this incident to blow over and is counting on the American public to forget about it. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. This incident, along with Al Sharpton and other missteps at MSNBC, is killing the journalistic integrity of what was at one time considered the preeminent news organization on television.

Williams’ suspension sends a dangerous signal to the rest of the NBC news organization. If the top dog in the news department violates journalistic integrity and only gets a slap on the wrist, the underlings should expect the same treatment. No longer will their jobs be threatened, and the calibre of news reporting will deteriorate further. From a Human Resources perspective, it also gives the reporters and producers a precedent to resist termination for reporting misinformation. If Brian only gets a suspension, why not them when they make a mistake?

Let us not forget the network news anchor is the titular head and face of the network. All reporters and producers of NBC News thereby are guilty by association with Williams.

The comparison of Brian Williams to former CBS anchor Dan Rather is uncanny. Back in 2004, Rather reported on “60 Minutes” that a series of memos critical of President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service record had been discovered in the personal files of Lt. Bush’s former commanding officer. When copies of the memos were made available to the public, their authenticity was quickly called into question and considered forgeries. It is generally believed this incident hastened Rather’s departure and his reputation never fully recovered.

Let us not forget Williams has been the anchor of NBC Nightly News since December 2, 2004; not bad for someone who received no formal education or college degree in journalism, or college degree of any kind for that matter. He arose to his position based on his looks and smooth delivery of the news.

Now attention is turning to the misrepresentations and falshoods Hillary Clinton has spoken over the years. There is a big difference here, unlike Williams she cannot be suspended, not unless it is by the American voters.

A major cleaning of the house at NBC is in order. Regardless of what you think of Williams, it is unlikely the public will completely trust his reporting of the news again. Now is the time to reorganize NBC before their ratings slip any further. ABC is already passing NBC, and MSNBC’s numbers are the lowest of the cable news networks. It is time for major changes.

Chet Huntley and David Brinkley should be spinning in their graves over all this.

Keep the Faith!

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
https://timbryce.com/

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6 Responses to “THE BRIAN WILLIAMS SUSPENSION”

  1. Don Frankel said

    Not so sure about the journalistic integrity of the past Tim. If not for the new media this lie would have gone unchallenged. Dan Rather is a good example. He’d lied in the past and gotten away with it. When they came up with the fake memos guys in pajamas showed how they were fake.

    This time with Williams the actual pilot in the helicopter that got hit went on facebook. If you noticed the initial comments of William’s colleagues in the traditional media they were all excusing him. They were not going after him for violating journalist standards. If not for the Rabble Rousers, he’d still be bringing you the Nightly News and so would Dan Rather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim Bryce said

      Don –

      Well put.

      I grew up watching Huntley-Brinkley and Howard K. Smith (I wasn’t a fan of Cronkite). Their delivery of the news was professional and I developed a trust with them. Not so anymore. I watched NBC News for 40 years before saying, “enough is enough” and now I watch Fox News.

      Yes, the times have changed and the consumer no longer knows who to trust, both in government and news.

      Like

  2. James Young said

    Sounds like an ³Accountability² issue. Not unlike accountability in project management… Good stuff Tim,

    James L. Young Jr.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A W.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “Brian Williams got off easy, too easy.

    Look at all the senior officers and enlisted in the navy and other services who have been relieved of duty or retired early because their seniors had “lost confidence in their ability to lead.” Yeah, I’d say it’s “easy” for Brian.

    The Golden Boy of NBC News was essentially reprimanded, told to take some time off and not to fabricate any more stories.

    “Officially” they are saying that the 6 months is to give them an opportunity to “investigate” potential other violations of integrity over the years including his re-telling of the story that got him in trouble OUTSIDE the news media. OFFICIALLY does not mean reality. We call this “spin doctoring” in politics.

    By giving him a suspension as opposed to terminating his employment, NBC is leaving the door open for his return.

    There really isn’t any other conclusion we can draw at this point.

    The network wants this incident to blow over and is counting on the American public to forget about it.

    Yep, and they are counting on the short-memory spans of viewers that also manifest in the election cycles where outraged voters continue to re-elect the same people that angered them in the first place.

    killing the journalistic integrity of what was at one time considered the preeminent news organization on television

    Personally? I’d rather watch BBC or Deutsche Welle for my news, not that I COMPLETELY trust them either. I’ve learned over the years to be SKEPTICAL of ALL news media. Why? Because in 1971 I was sent to a two week class in “Manipulative Communications Cover and Deception” where we studied these things over the centuries. At the end of class, I commented to the instructor that we couldn’t TRUST ANY newspaper accounts, television reports, or whatever because you could not KNOW whether the information they were reporting was being “handled” (manipulated) by someone outside their organizations. How true.

    Chet Huntley and David Brinkley should be spinning in their graves over all this.

    While I did indeed watch the Huntley-Brinkley tandem over the years, I also preferred Walter Cronkite as the epitome of journalistic honesty over the years. I liken the comparison of Walter to many of today’s “journalists” to the difference between many (most?) of the “televangelists” you see today to Billy Graham.”

    Like

  4. Ron Thompson said

    Hi Tim,
    The man has no integrity and will probably never be taken seriously again him and Hillary Clinton come from the same mold. I think he is some sort of Walter Mitty character.
    RonT

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David Lindberg said

    Tim: I saw this in SP Times today: Hopefully he will be fired. On another note, the medical burdens increased again. We now have to report temperatures in our vaccine refrigerator twice a day to a State of Florida (Florida Shots) web site in order to meet one of 45 ‘quality criteria’ for the federal government (Meaningless Use). Dave L.

    Liked by 1 person

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