I was about to call it a day, but before going to sleep I watched a little of Brian Williams filling in his viewers as to what was up in the “breaking news” department. When I was working I didn’t have much time to stay up to speed with current World and National events. Brian Williams was my main source of information. What Mr. Williams had to tell me was often quite alarming, but they way he told it was quite reassuring.
I admired his unflappable composure when in the field of a troubled news hot spot. He was brave, insightful and witty in his delivery depending on what he had to deliver. I was shocked when NBC suspended this great news man for not telling it exactly how it was, riding in a helicopter during the Iraq War in 2003. NBC announced the suspension in February 2015.
According to Wikipedia, Williams had signed a 5 year, 10 million dollar a year contract with NBC in December 2014. Being suspended without pay apparently cost Mr. Williams 5 million dollars. This is, by far, more money than most men make in a lifetime. It seems like a rather harsh consequence for little embellishment of the truth. So, what if his story that he was flying in a helicopter over Iraq when it was forced down, after being hit with a rocket propelled grenade, wasn’t true. At least, he later admitted that he made up the story. It does seem to be true that he was in a helicopter that flew over Iraq while there was a war going on. Is this not bravery enough for a civilian who wanted to deliver the news from where it was happening.
I didn’t realize that Williams’ critics then kicked him when he was down. They got on his case for reporting that he saw a man jump to his death inside the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina when no one else say it happen. (Wikipedia says that Williams won a Emmy Award for his 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He won the Peabody Award for this coverage, as well.) Critics claimed that his claim to being there when the Berlin Wall came down was false. They said that William’s report that he flew into Bagdad with Navy SEAL Team 6 was challenged by Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw, who stated that SEALS do not embed journalists.
It is easy to not blame Special Operation military units for not wanting to take newspeople along for the ride. It is all hard to blame Williams for telling a bit of a “fish story” to add a little more drama to reporting the news. You know, the kind of story men sometimes tell as to how big the fish was that got away. Williams has not let 12 News & Documentary Emmy Awards get away to somebody else.
It is no wonder that NBC allowed Williams back into the news game. He was not given his Nightly News chair back, but since he did apologize to Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview, on NBC’s Today Show, he was thrown the bone of doing other things for NBC, such as reassuring me before I go to sleep at night. Just seeing Brian’s face I find strangely reassuring.
Sure Mr. Williams made some mistakes, but they are nothing compared with his achievements. He has won so many awards that it would be boring to list even half of them here. When Williams won the Walter Cronkite Award For Excellence In Journalism in 2009, Walter Cronkite himself said he was one of the award winners “ardent admirers” and that Williams was a “fastidious newsman,” who brought credit to the television news reporting profession, again according to Wikipedia.
I am old enough to have been reassured by Walter Cronkite, again and again, when he anchored CBS Nightly News. We celebrated Neil Armstrong stepping on to the Moon together. It is very reassuring to be reassured by Wikipedia that Cronkite was ardent in his admiration for Williams.
Wikipedia reminded me that Williams was a frequent guest on The Daily Show. The former host of that show, Jon Stewart, was my go to news source after Williams was put in the “time out,” “penalty box” by NBC.
I used to laugh along with others at work and agree how insightful some comedians were becoming in their analysis of the news of the day. I never lived in Minnesota, but was proud to be able to say that I lived in a country where even a comedian, such as Al Franken, could become a United States Senator.
I hear no reports of a bid for Brian Williams to run for President Of The United States. If he did seek election he could follow in the footsteps of the great Ronald Reagan, the Nations first movie star President. It used to be that actors need to be Republicans to become, say the former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Donald Trump, our realty TV star President, needed to get there by way of the Republicans, but may have paved the way for a liberal journalist to seek the office. Williams flaw of being an admitted liar, could actually be an asset in running for office, as all politicians lie, but few admit it.
All that I read abut Brian Williams, before I wrote this, was in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not my new primary source of reassurance regarding current events. No, while I pay attention to main stream media, less and less, I don’t plan on cutting the cord, or rather the cable, completely. I will still pay attention to Brian Williams, but will seek out my main source of reassurance elsewhere, most likely in my bed time prayers.
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