Biting The Bullet

Submitted by ub on Thu, 02/05/2015 - 21:28

As a former NBC News employee, who devoted nearly a decade of my professional career writing and producing broadcast news, I worry about the possible loss of credibility caused by a journalist's' self inflicted wound. I'm not alone and there are so many others sharing my sentiments, who have also covered news, while in harms way. More from AOL

Now, Anchorman Brian Williams says he's taking himself off the NBC evening newscast temporarily. Can you believe it? Read all about it: Dose Of News *

Brian Williams' Self-Inflicted War Wounds

Brian Williams is the latest in a string of black eyes for NBC… via @CNNMoney

NBC's Brian Williams recants story about Iraq incident after soldiers protest via @reuters

The Brian Williams Story as Emblem of the Chickenhawk Era…

Williams' popularity, ratings could save his job via @usatoday

Tom Brokaw: Brian Williams' Future 'Is Up To Brian And NBC News' via @HuffPostMedia

A cautionary tale: Brian Williams “misremembers” enemy fire…

Brian Williams to Take Himself Off Nightly News for the 'Next Several Days' via @NBCNews

The decline of NBC News…

Ike Seamans: What an INSULT to thousands of network news correspondents, producers, editors, camera crews, technicians FROM ALL NATIONS who have RISKED THEIR LIVES in danger zones to bring the news to the world. Some have died. For NBC News (my former employer) anchor BRIAN WILLIAMS TO CLAIM he was under enemy fire when he wasn't is beyond belief for a nationally respected journalist and a DISGRACE to his colleagues. To me..THE REAL SURPRISE is it took so long for his LIE to be UNCOVERED, especially since he has repeated it over and over for years without being challenged..OR AS THE NPR STORY BELOW SAYS "This was an UNFORCED ERROR..NO SLIP OF THE TONGUE. Williams had told the same story, with a dramatic flair" for years. What about the SMALL ARMY of NBC NEWS PRODUCERS, writers and techs who SURROUND NEWS STARS like Brian when they go into the field? Why didn't they object to this travesty? What about the soldiers on board the unharmed chopper? Were they warned to shut up? Confidence in news organizations has been on the decline for years. This doesn't help. WILL HE BE FIRED? Depends on how the embarrassment effects ratings. Network news is a money making business, you know.

Chuck Stewart: I won't name names but during the Tsunami in Banda Aceh BW was advised by his producer to do his live shot in the worst of it. He didn't want to get his starched Brooks Brothers shirt dirty and chose his safe location that showed nothing in the background. Similar stories during Hurricane Katrina.

Gary Gertz: Look what happened to Dan Rather for something similar. As personable as Brian is, the same should happen to him.

Alan Walden: I believe it was Albert the Alligator, one of the characters that sprang from the whimsical imagination of Walt Kelley, who once said "We have met the enemy and they is us." It's a long fall from the ivory tower that once was home to the best and brightest in the business. It was bound to happen: People are starting to feel sorry for Brian Williams. "Poor guy; made a mistake. Who hasn't?" "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone," and so on. Sorry, folks. I'm not buying it and am, however reluctantly, casting that stone. Not because I am without sin or have never told a lie. But because Mr. Williams, a millionaire many times over because he has a nice smile and pronounces words properly, betrayed me. Me, and his colleagues, and everyone else who has tried to earn the public's trust by taking upon themselves the job of reporting the news accurately, objectively, and fairly. There was a time when news wasn't supposed to be a profit center. It was regarded as a public service provided by radio and television stations as a requirement for licensing. Then came deregulation, too long a topic to be discussed here, and everything changed. Now, it's all about money. Not integrity, not accuracy, not public service: Money! Mr. Williams may yet survive this crisis. But even if he doesn't, he can wander off into the sunset to spend the tens-of-millions of dollars he's been paid over the years because he has a nice smile, and because, in the end, he did what was best for him and his image, and not for the audience who trusted him.

Doug O'Brien: Just a bit of amusing perspective: "A practice exists in the Press of New-York, and is on the increase, which is productive in its way of not a little harm. It consists In a certain sort of jocose misrepresentation, and as it is most in vogue with journals of undeniable claims to respectability, it is all the more calculated to mislead." New York Times, August 6, 1859.