2 years ago
drwhat
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Should Brian Williams be fired over his lies?
According to news headlines, "NBC's Tom Brokaw reportedly wants Brian Williams fired over fabricated Iraq helicopter story."
To give some background. Brian Williams has been a head anchor at NBC for some time now, but it's coming to light that he has been lying about serious situations, and this isn't the first time.
In 2003, Williams (a reporter at the time, Brokaw was still head anchor of NBC Nightly News), reported that he was involved in a situation in Iraq in which a helicopter in the squad of helicopters he was traveling with was shot at. Over time, the story evolved: he said two were shot down, he said that his helicopter went down, etc. all culminating in his on-air apology this past Wednesday that recanted the story. According to those that pointed out his lies over time, he was not even in the same area as those helicopters and was only attached to the incident by radio.
Brokaw says that any lesser journalist would be fired on the spot. An NBC source says that Williams won't be fired; his on screen apology was enough.
But was it really? Is it fair to just let people go on being news broadcasters after they have blatantly lied to the public in an attempt to manipulate their thoughts? Well, in this case, it depends on who you believe: the pilot of the helicopter was falsely reported as saying that Williams lied, when really he just provided clarification about what Williams said. The lead helicopter was hit by the RPG, and all three were hit by rifle fire from the ground. Williams' helicopter took evasive action and did not regroup with the others until 1 hour later.
And so, it comes back to the same point: who do we believe when stories are conflicting, and news reporters no longer do their research?
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4 comments
No, I don't think he should be. But overall we do need to hold our news sources more accountable for actually discovering the truth before making the report.
@greggr Yes. It seems like it shouldn't be something we have to ask for, but I wonder for how long news has been at this level of inaccurate.
If we're going to fire him, we should fire a lot of other journalists and producers, too.
@drwhat Too too long I'm afraid! Did you ever learn about yellow journalism? Sensationalism has always sold.