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Brian Williams's Scandals

Brian Williams

For any reporter, credibility is key. People have to be able to believe what the reporter is saying! Exaggeration generally doesn't help in that effort. In fact, when the most watched anchor of a nightly network TV newscast exaggerates an event, it's disastrous

Such is the story of Brian Williams of NBC News. He was the top rated network TV anchor, recently signing a five-year contract reportedly worth $10 million a year. He was seen all over the network schedule in other ways too, from the "Tonight Show" to "Saturday Night Live" to "30 Rock" and other NBC-TV programs.

But Williams put his foot in his multimillion dollar mouth after appearing at a New York Rangers hockey game with an Iraq veteran, in a tribute to a retiring Command Sergeant Major.

Williams had said in his newscast that the sergeant protected him from a dangerous situation in Iraq when the helicopter they were in was forced down after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade. Williams claimed the traveling NBC news team was rescued, surrounded, and kept alive by an armored mechanize platoon from the US Army's third infantry.

The problem was it wasn't true. The military publication "Stars & Stripes" was tipped off that the account was inaccurate and they contacted Williams and he admitted he was not on the helicopter that was forced down.

Brian Williams on cover of the New York Post

Williams apologized…

…admitted making a mistake and said he didn't know what screwed up in his mind that caused him to conflate one aircraft with another.

A few days later Williams try to quell the controversy by suspending himself for a few days until the heat subsided. But that didn't work either. A few days later, NBC News announced it was suspending Williams without pay for six months.

Other networks had a field day with the story.

It all casts doubt on whether Williams will ever be able to regain his lofty status as the anchor of the most popular nightly news cast.

To be continued…

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