Five months ago, the first thought associated with the name “Brian Williams” was “NBC Nightly News.” But now, an array of words all synonymous to “liar,” is the only thing that comes to mind.
The once applauded news anchor is a little over halfway through his suspension, but plans to return to broadcast news once it is over. However, he will not be returning to the “Nightly News,” a program he ran for the past 10 years. Instead, Williams has plans to return to NBC to cover breaking news. In an interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer, Williams explains how he expected to receive his old position back and how he was disappointed to be offered anything but.
“Was it my first choice? No,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to return to my old job. I thought we’d had a great 10-year run and were on top for most of that time. I pushed back at first. Enough time has passed, I accept the decision.”
But what Williams has failed to understand is the sheer fact that news anchors, just like all other reporters and journalists, have a duty to provide the public with factual, unbiased information. And the words, “I lied,” have still yet to come out of his mouth.
“I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” he said in his original apology to the public which aired on February 4th.
In some perverted way, Williams has tried to downplay the forgery he committed as if it was no big deal. He has refused to take responsibility for his actions by first, blaming it on a brain tumor, and then most recently, on his over-inflated ego.
“Did something happen to [my] head? Maybe I had a brain tumor or something in my head?” he said when he was originally caught lying back in February.
“It had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else, I told the story correctly for years, before I told it incorrectly. I was not trying to mislead people, (and) that to me is a huge difference. It came from a bad place. It came from a sloppy choice of words. I told stories that were not true. Over the years, looking back, it is very clear I never intended to. It got mixed up, it got turned around, in my mind. This came from clearly a bad place, a bad urge inside me. This was clearly ego-driven, a desire to better my role in a story I was already in. That’s what I’ve been tearing apart and unpacking and analyzing.” He said in his interview with Lauer.
The real question Williams should be asking is, “Why do I still have a job?” When a doctor or a lawyer violates their oath they risk having their license revoked or disbarment. Williams violated his oath as a reporter, but he’s still employed. Some may say his new role as a breaking news reporter is “degrading” since he was a lead anchor for a decade. And those people wouldn’t be wrong either, it is degrading… to recent college graduates and other prospective journalists who would be ecstatic to receive a job offer from NBC.