Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brian Williams Spun Lies While Other War Reporters Died

By Lyndsay Borko

Brian Williams was a news anchor for NBC's Nightly News. Operative word being “was.” Just recently, he was suspended for six months without pay for telling a lie that spanned over a decade. For twelve years, he exaggerated his role in an episode involving a helicopter in Iraq. Based on accounts of others who were actually fired at that day in 2003, he was absolutely nowhere near the incident that took place.

Hyperbole of that kind from someone who the public looks to as a trustworthy figure for news is unacceptable to NBC, which is why they suspended him. In my opinion, his credibility has been permanently diminished. If he is allowed to return to work after his suspension, viewers may no longer be able to take him seriously or trust him as a reporter. I think NBC's decision to suspend him is wise. It shows other reporters at NBC, and even other news stations, that behavior like this will not be tolerated. It was beyond inappropriate for him to exaggerate something like what he experienced while reporting in Iraq.

Many men and women are wounded or killed while they're doing their jobs and trying to report for the public safe at home. The most recent example is James Foley, a freelance journalist from Illinois who was beheaded by the infamous terrorist group ISIS. It is unfair to tarnish the memory of journalists who gave up their lives for their craft with rubbish like Williams' misstatements.

Not only is his credibility lost, but in part, so is NBC's. Therefore, I think their decision to suspend him is commendable. Too many people get away with things that are inappropriate just because they have prestige or fame. I believe this was the right choice for NBC and I applaud them for it. 

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