Sunday, February 22, 2015
Brian Williams Violated Journalism's Code of Ethics
By Alexandra Kezek
Brian Williams has recently created a crisis of trust for the viewers of NBC television. He has been part of NBC for about a decade and became the face of nightly/evening news, talking about politics, war, economics, immigration, and various other topics. He recollected on two particular stories, like his Iraq "war story" and his time visiting New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
In 2003, Willaims went to Iraq in a helicopter and told an initial story of how the helicopter in front of his was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Recently, he has said a different story. In a 2013 interview, Williams recollected the story but then stated that it was his helicopter that was struck by an RPG. Lance Reynolds, a flight engineer, has criticized Williams for the false story. Reynolds was in the plane struck by the RPG and Williams' helicopter arrived on the scene about 45 minutes later. Williams also states that he saw an RPG target them but hit the chopper in front of them. This statement does not go along with the other crews' statements and the helicopter in front of Williams' was a half hour ahead of them, which would make it impossible to see the RPG.
In 2006, Williams also recounted his time staying in New Orleans during Katrina. He has claimed to see horrific incidents of dead bodies, illegal gang activity in his hotel, and that he suffered from ingesting the flood water. All of which seems to have been false. Groups of gangs did try to invade the Ritz, where Williams was staying but they were all repelled by police. There was also not a big amount of flooding in the area he was in, so claiming to see "dead bodies afloat" is invalid, as well as saying he became ill from ingestion of water because the CDC found that no cases of dysentery were present from the water.
Williams is now facing intense ridicule and scrutiny from various news sources and comedians. He has stepped down from the nightly news for "several days" and Lester Holt is to take his place for the time being. In this kind of situation, I believe that he should be fired. He deliberately lied to the public to what had happened in these places to boost his image more. He has insulted soldiers and veterans and they have expressed their opinions via social media. How can the public get real in depth detail of what is going on in the world if the newscaster is lying about his experience? It's like he is falsely advertising himself.
In this situation, his reputation is already tarnished. It would be ideal for him to state another apology and step down from his position, because he violated a code of ethics.