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Brian Williams - why lie?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2015 08:54 am
What possesses people to lie like this? Do they think no one will out them? Do they think they are above everything else? It baffles the mind. Also can he be trusted to report the news going forward?

NBC ‘‘Nightly News’’ anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for incorrectly claiming as recently as last week that he rode on a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq in 2003.

http://www.boston.com/entertainment/media/2015/02/04/nbc-brian-williams-apologizes-for-telling-false-iraq-story/Y74e0jPsSq5DkyWUrs0vSM/story.html
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Type: Question • Score: 21 • Views: 13,156 • Replies: 260

 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 Feb, 2015 09:56 am
I have a feeling his public career is about to be over.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 12:06 am
@Linkat,
To gain cred with the troops he covers, to get a good bar story. I have a big problem with how these massively over paid news readers have had their hand in the destruction of journalism. but this controversy is all about nothing.

Quote:
Also can he be trusted to report the news going forward?
have you looked at the news lately? you trusted brian williams to tell the truth till now? So far as I know he is part of the washington crowd that schmoozes for access, I did not trust him to tell the truth before now.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 12:25 am
@Linkat,
Is that worse than Hillary dodging bullets in Iraq?
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 07:20 am
@hawkeye10,
Good point -- it isn't as if I fully trust what these journalists report. I guess it just proves how untrustworthy they can be.

But this was huge item. You really cannot mis-remember being shot down.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 07:22 am
@roger,
Well she is a politician - she is supposed to lie. Journalists are supposed to report facts.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 08:15 am
Neurologists that study memory state that all of us are capable of distorting a memory over time so that inaccurate details become attached to the memory. Eventually we are convinced that inaccurate or conflated details were a true part of the event we are trying to remember. This may not be dishonesty.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 09:02 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

But this was huge item. You really cannot mis-remember being shot down.

As I read the story, Williams was riding with a group of helicopters, one of which was hit with an RPG. There is some dispute over whether there was small arms fire as well. All of the helicopters went to ground including the one with Williams. No excuse for Williams, but people rewrite their memories over time. My mother has told me with great sincerity that she remembers when Pearl Harbor was bombed. She was not born yet. My father and I remember events significantly differently. Williams was in a convoy that came under fire. He was sitting in the back, probably running scared with limited access to what was really happening. If his memory doesn't quite match reality I'm not really bent about it.
Ticomaya
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 09:07 am
@engineer,
I understood that his helicopter landed some 30 minutes after the helicopter that was shot down.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 09:38 am
Folks...Brian Williams is a human.

Humans tend to over-state their good deed, accomplishments...and tend to embellish their lives and activities.

I've done it.

Brian Williams, foolishly as it turns out, did it.

Is there anyone here saying he/she has never done it?
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 09:52 am
@engineer,
Actually his helo came in a half hour or more after the live fire.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 09:57 am
@engineer,
That makes sense of it for me, thanks.

Oops, I just read what Tico and Bobsal added..
so back to "huh?".

Still, he may have been conflating being in the group with his helicopter being hit when it wasn't.
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 10:03 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank, I claim no war stories that didn't happen. While I've never been in a helo that was shot at I am certain I wouldn't misremember that. This kind of incident makes some folks feel like their experience is being trivialized. And I understand that. In the scheme of things it doesn't make for any piles of beans but we tend to want the ideal (illusion?) that professional witnesses speak of actual events they were part of even if on the periphery of the event. He could have authoritatively spoken of the stress of going into a zone hot enough to have drawn an RPG attack on a previous helicopter landing less than an hour earlier. But putting himself into a helo under attack without mentioning he really wasn't there is unethical.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 10:19 am
@bobsal u1553115,
No, it was not ethical.

But that essentially is a response to a question I did not ask.

Let me try my question again:


Quote:
Humans tend to over-state their good deed, accomplishments...and tend to embellish their lives and activities.

I've done it.

Brian Williams, foolishly as it turns out, did it.

Is there anyone here saying he/she has never done it?
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 10:55 am
@ossobuco,
He's in the back, everyone is yelling "take cover" and "incoming hostile fire" (I don't know that, just imagining) and then they land and someone tells him "we were taking fire and Jim's helo went down". I doubt he ever really knew what happened. Of course he is a reporter and should have dug out the story, but such is life.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 11:42 am
@engineer,
He is being accused of fabricating a story, which it appears that he did. I expect to see more of the zero tolerance for being human that we Americans so often engage in, lots of people are looking into his stories, and with as much as he has talked over the years there are almost certainly more "gotcha's" to come. I expect that he will be fired.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 11:50 am
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/business/media/brian-williams-helicopter-incident-in-iraq.html?_r=0

Quote:
Scrambling to contain a crisis engulfing one of its most prominent on-air personalities, NBC will begin an internal investigation into Brian Williams, the embattled evening news anchor who has admitted he misled the public with a harrowing tale of a forced helicopter landing in Iraq.

The “fact-checking” inquiry, confirmed on Friday by several people in the network’s news division, will review not only the Iraq incident but also Mr. Williams’s reporting during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as any other issues that arise during the investigation.

Richard Esposito, the head of NBC’s investigative unit, will lead the inquiry. Mr. Esposito does not report to Mr. Williams, who holds the positions of both anchor and managing editor for “NBC Nightly News.”

In a staff memo on Friday, Deborah Turness, the president of NBC News, said that the network had “a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired.”

Ms. Turness said that she and Mr. Williams had spoken with the “Nightly News” team on Thursday and addressed more employees in an editorial meeting on Friday.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 12:04 pm
Media outlets need to make up their minds..... they order their talent to go on social media and talk shows in an attempt to connect with the audience, to go well outside of "just the facts ma'am" in the attempt to get people to like them , then they get all upset when their talent behaves as humans do.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 12:05 pm
@Butrflynet,
Anyone who does not like the guy will be calling up NBC with probable "gotcha's"....unless Williams is normally a choirboy he is toast.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2015 12:16 pm
At very least...Williams will be pilloried by people who have done the same kind of thing in their bleak, common lives that Williams did in his very visible position.

Williams did wrong...serious wrong.

Much of the indignation over what he did, however, is hypocrisy in action.
 

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