Good riddance!


NBC News anchor Brian Williams will soon be out of work as a result of his exaggeration of his experiences as a correspondent in the early days of the U.S. war in Iraq — if not also other prevarications on his part.


The equation here is quite simple: The anchor and managing editor of America’s most popular network newscast must be as free of suspicion as Caesar’s wife. Williams fails that test. Consequently, he’s gone — or soon will be.


Mind you, this isn’t to say that a news anchor can’t express controversial opinions of his or her own. Walter Cronkite, for example, famously came out against the Vietnam War in February of 1968, which reportedly prompted President Lyndon Johnson to privately offer this reaction: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”


Williams would not face his current crisis if he had similarly questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war. But that’s not what he did. Rather, he changed his account of a situation in which a helicopter in which he was riding allegedly came under enemy fire. His first version of the story — the accurate account, it turns out — was that a chopper near the one in which he was riding was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. He later changed the story to make it appear that his helicopter was the one hit by an RPG.


This is no minor matter. Williams clearly was embellishing his credentials as a fearless war correspondent.


And his veracity has been suspect in other matters as well. The accuracy of his coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, for example,  has been called into question.


All in all, Williams’ credibility has taken a grievous hit. NBC will soon conclude that the situation is unacceptable, if it hasn’t already,

Good riddance!

NBC News anchor Brian Williams will soon be out of work as a result of his exaggeration of his experiences as a correspondent in the early days of the U.S. war in Iraq — if not also other prevarications on his part.

The equation here is quite simple: The anchor and managing editor of America’s most popular network newscast must be as free of suspicion as Caesar’s wife. Williams fails that test. Consequently, he’s gone — or soon will be.

Mind you, this isn’t to say that a news anchor can’t express controversial opinions of his or her own. Walter Cronkite, for example, famously came out against the Vietnam War in February of 1968, which reportedly prompted President Lyndon Johnson to privately offer this reaction: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”

Williams would not face his current crisis if he had similarly questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war. But that’s not what he did. Rather, he changed his account of a situation in which a helicopter in which he was riding allegedly came under enemy fire. His first version of the story — the accurate account, it turns out — was that a chopper near the one in which he was riding was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. He later changed the story to make it appear that his helicopter was the one hit by an RPG.

This is no minor matter. Williams clearly was embellishing his credentials as a fearless war correspondent.

And his veracity has been suspect in other matters as well. The accuracy of his coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, for example,  has been called into question.

All in all, Williams’ credibility has taken a grievous hit. NBC will soon conclude that the situation is unacceptable, if it hasn’t already,