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Do you feel sorry for Brian Williams? (Reader Poll)

Do you feel sorry for Brian Williams? (Reader Poll)

At all? Just a little? An itsy bitsy?

Today is Brian Williams’ first day of a self-imposed break from NBC News. While his future at the network is unclear, he has undoubtedly damaged his credibility and brand as a journalist.

The internet, though, has engaged in a massive pile on, for a variety of reasons. Everybody wants a piece of Brian Williams.

We have not exactly stood completely on the sidelines, though we haven’t been obsessive about it:

It’s almost internet sport at this point, scouring Williams’ history trying to find questionable statements and exaggerations.

Depending on what happens over the next week or so, Williams may or may not be back.

Is there just a little too much internet joy at seeing Williams fall? His career is on fire, smoke billowing from his wings. Will the internet keep firing at him even after his chute has opened and he’s heading to earth?

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air examined the issue today:

Should we really be happy to see Brian Williams go?

… Of course, it’s still possible that Williams will return as if nothing has happened after he gives things a week or so to cool down. (The fact that NBC isn’t even doing an investigation could hint at this being the case.) But the possibility still exists that Williams could actually be gone.

If so, was this a good outcome for the rest of the country? I had some time to reflect on this over the weekend and I’m not so sure this is a cut and dried story. The first question I would put forward is to ask precisely what the nature of Williams’ crime was. Obviously it’s not the same thing as Dan Rather’s fake but accurate Bush documents story. Even the Katrina story (which is also under scrutiny) didn’t seem to run into the area of falsifying the facts of the flood and the response, but just colorful additions to what he witnessed.

So what do you think?

Do you feel even a little, itsy bitsy sorry for Williams?

Poll open until Midnight (Pacific Time) Tuesday, February 10, 2015


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Do I feel empathy for Brian Williams?

No. No I Don’t.

“Do you feel even a little, itsy bitsy sorry for Williams?”
Hmmmmmm, let me think….. no, hell no.

    rinardman in reply to amwick. | February 9, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    …. no, hell no.

    Aleister should have included that as a choice.

      malclave in reply to rinardman. | February 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      I strongly disagree that “no, hell no” should have been a choice.

      I believe that instead, there should have been “BWAHAHAHAHA… moar popcorn plz” as an option.

I hope he is destroyed over this to the point of suicide.
and if he could pull a murder suicide with the traitor in the picture, even better.

I don’t get what the big deal is with Williams telling stories.

He’s a journalist… his primary (possibly only, since he’s on NBC) is to Advancing the Narrative. Stories are how that is done.

    userpen in reply to malclave. | February 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Apparently the viewers do. Nielsen ratings show that “Nightly News” lost 36 percent of its viewers on Friday.

      malclave in reply to userpen. | February 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      But did they wake up to reality, or just move to CBS or CNN so they can hear different stories?

        userpen in reply to malclave. | February 10, 2015 at 12:10 am

        Oh no, no. They’re just biding their time waiting for good ol’ Brian to return. No doubt they’ve got a bottle of bubbly prepared and are all excited in anticipation of the big day when Brian returns with new stories. I’m pretty excited myself just thinking about it.

    wendybar in reply to malclave. | February 10, 2015 at 6:19 am

    If I want to listen to somebody lying, I would just put Obama on. NO, Brian Williams job was to tell the news, not to embellish it with lies to make HIM look better.

Yes, but just a little. Unlike the lies Rather told, Williams was trying to build himself up instead of tear others down. And the social media shaming has got to have been soul-searing for him. Yes, his credibility is gone. Yes, he should leave. But at this point, people are just piling on.

    Lady Penguin in reply to Leslie Eastman. | February 10, 2015 at 3:00 am

    There is no reason to feel sorry for him. I remember how he (and the rest of the MSM) did everything they could to paint the narrative of Katrina and managed to blame Bush in the peoples’ mind for all that happened. It’s his reporting, tainted with bias and prevarications over the years, representing the Brand of NBC, nightly, which aided and abetted the Left to accomplish their agenda. He is also a significant representative sample of how the media tarnished the GOP (decades) but certainly enough in 2006 and 2008 to give the Democrats the majority in Congress, as well as being instrumental in the election of Barack Obama. Call it contributions in kind…

    Brian, and his elitist smug buddies have been a big part of why more than half of America is ignorant of the reality of what’s going on in DC and the world.

    Remember Candy Crowley? The moderator who interfered in the presidential debate and aided Obama with lies, making Romney look bad. Yes, these are the “journalists” who commit journalistic malpractice daily and we’ve paid the price.

    NBC’s only regret will be that Williams got caught and they can’t cover it up.

BTW, the two Democrats on the right in the photo above with their heads redacted are Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw.

Not in the least, this is a mess entirely of his own making. That combined with the thought of trusting this person to give people accurate news and information adds to the overall anger.

Also after a long time of reading, it’s this post that made me register and comment

He made millions and was laughing up his sleeve the whole time.

He should be made to give some of that money back. Having procured it through fraud.

Tar and feathers would not be extreme.

Where was the “Hell No” option? 😉

He gets paid millions, is an arrogant blowhard, never asked the tough questions to obama, NBC execs admit he tells dramatic stories centered on himself and tends to exaggerate the truth. Exactly the wrong type of person to be the head anchor at any news organization. Not exactly holding my breath that NBC replacing him with someone of integrity though (such people like Brit Hume or Breit Bair, who generally are forgotten in the “Faux News” diatribes)

Midwest Rhino | February 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

It’s not his goofy rewrites of history for his own Forrest Gump like stories. It’s that he’s one of the prominent faces/voices of leftist propaganda, the trusted loved guy reading lies about conservative America in ten million living rooms every night, thereby propping up destructive Marxists like Hillary or Obama.

Williams pretends to be the guy looking out for the little guy, but Democrat now imprisoned Mayor Nagin and And Governor Blanco that held on to control don’t get blame, there’s good old boy Brian telling America Bush messed up, so “Heckuva job Brownie” became a leftist meme. And Brian saved puppies … he took enemy fire … he waded with the dead bodies … witnessed a suicide

made all that crap up to get America to trust his sweet leftist propaganda that is destroying our country, getting a fellow liar like Obama elected and reelected. … and he walks away with millions for his manufactured bravery, still pretending to be friends with the military men that die fighting FOR what his lies destroy.

    Lady Penguin in reply to Midwest Rhino. | February 10, 2015 at 3:03 am

    I’m only sorry I can’t give you 10 “UP” arrows for the way you stated how Brian should be perceived.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Midwest Rhino. | February 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    You nailed it. Very well said.

    Williams is a degrader of truth and freedom.

    He needs about an hour in a locked room with a seasoned special forces guy with no sense of humor.

No pity. Pile on. Ruin him. He should never work in media again.

The heroic resumé enhancers are one thing — pathetic, but not terribly important. The wild stories about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina bother me a good bit more. Law enforcement and relief workers were delayed for days because of wild stories about violence, most of them not true. That was inexcusable.

Nor did I feel sorry for the Menendez brothers when they made themselves orphans.

Pitiful. Literally. Such a small, sick man to resort to this kind of fabulism. It is hard to wish him worse than I would feel in the circumstances. He totally deserves to eat the consequences of his lies.

OTOH, I have to agree with Sharyl Attikisson (sp). If you are going to deplore someone for lying, shouldn’t your real execration be directed at Ol’ Walleyes Clinton and Barracula, who have done actual damage to our nation with THEIR lies?

    Is it too much to ask for both? :p

    OTOH, I have to agree with Sharyl Attikisson (sp). If you are going to deplore someone for lying, shouldn’t your real execration be directed at Ol’ Walleyes Clinton and Barracula, who have done actual damage to our nation with THEIR lies?

    See… I dont believe in a bag limit on liars, oh, and an open season year ’round.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | February 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    String ’em all up. They’re dangerous propagandists.

Phillep Harding | February 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

If he was just a touch more narcissistic, he would be the Democratic Party’s next Presidential candidate.

And would probably win.

Little embellishments by those claiming to be reporters are not harmless ego-puffups. Their purpose is to lend a verisimilitude to the reporting which it doesn’t merit. It’s the functional equivalent of the claim “I saw it with my own eyes,” used to prop up a story which is based on rumor, innuendo and speculation rather than the accounts of real witnesses. In short, Williams is a propagandist painted to look like a reporter. Would you want to have an operation performed by a guy who just looked like a surgeon? Would you give your week’s salary to a guy who just looked like a bank teller? Would you let some random guy put you in handcuffs just because he looked a bit like a police officer? Same goes for this clown. If he’s going to pretend to be a reporter, he should act like one. He’s failed to do that. A show of chivalry is inappropriate – pile on while the piling’s good, and finish him off or he’ll be back like any other bad penny.

It looks and sounds to me as if Megan Kelly at Fox is trying to save Williams’ bacon.
Kelly is not bringing her legal skills to bear, and her lack of analysis is in stark contrast with her usual approach.

    Lady Penguin in reply to Rick. | February 10, 2015 at 3:12 am

    I saw her tonight on O’Reilly and didn’t care for her sympathetic stance on him. It’s easy for O’Reilly and Kelly to miss (because they’re in a cocoon) how much Williams and the rest of the lying MSM deliberately taint the GOP brand, prop up the Democrats, including covering up for them, and every word out of their mouths is geared to making our side look bad.

    Williams and the slime with him aided and abetted giving the Dems control of Congress in 2006 & 2008, and making sure that Obama was elected. He actually has done his “job” well – propaganda for the Left, they just got caught where they can’t cover it up. All of this has been known about Williams for years, and it’s just making headlines now???

    I don’t think even the “stars” of FOX understand how deep our anger is at being marginalized and trashed 24/7 by the malignant media.

I just watched Megyn Kelly with Howard Kurtz on … they are showing some sympathy, while still saying he must come clean (on her show, Megyn offers).

Megyn: “the desire by so many to tear him down, is also somewhat discomfiting isn’t it”
Howard: “you just get eviscerated online … and that really troubles me about the kind of society we’ve become”.

Well yes when they go through Palin’s trash and say Trig is not her kid, just to attack a good person. That’s the left. Or when Lerner trashes the tea party in messages, AND uses our government to “tear us down”, us being honest producers that don’t vote commie.

Williams had several chances to come clean and can’t, but it’s not a desire to destroy him, it is the phony machine of nightly propaganda that he presents using the fake persona. He’s the confidence man … it’s not what he does to win confidence that is the problem, it is how that confidence is used to sell the con. He’s the fake franchise face of Democrat talking point MFM, posing as puppy pure integrity.

So now they are making the con man into a victim, and Megyn and Howie feel uncomfortable. But Kurtz has a book where Williams told even more lies, like about sleeping in the Superdome the night of Katrina. Maybe it was ghost written because Howard doesn’t seem to recall it.

    Megyn, it is. She was on BOR’s show and tried to be a little tougher on Williams. She, finally, has looked at all of Williams’ statements about his Iraq experience and sees that he overstated quite a lot, from the very beginning.

Some people will excel without that “college degree”…. Peter Jennings for one and Williams… and a really successful example of cream of the crop… Rush. Even at the top, Williams shows an inferiority personality that he puffed up with fabrications. He didn’t have to!!! Some people get college degrees with less to show in real talent… as in the President. At least Williams was not advanced through affirmative action shortcuts.

Aww that poor pitiful lying sack of dung, how hard life must be for him.

Williams is an arrogant leftist. We must remember, in considering his transgressions, how the leftists have treated conservatives over the past years. In a word: horribly!

I truly believe that the adage “an eye for an eye” should apply in this instance. No “eyes” will be lost, of course.

But he should be fired by NBC and, should that not happen, EVERYONE who reads this blog should notify NBC that he/she will never look at NBC News again. You won’t miss anything.

sideways, with a tanker’s bar, wrapped up with 3 coils of concertina wire.

Anyone who has been under fire will be never forget what it is like, and those who have not have no clue. No one without major mental problems could “mis-remember” whether or not he was under hostile fire; just looking at a bird you weren’t in that did take fire and then claiming it was yours is just a contemptible lie.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Walker Evans. | February 10, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    A few of us have mental quirks that make us exceptions to that.

    It could be either nature or nurture, or both.

    Personal experience, not theorizing.

I don’t feel bad for him at all. But he is no different than any other Newscaster that has been lying, reporting misleading and straight up making thing up for the left for years. As far as NBC losing 30+ % of their viewers Friday, take a look at CBS/ABC numbers and I’m betting you’ll find their numbers rose. You can’t fix stupid.

He is not being attacked because of the helicopter story alone, but because of his network’s policy in handling political stories, generally. I feel uncomfortable because he’s being turned into a scapegoat for the network’s sins, and not just his own. He’ll likely be fired, and the network will try to continue, unchanged, just like CNN, CBS, and the New York Times after their scandals.

And, I see him as weak.

I feel sorry for him, just like i feel sorry for anybody in pain. That does mean he should not be fired. And firing him will not fix NBC, if they can pass his exaggerations off as a personal quirk, rather than a symptom of poor quality work product standards.

    Valerie in reply to Valerie. | February 10, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Missed a “not”. He should be fired. But the network also needs to do some self-examination and upgrade their work product.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Valerie. | February 10, 2015 at 9:01 am

    “The career” is so important to most of the TV analysts covering this, and their own persona is partly fabricated as well. Williams may not be the head of the leftist MSM beast, but he was a dutiful soldier, and blared the trumpet to attack “America”.

    I don’t see him as being scapegoated, he is just a poster boy for “FAUX News” personas that have resided in the major networks for decades. Many sympathetic reviews of his story lament how anchors now must have more charisma, and they become melancholy about the days of pure trusted men like Walter Cronkite.

    But Cronkite came from days without blogs or FOX there to reveal he too was a leftist misleading us every night, lying about Vietnam. Williams is just one more willing soldier in the leftist cause, and the only bullets he’ll ever take are to his ego as he retires in the Hamptons, with a bunch of other liars and sellouts.

Here is the Stars and Stripes interview where the reporter asks him about his recollections.

Now I have heard this over and over and I think Williams needs help. He is so far away from the actual story now that I don’t think he realizes why it is wrong.

For his own good, they should lower his profile at the network. Perhaps a special assignment reporter or move him outside of the news division. He has a sickness.

O’Reilly last night brought up the Katrina stories, gangs took over the 5* hotel, dysentery, body floating by … and said if that is proven false then William is through.

That’s how I’ve felt, on why it is important to confirm the helicopter story was not a one time thing, but a lifestyle of flamboyance. And it still is important to savage the fake persona side of Williams and kill off his “trusted friend speaking lies to ten million Americans during supper every night” persona.

MSM has worked so hard at killing FOX and denigrating them as “FAUX”. Even POTUS uses the bully pulpit, and even wiretaps on Rosen by powerful agencies, all in on the assault on FOX and blogs, that Obama now says have concocted most of this ISIS hype. But sycophantic MSM is endowed with “most favored network” status.

O’Reilly said a journal from the Katrina days that NBC has shows no mention of those fantastic events Williams conjured up. So brave warrior/anchor persona of Williams must be fully destroyed, not allowed to retreat and regroup.

As in MadMax Beyond Thunderdome, once he is defeated and the mask removed, he can be allowed retreat to the Hamptons with a handful of interns, top drawer scotch, and puppies.

“No No look at his face, he’s got the mind of a child. It’s not his fault.” He’s not a reporter, just an ego driven child used by the leftist machine.

The only difference between the MSM in the United States and the MSM in China is that at least they are honest about the MSM being controlled by the communist government in China.

I stopped watching our leftist state sponsored MSM Nightly News years ago.

It was making me ill from the rage, and horse from yelling at the screen.

There are better ways to get your news.

In psychology literature Brian Williams is what is called a bullshitter. He’s covered under freedom of speech. Alas, ‘bullshitter’ and ‘TV news guy’ are mutally exclusive. He cannot be both.

    Unfortunately, when you have a President that lies daily, and the newsmen and women have been lying right along with him, it seems Brian Williams killed TV News. Who could ever believe him again??

    Another Voice in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Framing it this context, then the poll’s most recent results have voted 93.5% for Williams being a ‘bullshitter’ as it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who has perfected the art of blowing smoke up your keister for a $10M+ payback and yet still fails to comprehend why anyone would think he is not “honorable” by omission of what was not in any public statement or an honest apology.

    Williams NBC/Comcast employers are now placed in the position to their stockholders (owners)/stakeholders(viewers) the results of answering this very question; ‘bullshitter vs. T.V. news guy’.

    Let’s have another Poll on that one!

“I would put forward is to ask precisely what the nature of Williams’ crime was.”

No crime. Many things that are ugly, offensive, distasteful, mean, nasty, and horrible are not illegal or in any way criminal. Mr. Shaw, is your thesis that negative effects should only occur as the result of criminality?

If your answer is “yes” then why do you pretend to be a conservative in your other writing at HotAir? If your answer is “no” then your question is nothing but a snarky presumed cleverness. Are you truly as smart as you think that you are?

I’m a retired journalist — 40-plus years in broadcast news — worked in NYC, Philadelphia, several other cities. In EVERY newsroom I ever worked in what Williams did was a firing offense. Williams didn’t ‘miss-speak’, or forget a couple of minor details — he lied, then he put lies on top of lies for 12 freaking years. The fact that there’s even a mixture of opinion on here about this liar shows how far values have fallen in this country — not just in politics, in journalism, but throughout the social construct. Don’t care how you slice it, or how many fairy stories you cook up. Truth is not “relative” — not now, not ever.

His job is to report the news. We, the audience, want to know we can trust what he’s saying is true.

When one of the most famous current broadcasters turns out to have lied about, well, anything for a decade, we know we* can’t trust him any more.

The fact that he claims he “conflated” memories is absurd on the face of it. If you were on a helicopter, and it didn’t get shot down, you’ll be too damn happy you lived to forget.

He’s not just a liar, he is unrepentant. The only thing he regrets is getting caught.

*I mean “we” in general, not the readers of LI.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Casey. | February 10, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Very well put Casey. Though I fear the day of the “Trusted Broadcaster” has come and gone, especially with the insertion of radical liberalism in today’s media. Granted I am not that old (40) but it just seems to me that objective news has been replaced by politically slanted opinionism. Its like there is nothing left in main stream media but the “opinion” section.

    Also with the insertion of liberal thought in media is insertion of progressive entitlement. It allows them to feel even if their lies and manipulations are manifold they are entitled to them because of their special status.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Casey. | February 10, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Not exactly, though I see what you’re saying.

    Brian Williams’ job is not just to report he news, but to get good ratings doing it. I don’t care how good a journalist is, if the ratings (or newspaper ad sales) aren’t there, neither will be the journalist for very long.

Not even the tiniest bit. If only this would happen to all the self-aggrandizing narcissists in the media. That God Complex is real. They all believe they are above reproach, and they all need a good, strong humiliation and loss of face.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to peg_c. | February 10, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    The only part of this I disagree with is the “Loss of Face”, simply that would imply that they actually had some honor in the first place.

I feel sorry for him. He is a pathetic piece of shit, and I feel sorry for him being a pathetic piece of shit. How sick he has to be to try to steal valor!