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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