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What really destroyed Brian Williams’ credibility?

What really destroyed Brian Williams’ credibility?

The vapid nightly news itself, says Bill Maher.

Bill Maher has some ideas about what really destroyed Brian Williams’ credibility with the American people…and it has absolutely nothing to do with his recent suspension.

From Mediaite:

See, what “destroyed” Brian Williams’ credibility in Maher’s eyes was “ten years of wasting precious news time with bullshit stories.” It really bothers him that national nightly newscasts shirk their “sacred responsibility” to report the news in favor of viral YouTube videos, cutesy human interest stories, and lots and lots of weather coverage.

He called it “journalistic malpractice” for Williams to spend so little time reporting on climate change and instead covering east coast blizzards “like white Godzilla is on the way.”


Personally? I think it’s both. I think that, at least as long as I’ve been alive and cognizant of the national media, there’s been a lot of media malpractice that America is all too willing to overlook.

Maher focuses on the stupid filler stories that plague nightly news shows, but I think the bigger problem comes down to how the media picks and chooses winners and losers in American society. We’ve already seen the kind of media shenanigans that go on during an election cycle—and we should be prepared for more. (It’s already starting.) They completely fumbled the ball during coverage on North Korea; they refuse to acknowledge Palestinian obstructionism; they’re so obsessed with the existence of Fox News that they beclown themselves in an attempt to lampoon the network.

Wouldn’t it be something if national networks caught on to what Maher is selling, and started covering more substantive stories? Even if they focused on Maher’s pet subject of climate change, it would at least offer an opportunity for debate and discussion.

As for Williams—I think at least our readers have spoken.


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Well, I hope at least you see the self-parody in that filler-packed piece, Amy.

Let’s try an experiment:

Who DOES NOT give a flying fluck about what Bill Maher thinks about “good journalism’? Show of thumbs.

Looking to the likes of Bill Maher and Mediate to “fix” the public perception of mainstream news outlets would be like looking to Michael Vick to “fix” what’s wrong with the public perception of pibbles.

“Wouldn’t it be something if national networks caught on to what Maher is selling, and started covering more substantive stories? Even if they focused on Maher’s pet subject of climate change, it would at least offer an opportunity for debate and discussion.”

Who DOES NOT believe that MORE coverage of climate change myth would “offer an opportunity for debate and discussion”?

    Observer in reply to Ragspierre. | February 14, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Yes, there should have been a lot more news coverage of “climate change,” starting with how many scientists pushing the theory have clear conflicts of interest that they failed to disclose; how much evidence has been discovered of deliberate efforts to falsify data and “hide the [temperature] decline;” how the computer models that can supposedly accurately predict far-in-the-future weather can’t even accurately predict past weather; how scientists who dare to question any of the assumptions underlying the climate change orthodoxy are shamed and ridiculed and blocked from jobs and funding by the high priests of climate change, etc.

    Maher is right about that part: instead of having some idiot reporters standing outside in hurricane-stricken areas, holding onto their hats and yelling “yes, the wind is really blowing hard now,” they should have been investigating the multi-billion-dollar scam that is “climate change.”

      Ragspierre in reply to Observer. | February 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm


      I see the problem with our communication. YOU support MORE BALANCED, OBJECTIVE reportage on the issue. Or ANY…

      My question was more along the lines of MORE of the same stilted, propaganda from people who wouldn’t know good science if it bit them in the nose and introduced itself in Iambic Pentameter through clenched teeth. Do we need MORE of that crap?

      We could certainly use a lot MORE of the kind you were thinking of. Or ANY…

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | February 15, 2015 at 3:06 am

      When I was a child I liked to discuss unicorns and the imaginary fairy friend who lived in a beautifully furnished imaginary jar in my room. She was a princess fairy. Doting parents listened with great interest because I was their kid, but that was pretty much it for my audience on that subject. I got a little more mileage with the unicorns with my little friends, who were also at least occasional believers in unicorns, and their patient moms who, like mine, would pretty much give any kid a hearing on anything. 🙂

      My parents offered no debate about the fairy nor the unicorns. You see, they were adults and knew that you don’t discuss or try to quantify squat with feather-headed little zealots who believe in non-existent things.

Who would like to see Amy expand on some of the subjects suggested in the “tip line”, rather than stuff like this?

    I’m fine with “serious” blogs occasionally delving into pop culture, but with a Nietzschean caution: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster; whoever fights vapid snark-over-substance pop-politics airheads should see to it that in the process… etc, etc.

Well said, but it’s been said before:

Oh, and since I can’t edit my original comment I’ll add this here: I do watch real news every night, at 6:00pm on Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier the absolute best news program anywhere… but that’s just my opinion…

They *could have* covered, say, Benghazi in-depth anytime they wanted to, but they chose not to. And many other things.

Big Bill Maher can use the c-word and mock special needs children. This was the hipster credibility Brian Williams sought. Maher gave Williams an excuse for lying. What’s Obama’s million-dollar campaign contribution excuse?

Every time I see one of those stupid stories on the news, I wonder how on earth that could be considered “news.” That’s one reason why the MSM disgust me, and I don’t put any credence in what they have to say. I get more information from the radio and the internet. It’s the MSM that have put the “boob” in “boob tube” ~

In a way it’s quite simple. Somewhere between Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis the MSM figured out that if they covered the candidates straight-up, honestly and even-handedly, the Democrat candidate not only lost, but lost badly. That couldn’t stand, particularly as the Democrat party and the MSM tacked harder and harder to the left. So they stopped covering the candidates straight-up, honestly and even-handedly.

Let’s face it: The Nightly News gives the sheeple exactly what they want.

    platypus in reply to snopercod. | February 14, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Then why the big kerfluffle over Lyin Brian? If BS was what the viewers wanted, he should be a big green light for more of the same.

    No, I think that the people want news. They have to believe they are getting it from the LameStreamMedia or else they’ll go elsewhere. (hint – FoxyLadiesNews)

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to snopercod. | February 15, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I don’t agree. The sheeple are as a complacent as …well… sheep. Many know not what they do. Their true fault, rather than wanting to be lied to as you suggest, is actually laziness and its partner, lack of intellectual curiosity.

It’s not so much that he lied, it’s that his lies were so banal.

Tepid and flat. Maybe would impress a ten year old (or David Letterman apparently) but nothing any adult would be wowed by.

Of course the wilder your stories, the more you better fit the role in word and deed in your daily life.

And Brian was just another talking head on TV. No scoops, no special series, no interesting and rare interviews.

Brian was a dullard.

It really comes down to the fact that any presentation of news in a format of “nightly news” is bias, simply by virtue of what is decided in the content that ‘night’ and what is left out.

The Internet is a vastly superior source of news, simply by virtue of the fact the viewer is not limited by 3 malignant clowns in what information is presented to him or her, him-her, her-him, or it.

Nightly news programs are about as useful as Boeher and McConnell.

More than a decade ago, I shut off my TV. And, cancelled The Dish. Everything I want to see shows up at Drudge. (Where I go as soon as I fire up my computer in the mornings.) I can’t say I ever saw brian williams doing a news report. Or reading one.

Yes, I remember Dan Rather’s show. He lost it big time when he thought he could take out Dubya, with “charges” that he missed some flying classes, which his dad arranged to substitute out for Vietnam. Whatever.

Dan Rather gave us “fake but accurate.”

And, for the news business it’s been downhill ever since.

And, IIRC, the news business was a “loss leader.” In that they can’t really cut away for commercials every few minutes.

Plus, once your business model dies it stops being a venue for “talent.”

    NBC was paying Williams >$10m/annum. It wasn’t for lack of money for “talent” that they became a joke.

      platypus in reply to Amy in FL. | February 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Sort of makes you wonder why financial success (as measured by the amount of dollars) is touted as a rational measure of inherent value. Seems to me that the more money someone makes, the more likely it is that he/she has no intelligence on any other subject (e.g., actors; actresses; etc.).

Yes, when there are big questions on important events I want to know what Bill Maher thinks. That would be the pathway to enlightenment.

WTF? Is LI a subsidiary of TMZ now?