That Brian Williams remains employed as anchor and managing editor of NBC News shows just how far from journalistic standards a once-great network has drifted.
Mr. Williams appears to have lied when he said he was aboard a helicopter hit by an RPG in Iraq. He has apologized, claiming his “misremembered” the non-event. That’s preposterous, but whether he intentionally told a false story or made a “mistake,” Mr. Williams now has zero credibility as a journalist. Neither does the network that employs him.
The corporate suits at Comcast/NBC seem to think Mr. Williams’ situation is survivable. It is not. Already, other journalists are sifting through his past reports for things that don’t add up. The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and several other papers today are questioning comments Mr. Williams made in a 2006 interview about his experiences covering Hurricane Katrina.
This will keep happening, and each time it does, Mr. Williams and NBC News will be further stained. The real victim here, however, is journalism itself. No one, no matter how popular or profitable, can be placed above the principles and practices of the craft.
Brian Williams must go. Eventually, he will.