Free Markets, Free People

Don’t Fire Brian Williams!

I’ll assume that, if you made it to this website, you are at least somewhat familiar with the Brian Williams (growing?) fiasco, so I’m not going to provide a link. It’s all over the internet. Use your Google-fu. You have the power.

As this story continues to metastasize, more and more people will call for Williams’ head. Reportedly, Tom Brokaw is even doing so. But I say, let him stay.

Why? Well, it’s basically the same reasoning as the Basterds:

Lt. Aldo Raine: [to Wicki] Ask him what he is gonna do with his uniform when he gets home.
Pvt. Butz: [through an interperter] Not only do I intend to take off my uniform, I intend to burn it.
Lt. Aldo Raine: Nah, see, we don’t like that. We like our Nazis in uniform. That way we can spot ’em just like that. We’re gonna give you a little something you cant take off.

Right now, Williams is tarred with the truth. That is, he’s a lying fabulist who represents legacy media and, apparently felt not a twinge of guilt about telling his tale for twelve years. Judging by his actions, Williams believed that his media buddies would back him up, even though at least some in his own organization had to know he was completely full of horse puckey. He wasn’t the only one on that helicopter after all. His crew that day new damned well they didn’t take any fire. And the NBC upper brass had to know it too. They’re all in this together.

So, I say, let him stay. Let him sit there in that chair, night after night, pretending to be the very embodiment of sober truth and empirical justice. Everyone knows who he really is. He can’t scrub that off now. After a dozen years of not just telling the same lie, but embellishing it further, the stain of that prevarication is indelible. Let him wear it, and be a true representative of the legacy media. I can’t think of a better or more apt standard bearer.

~MichaelW
Twitter: @mjwadeesq

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22 Responses to Don’t Fire Brian Williams!

  • According to apologist expert doctor Ford Prefect….I mean Ford Vox.… he merely did what we all do

    Though I personally have NEVER once told the story of how I single handedly defeated a Soviet tank division while on a training exercise in Russia (which I’ve never traveled to),
    or the time I wrestled a grizzly in the Cascades and killed him by getting around behind him and snapping his neck.

    See, false memories like that, they’re like losing your car keys or forgetting you promised your wife you’d dog crap scoop the yard this morning.

    Remembering being in a helicopter that gets hit by an RPG when that never happened is like losing your car keys!
    Telling the story again and again on various occasions is, uh, yeah….just mis-remembering.

    Apparently at no time does a voice in your mind say
    “Woah dude! This story is totally bullshit anyway, so spice it up a little this time! Tell them the guy on the port forward .50 took a hit through the shoulder and you manned the gun and laid down suppressing fire that saved the chopper! Go BIG!”

    • Everyone misremembered that near-death experience dude. I’ve been telling that story about how I narrowly avoided that Avalanche on Everests southern summit for years. Killed three Sherpas but I beat that mountain.

      It’s not a lie if I believe it right?

      • Well now it seems to depend on who you are.

        I’ll wager that if you or I actually tried that crap we’d find ourselves fed to the figurative crocodiles, though on recounting that you could claim you were fed to actual crocodiles.

        Ah, the days of my youth, when ‘mis-remembering’ would land me on the Special High Intensity Training list and inevitably resulted in some form of motivation reinforcement.

    • Voxsplained as “no big deal”, like the Clinton impeachment being “only about sex”.

      Mark Twain wrote that the human race’s only effective weapon was laughter. I wonder if he ever met people like modern “liberals”/”progressives”–the audacity to not just lie, but to maintain a preposterous sense of superiority and disdain for facts, not caring when the little people in flyover country, the pajama bloggers, and VRWC nutters laugh at them.

      Now, get some liberal comedy show to lampoon Williams and the laughter will sting him.

      Ezra Klein’s Vox is there as a barrier, to give liberals an alternative to facts on which they can base their arguments. It’s the sort of thing that no-name bumpkins back in the Moose-infested climes wish they could accomplish, rather than playing vandal on the comment section of conservative/libertarian blogs.

  • Not much different than spending Christmas in Cambodia is it?

    And that guy had medals until he threw em over the fence at the…oh, right those were someone else’s medals.
    And he was a Senator and candidate for President and now he’s Secretary of State for the United States.

    Like I said in another thread….Americans, we’re a very forgiving people!

  • I would agree with you if I didn’t hate the industrial grade smarmy smugness that exudes from his face.

  • This is “fake but accurate” all over again. You see, while these exact events may not have taken place to these exact people, events like these may have taken place and may have involved other people like these people. So, as long as they may have happened to someone, Mr. Williams has a journalistic responsibility to educate the American public about the bravery (real) of members of the US armed forces and the bravery (imagined) of the journalist who could have, at one point or another, maybe be in harms way.

    Note: At no time, do I mean this as disparaging towards those journalist who did put their lives in danger by imbedding with US forces in this conflict. Some of my favourite reading about the Iraqi conflict was Michael Yon’s reporting.

  • Interesting idea. It would be a tacit confession by NBC that facts were secondary (at best) to plot and character development.

    • Well, we discovered without doubt that former CBS employee Dan Rather thought that was the case in 2004.

  • What’s gonna happen to him? NOTHING.

    As Ace noted, he won’t be able to hit the talk show circuit for a little while. Quite the punishment.

    He will be elevated- no consequences. Much like the now memory-holed Rolling Stone story.

    And no GOP member would ever dare to hit him or any NBC flack with it next time they try to play a gotcha game. So what’s the big deal?

  • It is not just Brian Williams; there had to be several (half a dozen? )NBC News emplyees on that helo. And they all knew he was lying publicly, blatantly, for over a decade. And the culture of that ‘news’ organization was such that none of them confronted their leader with known lies. And he was (correctly) comfortable enough that NBC’s culture was such that they wouldn’t confront him when he lied repeatedly.

    This is not a ‘Brian Williams has no integrity’ isssue, this is ‘NBC News as an organization has no integrity’ issue. I want to know the names of who else NBC had on that helicopter, and why it took our soldiers to bring these lies to light.

    In my limited military experience with the press (never someone as high profile as Williams) film news crews were usually 5-8 people. Who else didn’t have the integrity to break this major story?

  • I would never indulge in a fabulist offering … just ask my wife, Morgan Fairchild.— Tommy Flanagan

  • You sterile, inbred bigots don’t understand how the human mind works. Brian Williams has godlike powers of post-modern journalism, which means he knows how to mentally navigate through multiple truths to find the one that resonates with his viewers. He helps them see, for example, the horror and danger of the worst foreign policy mistake in American history, the Iraq war. Where the violence is going up, as I told you it would in 2007, so shut up about I was totally wrong about the surge reducing violence for years and it only started going up once Obama went against Bush’s strategy there, just shut up about that.

    It’s a good thing I don’t stoop to insults. Otherwise, I would really call out you inbred bigots about your casual accusations of lying. You do it all the time, which means you have no concept of post-modern, quantum, multiple truths. It’s quite possible that Williams has been working with a set of Shroedinger’s Truths ever since the incident. That would mean that every time he looks back on the incident, the exact version that comes to his mind depends on quantum events and on the current audience which he’s helping to see how icky war is. He’s certainly NOT lying – you can tell from his sober expression and his embrace of pragmatic, moderate, leftist positions on the news that he would never, ever lie. He just chooses different multiple truths sometimes. I decree it.

    Just as I don’t lie, even though you dense, sterile bigots accuse me of it all the time. You are simply unable to understand and appreciate the results of my godlike powers of post-modernism and political science and are jealous of my impressive master of multiple truths.

    Fortunately, your ways of thinking are being left behind. NBC is keeping Brian Williams, so the next generation will continue to benefit from his Shroedinger’s Truths in understanding the complex events around us. And in understanding how awful right wing Republicans are, and how wonderful are the politicians who advocate wise, pragmatic, ever-growing government.

    Just as my gender-neutral children are not really male or female until they reach a certain point of choosing the gender that will make them happiest in their own minds, war experiences for wise leftists are not really exact and detailed until that person chooses the version of the event in their own minds which shows best how icky war is.

    It’s too bad you sterile, inbred bigots who bandy about ridiculous fuzzy concepts such as “honor” can’t see that. If you could, you would stop expecting people to agree with you just because you claim to have so-called “facts” on your side. You would stop trotting out those those charts and graphs that you say mean we are not headed to catastrophic climate change that will harm my gender neutral children. You would embrace a better multiple truth that the exact data doesn’t matter.

    But you won’t. You just keep on babbling on things such as elections, as if you have a chance of really understanding them. And shut up about how the people around here keep predicting the elections way better than a professional like me, and how the Republicans are at their highest point in a century. Just shut up about all that. Obama is president, and he’s going to go down as one of the greats. I decree it, and I so I don’t need any links or any supporting argument. He is, and you mean inbred bigots ought to accept that instead of babbling about “constitutional overreach” and “rule of law” and anachronisms like that.

    You guys get more unreasonable all the time. I wish I had completed my book that I took a sabbatical to write a couple of years back. Some of you remember that – the working title was “Righties in the Mist: A Totally Objective Analysis by a Pragmatic Moderate Concerning Just How Mean and Crazy Right-Leaning Bloggers and Commenters Are Because They Insult Me and Won’t Accept My Superior Wisdom”

    And talking about writing that book wasn’t either just posturing to sound important. I don’t need that. I have a PhD from a place with “advanced” in its name. I was totally going to write it. Stop laughing, I was. So when I sift through the multiple truths about why I didn’t actually take the sabbatical time to do anything productive, I’ll get back to you.

    And don’t you dare say I spent the whole sabbatical time watching movies with titles like “The Department Head Gets Head From Wendy” – I didn’t do anything like that. I’m just a dedicated teacher of young minds, and if some of those minds happen to be inside nubile young female bodies, well, it doesn’t mean I’m a creepy old divorced man who takes extra lotion on that trip to Italy every year where I accompany those nubile females. I don’t. They have plenty in the hotel we stay at.

    I have to go now, but I’ll check in on you once in a while to see just how far you inbred, sterile bigots have sunk. Not to posture and talk down to you. Just shut up. I don’t need to come here. I have a magical life in a small, moose-friendly university in a small rural town. From here, I perceive the vastness of the quantum universe and translate it into political justifications for more government. And mold the next generation to accept whatever multiple truth a wise, pragmatic moderate leftist like Brian Williams decides they need to know. So suck it. He and I are both going to be around for a long, long time.

  • They may not fire Williams after all. They’ve created such a vitual reality or a ‘consensus based’ or ‘sanctioned’ reality which they control, they are going to see if this blows over and bring him back after an clensing apology or rehab or prayer or paid sabatical or whatever might work.

    If they keep Williams there it will only serve to lower the bar and enable even more of such conduct. They would love to be able to keep him it would mean they can construct even more wild fairetales at a faster rate than they do now.

    • I’ve seen other soul searching (not implying you’re doing that here JPM, I mean soul searching in other quarters) about Williams, and ‘what did he really do?’ and ‘why does it really matter?’.

      Anyone asking those questions probably isn’t the sort of person you want to trust.
      If they don’t understand what the problem is at that very fundamental level chances are pretty good they also have the problem.
      This is a black and white, you can either trust this guy, or you can’t.
      End of discussion ‘most of the time’ doesn’t count, there isn’t a gray area about ‘why it matters’ as if his inability to stick with the truth doesn’t matter in general and especially in his line of work.

      I find it good these soul searches reveal themselves in their pondering however.
      Saves having to get them drunk a couple times to find out what kind of person they really are.

      • I agree. Those excusing Williams desperately want to make gaslighting a respectable mainstream political technique. When we challenge leftist distortions, and point out how they don’t match reality so we don’t need to give them any creedence, they want to point their fingers back and claim there’s something wrong with us.

        That neatly avoids any need to deal with any of those nasty Enlightenment concepts that undermine leftism.

        • Hell, even Williams admitted he lied, what more do they want?

          It’s a pathology when they’re worried about explaining away the lies of a liar who has admitted lying about the things they’re excusing.
          If they were his parents, or his sibling, or his wife, I could at least understand the inclination to defend him, but these are people who Brian Williams wouldn’t know from a grocery store turnip.

          JPM is right, it’s about teams and propaganda points.
          Personally I try hard not to team up with liars.

      • My favorite, which tells you where they come from, “well Bush lied…”. Aside from so f. what. You have to maybe use a braincell and where did you hear that Bush lied from? Williams, maybe?

        Its about teams and scoring propaganda points. Reality Prime (or is it Earth 619?) matters not.

        • Can someone tell these poor idiots that their can of “Bush Lied” has an expiration date of January 20, 2009?

        • Another thing you can point out to this sort of, uh, person….

          Obama has been using the 2002 AUMF that Bush (who lied) used to wage war on Iraq to justify his use of forces without further permission from Congress.

          I wonder if that’s still a lie.