I really like Brian Williams. He’s very cute. His daughter, Allison, reminds me of my fabulous daughter about whom I’m not allowed to blog. He’s very funny. I especially like him on David Lettermen. The two of them combined are like what you want your dad to be. When I heard last week about his demise – his fall from grace surrounding his exaggeration of his exposure to danger in the middle east – I was sad. I send my best to him and his family.
Then I started to read the call to action throughout all social media platforms for him to resign. Be fired. Tarred and feathered. How could he possibly have let down the public trust? Men and women delivering the news have a responsibility to tell the truth. Excuse me?
Nothing happened to us. All that happened is that it turns out that Brian Williams is an ass like the rest of us, maybe more of one. The fact that he thought he could embellish the way he did and not get caught was … well Brian, I hate to say it; it was just plain stupid. I never embellish things that are easy to prove wrong. Smart embellishers like myself choose things that are not easily exposed.
Setting that aside, here’s a newsflash. It is our responsibility as citizens to fact check our information. If you start from the premise that those delivering the information are only putting out factual pieces of data without their own ‘spin’ on it than you are stupider (Is it stupider or more stupid? I hate the english language.) than bad boy Brian.
Let’s review a few things.
- Joe Scarborough. Well, Mika’s father thinks he’s ignorant and said so. Let’s not look too closely about why he resigned from Congress a few months after winning re-election, but if you want to read about it, here is it. Let’s see. Brian Williams should resign but Joe stays?
- Doris Kearn Goodwin is still on the news and she admitted to plagiarizing an entire section of a book. That’s so much worse than embellishment.
- Fox News anchor people knowingly embellish every single day – and that is a fact – and no one asks them to resign.
- Can we talk about Al Sharpton and his torrid past? Now he’s a newscaster? Seriously, the man can’t pronounce half the words over three syllables that he uses. Bill O’Reilly?
Need I go on?
Here is the thing. The way Brian delivers the news is lovely. He makes us smile and tells the sad tales of our ridiculous self-destructive actions as a global group of mammals in a way that is calming. It’s hard to deliver such awful tidings night after night in a way that is palatable. I don’t want him fired. I just will make a mental note to not believe without question things he says that make himself look more fabulous than the rest of us.
It is our responsibility to stop putting people on the screen on pedestals. We are responsible for doing our own due diligence around that which we believe. Not Brian Williams. That said, if NBC news wants me to watch it, it needs to put forth the best, most accurate work they can. Then put a pretty guy like Brian on to deliver it in a way I can stomach.
So, get over yourselves everyone. According to the Center of Psychological Motivation Research, 92% of all individuals embellish stories in retelling them. It’s about ego. Who among us hasn’t gone to the dark side in the name of our sagging egos?
I made the last paragraph up. It is a lie. Big difference between a lie and an embellishment. Just sayin.