Will Brian Williams Be Fired By NBC? Tom Brokaw Reportedly Thinks He Should Be
So, what happens when the very famous face of your company becomes infamous for lying? That's the conundrum NBC is in now as it determines whether it can get past Brian Williams' epically embellished Iraq War story. On Wednesday, Williams admitted that he was not in a military helicopter that was hit by RPG fire, as he'd recounted on multiple occasions in the past. The admission seriously calls into question Williams' credibility and by extension NBC's, depending on how the network decides to reprimand Williams. A source told the New York Post that Tom Brokaw wants Williams fired, but others say that NBC is on the anchor's team. But more importantly than what will happen to Williams, what should happen?
Since Williams' public apology on Wednesday night, all eyes have been on NBC, who has not yet released a statement about the situation. For one NBC vet, however, the solution is clear. According to an NBC source speaking to the Post's Page Six, Tom Brokaw wants Williams gone. The source said:
Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter. He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.
It appears that a large majority of the public shares Brokaw's sentiment. In a Mediaite poll asking voters for their opinion, roughly 70 percent voted yes, Williams should be fired.
Despite the public opinion, the decision rests with NBC, and other sources close to the situation assure that the network will stand by its man. One executive told the Los Angeles Times that NBC internally accepted Williams' apology and he will face no disciplinary action. However, it won't be as if nothing happened. The network might reduce his onscreen presence outside the newsroom, including his frequent appearances on The Tonight Show, where he slow-jams the news with host Jimmy Fallon. That might now seem inappropriate, the source said.
As the public awaits NBC's official decision and the fallout continues to unfold, there are some very important factors the network should take into consideration. Firstly, the situation is a particularly sticky one because Williams isn't any TV host — he's the network's preeminent news anchor, and for a journalist to lie is a much more serious problem than if Carson Daly had lied.
Secondly, it's safe to assume that Williams would have continued telling that story — despite his alleged foggy memory — if the soldiers who were involved hadn't come forward to expose his lie in the Stars and Stripes report.
The Page Six source went on to say that Brokaw and NBC execs have known all along that the story was invented, and had tried to convince Williams to stop telling it. Though they were extremely uncomfortable with it, they never forced him to stop, according to the Page Six source.
Third, yet another detail is under question — whether Williams actually misremembered or if he's just been plain lying. Although it's possible for Williams to misremember, meaning he was truly convinced that the story he was telling was true, he changed his story so many times. If he himself was unsure of the events, it's irresponsible to proceed with recounting them anyway.
In the meantime, the overwhelming condemnation of Williams could become deafening, and it may become difficult for NBC to continue supporting Williams. Another NBC employee who spoke to Page Six said:
It’s embarrassing. He’s the face on NBC. He’s a liar. Everyone knew it.
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