In big US TV news, somewhat disgraced news anchor Brian Williams has decided to take himself of the air for several days. The embattled journalist has been under fire (metaphorically speaking) for fabricating a story about… his chopper being under fire.
According to industry insiders and analysts, the move comes on the heels of an internal investigation which will seek to clarify the extent of Mr. Williams’ fabrication. The veteran news anchor appeared live on TV last week, admitting that he had embellished the tale and glorified the extent of his own involvement.
But a few days later, Mr. Williams took to the NBC News Blog to discuss the wider ramifications of his candid admissions. “In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions,” Mr. Williams wrote.
“As managing editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”
Initially, Brian Williams argued that it had been an ‘honest mistake’, but in the days following the initial murmurs, many have questioned how ‘honest’ the mistake could have been. Critics and those involved in the actual military action have been quick to assert that the storytelling personally benefited Mr. Williams’ career, adding a sense of dangerous gravitas to his CV.
Brian Williams has anchored the NBC Nightly News broadcast since 2004. He is currently under a five year long contract with the NBC network, who have been pro-active in investigating other supposed instances in which their star broadcaster may have bent the truth (his Hurricane Katrina coverage is now going under the microscope too).
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