NBC News has decided to suspend Brian Williams for six months as a result of his embellishing of stories from the Iraq war, and possible fibs from his reports after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Let me start by saying that as a journalist I find it extremely important to ensure that you are reporting with only the highest integrity. Having said that, I do not believe that Brian Williams (the broadcaster I most admire) deserves the six month suspension.
Of all the broadcasters on television today, especially the ones who are hypocritically criticizing Williams and NBC for this misfortunate event (I’m talking about hosts of cable news shows on both Fox News and MSNBC, among others), Brian Williams should not be the one taking the fall. Yes, he did fail to keep to his original story, but he is NOT the only one to do so. He is not the first and he will certainly not be the last. Brian Williams is an excellent broadcaster, not to mention the fact that NBC Nightly News has higher ratings that its competitors on CBS and ABC, thanks to Williams’ popularity.
In this time of darkness for Brian Williams, we must not forget the fact that he is a remarkable journalist. In a time when nightly television news is losing its audience, Williams has kept NBC Nightly News on top. To lose him would be a true shame. During his suspension, Lester Holt, an alumnus of the California State University system and a journalist whom I also respect, is filling in. Holt will do an exceptional job at taking over for Williams, when Williams is ready to leave the show on his own terms. I think that maybe NBC is unsure of how to handle the situation, which is why they resorted to suspending Williams while they figure it all out. It would be very unfortunate if NBC decided to let go of Williams after his many years of loyalty and dedication to the network. A network, by the way, that I have always aspired to work for someday. I sincerely hope that NBC makes a decision that includes keeping Brian Williams. Just as I also sincerely hope that Americans are not fooled by the rest of the broadcasters out there who have told even larger, more harmful lies than Brian Williams. Because there are broadcasters on TV who claim to be journalists and have said far worse than Brian Williams ever has. As the American public, we need to punish them for their lies and deception not an accomplished newsman like Brian Williams.