Brian Williams Takes Himself Off Nightly

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes that Brian Williams is stepping away from Nightly News for a few days…

Brian Williams will step aside from “NBC Nightly News” for the next “several days” to address questions raised about a story Williams told of being in a helicopter hit by an RPG over Iraq in 2003–a story widely discredited.

In an email obtained by TVNewser, Williams told NBC News staff his presence on the network newscast had become a distraction. “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.”

This is huge. I was all but certain Williams would be staying at Nightly but taking this step opens up this story on a bigger level. I would now put Williams staying at Nightly at slightly less than 50-50…

The idea that stepping away for “a few days” is going to make a difference in deflating this distraction seems farcical. This story doesn’t blow over in a few days unless there’s a way to exonerate Williams completely from everything. There isn’t…we already know he fudged something. That doesn’t die down in a “few days”.

And stepping away from Nightly isn’t the answer to address this mess. Talking completely, forthrightly, and publicly is the answer (though I already wrote that we can’t trust it).

It’s not clear to me at all what stepping away “for a few days” accomplishes.

6 Responses to “Brian Williams Takes Himself Off Nightly”

  1. What does it accomplish? It gives NBC the time to put someone else in the anchor chair for a few days, for Williams to pack up his office and a suitcase for a nice winter getaway and then VOILA! a new anchor will be named. (Maybe not a permanent anchor, but a long term fill-in)

  2. Oh, maybe Lena Dunham can give him a recurring role on “Girls”!

    Maybe as a dad of one of the naked weirdos on that show! It is artistic, you know, and just think of the interview Letterman could have with him then!

    Just a thought!

  3. Unless there are more revelations, doncha think this story will, more or less, be out of the media glare sometime between Tuesday and Thursday?

    On Twitter there are few new tweets with the hashtag #BrianWilliamsMisrembers, (Although there are (or were) quite a few with the newer hashtag #BrianWilliamsMemory, including some that are quite funny.)

    When you break it down, what else is there to report? This is not to suggest some are not still hard at work on a New Orleans/Katrina angle.

  4. “It’s not clear to me at all what stepping away “for a few days” accomplishes.”

    ^^One reason may be that he has just signed a new 5 year, $10 million/year (reportedly) contract in December and if they are parting ways how much of that contract (if any) is NBC liable for. It could just be this a short break while the lawyers work out the details of his leaving.

  5. “It could just be this is a short break while the lawyers work out the details of him leaving.”

    ^^Maybe.

    But I think it could also have some parallels to Stephen A. Smith being off the air for five days — not ‘several’ like Williams — for having embarrassed ESPN by suggesting that women should examine their role in provoking domestic violence incidents.

    I do realize that Smith was involuntary and Williams — for all we know — was voluntary.

  6. I think also Deborah Turness is thinking this hard , because if she gets rid of the “face of NBC NEWS” and ratings plummet , she could be out . If she keeps Brian Williams and ratings plummet then they have more cause to get rid of Williams and her ; while if he takes some time off come back ratings aren’t bad then they don’t need all that turmoil.

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