The Latest On Brian Williams…Certainly To Be Rendered Obsolete In Ohhhh…Twenty Minutes…

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz has his own sources and paints a different story about Brian Williams stepping aside…

Brian Williams decided on his own to step aside from his NBC newscast for several days and was under no pressure to do so by network executives, a person familiar with the situation says.

The move on Saturday, developed in consultation with the NBC brass, was not a thinly disguised suspension. In fact, no one, including NBC News President Deborah Turness, suggested that Williams take time off, this person says.

What’s more, according to the source, NBC is not conducting an internal investigation of its anchor, as has been widely reported. The network is engaging in journalistic fact-gathering so it can respond to questions about the crisis created by Williams’ false story about having been in a helicopter in Iraq that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. That means there will be no report with a finding on his conduct, this person says.

If this version of events is accurate I would revise my opinion of Williams staying to around 80%…

14 Responses to “The Latest On Brian Williams…Certainly To Be Rendered Obsolete In Ohhhh…Twenty Minutes…”

  1. I thought Mr. Williams was quoted as saying his absence “will be several days” — not “for a week or so” as Howard Kurtz seems to suggest.

    Williams’ message about going on hiatus from the show can be seen, below.

    “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.”
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/brian-williams-stepping-away-nbc-771102

  2. I gotta admit; I didn’t expect this to turn into the sh!t storm that it has. I’m surprised with CNN’s coverage. Particularly Stelter’s. It’s been solid. I’m not all that surprised with Tapper. He’s a pro.

  3. I didn’t expect it either. But I don’t think either of us realized just how much the tale has changed over the past decade. It’s like the old fisherman’s yarn: “I caught a good sized fish in a few minutes” eventually becomes “I caught a goliath and it fought me for hours”

  4. I did think this was serious scandal and I still think that Williams is probably toast in the long run.

    IMO the main thing holding up Williams departure from NBC may be his recently signed ($50 million?) new contract. NBC won’t want to pay out all that money but I don’t know if this ‘scandal’ falls under the morals clause the contract probably contains. This could easily end up in the courts although neither side would want that to happen.

    Coming on the heels of David Gregory’s messy departure over at MTP you also have to wonder how long the bosses at NBC are going to stay with Deborah Turness? Having to fire the hosts of your two flagship shows in the same year doesn’t exactly engender confidence in your abilities as an executive.

  5. You can’t really blame this one on Turness though. These troubles started long ago. They are just now floating to the surface.

    I think you also have to wonder if a replacement could cause them to drag their feet a bit. I really like Lester Holt, but it just seems like there has been a concerted effort to NOT make him the one to follow Brian Williams (even before this issue).

  6. “You can’t really blame this one on Turness though.”

    ^^I’m not saying she’s the blame just that she’s the one who’s responsible. It’s just like in sports when a team is performing badly you fire the coach even though it may be the players and/or the GM who are more at fault.

    As for Lester Holt everyone seems to like him (including the right-wingers here on ICN 2.0 – which makes me very suspicious ;-)) and think he’ll do a great job. That will last about a week and then, all of a sudden, the right-wing fan boys will realize he’s reading the same news stories as Williams and he will quickly morph into a left wing stooge just like Brian Williams. He’s a stopgap till NBC finds their David Muir.

  7. The 20 minutes are up.

    From Kurtz: “…. NBC is not conducting an internal investigation of its anchor, as has been widely reported. The network is engaging in journalistic fact-gathering so it can respond to questions about the crisis created by Williams’ false story about having been in a helicopter in Iraq that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. That means there will be no report with a finding on his conduct, this person says.”

    Yes, a little semantics game there. This is not an investigation, it’s a fact-finding endeavor.

    So, what’s the next change in this saga: This is not about Brian Williams, it’s about John Chancellor?

  8. Reliable Sources did an excellent tick tock on the Williams story today and interviewed both the pilot of the copter that was hit by an RPG and the one Williams was on. They also discussed the Katrina allegations with General Russel Honore and other factors that are in play in this story.

    It was the best coverage I’ve seen so far and the conclusions as to what happens next were, as expected, it depends.

  9. One scenario (barring any further revelations) is that he will go on Letterman Thursday night and try to use self-deprecating humor (something he as done well in the past) to try to win back many of his 9M viewers, The expectation being that the video of his appearance will receive widespread attention on social media and on the Internet.

    Then he will return to his newscast Friday or Monday,

    Of course no one really knows whether this kerfuffle/disaster will still be a big news story come Thursday.

    Williams is probably hoping and praying that some others big news story (Investigator Ted Wells reveals that Tom Brady lied or is considering copying Bruce Jenner’s changes) diverts the short attention span media.

  10. Well, so much for my theory re: an appearance on Letterman.

    “Brian Williams Cancels Upcoming Letterman Appearance”
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/brian-williams-cancels-upcoming-letterman-appearance/

  11. “Where in the World is Brian Williams.” A new reality show on NBC.

    I rolled my eyes when I first read Spud’s comparison of Williams to the character in Broadcast News. My eyes have stopped rolling.

    It’s getting darned close.

  12. Fritz, I think that is a logical comparison. I think there are plenty of reasons to still let her go though, even if this maelstrom hadn’t happened.

    I wonder if the average person cares about this story as much as those who are newsies do? That may matter more in the long run…

  13. I can say that I care and I think BW may be done just based on the news coverage. But I talked to my friends and family this weekend and they know BW but have no idea what’s going on. That being said, I have seen some things on Facebook, but I doubt those people are Nightly News viewers. It can’t help though that huff post is calling him “lyin Brian.” he may be done.

  14. That’s what I mean. How many of the people who tune in to Nightly News really care (or even know) what Williams did? I am not saying that justifies what he did, but it may have an impact on the ultimate decision.

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