Best Defense

3 reasons I am pissed at Brian Williams

The NBC news anchor seems like a nice guy — but of course, that is what he has made millions selling, a persona you’d invite into your living room every night. So he provides misleading accounts about a combat experience for years, then issues an apology that makes it appear as if his transgression was ...

2014 Stand Up For Heroes - Show
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: NBC News Anchor Brian Williams speaks onstage at 2014 Stand Up For Heroes at Madison Square Garden at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

The NBC news anchor seems like a nice guy — but of course, that is what he has made millions selling, a persona you’d invite into your living room every night.

So he provides misleading accounts about a combat experience for years, then issues an apology that makes it appear as if his transgression was only a one-time slipup.

This isn’t just storytelling over beers in a bar. Williams’ acts are public and carry consequences. In repeating the lie, and then issuing a weak, misleading apology, Williams has:

— Confirmed the belief of many soldiers that reporters are only in it for themselves,

— Made it look like people covering war lie about their experiences,

— And ill-served people like Anthony Shadid and Jill Carroll who really did put their lives on the line.

Bottom line: I am disappointed and disgusted. This appears to me to be a journalistic version of stolen valor. More here from le blog de Lamothe.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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