Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Brian Williams Decision Matrix

So Brian Williams has put himself on "hiatus" until some indeterminate point in the future.  So sorta like Schrodinger's Vacation:
Brian Williams — the NBC Nightly News anchor who apologized earlier this week for misremembering that a military helicopter he was in during the 2003 invasion of Iraq had been fired upon — says he has temporarily taken himself off the air over the controversy.

In a statement released today, Williams said that "it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.

"I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days," Williams wrote, adding that colleague Lester Holt would be taking over his nightly anchoring duties during his absence...
When will he return?

I really don't care, but this does provide a useful, teachable moment to remind everyone how the various networks handle these little bumps in the road.

Generally, doing something untoward within the mainstream the media will get you 30 days in stir -- a 'Full Halperin' - whether the offense is calling the President a "dick" on the air, or cooking up an entire, fake Benghaaaazi story, or you're just a free-floating bullshit generator with some terrible, secret hold over the Beltway club.

On MSNBC you can be fired for, well, anything, up to an including yelling at a paparazzi who is stalking your baby.  Unless you are named Joe Scarborough, in which case you can pretty much drop trou and take a dump on the truth and expect nothing but a memo from Phil Griffin asking you pretty please not to do that.  Which you will then use as toilet paper the next time you drop trou and take a dump on the truth.

So circle of life and all.

Finally, on Fox, the reward and penalty system is somewhat different.  Consistent liars can be expected to be feted like visiting princes.  Pathological liars can be expected to get their own shows.

This has been a public service provided free of charge from the Blogging is Dead Network.


Jerry B said...

Brian's fate rests on whether or not The Machine thinks he still has any value. If the answer is yes he'll be back in six months tops. If the answer is no he'll find himself on the Dan Rather path to alternative media.

steeve said...

"whether or not The Machine thinks he still has any value"

This has always confused me. There are thousands of random people with hair who will say whatever they're told for one tenth the price. Thus Williams has no value. And yet the machine will decide that he does. It's like rich people hate saving money.

bowtiejack said...

It's well to remember that what sealed Rather's fate was not the Air National Guard business but asking rude questions of capo di tutti capi GHW Bush about Iran Contra back in the 1988 election runup.

Poppy never forgot and like any good crime family they were willing to wait forever for their chance at Rather.

Ah, our GOP overlords. They gave us the Alzheimer's President, Poppy who definitely wasn't in Dallas when JFK was shot but can't remember where he was (I am not making this up), and his son the Deserted-in-Wartime President. Nothing to see here you commie liberals.

Mike Lumish said...

My touchpoint in all this is:

Governor Spitzer befriends the hooker with the diamond encrusted hoohaw and gets exiled to the outer reaches.

Senator "Diaper Dave" Vitter indulges his weirdo fetishes in public and gets a standing ovation.

Clearly one team supports its people and the other does not.

Red Hand said...

My perplexity about this is a little more basic.

WTF was Williams thinking when he went with this "stolen valor" story?

Did he seriously believe that he would get away with it over the long term?

Does he seriously think now that anybody believes his bullshit explanation that he "misremembered" his helicopter getting hit by an RPG? I mean, that's not the kind of event where one tends to get fuzzy on the details over time, is it?

The guy should be toast. Fook, he's a multi-millionaire already. Let him retire to sail the QE2 around the world again, and again and again, and hope no Somali pirates take over the ship.

In sum, what a jerk.

As for Faux News, disinformation and The Big Lie are their stock in trade. Over at C&L there is a piece showing Eric Bolling stridently saying that "Zero People Have Been Killed In The Name Of Any Religion But Islam." Listen to the clip!

The statement is so outlandish that it can only be classified as an intentional Big Lie. I am appalled that licensed "news organizations" are allowed to get away with this.

marindenver said...

All the networks are just some form or other of "Broadcast News".

Roger said...

Red Hand said: "I mean, that's not the kind of event where one tends to get fuzzy on the details over time, is it?" I kinda think it could be. I was in Vietnam. I was a REMF, so I was not usually in a position more dangerous than crossing the street in Washington, D.C. (those people are atrocious drivers). We did have a period of a couple of months in, I think, 1970 when the local VC lobbed in rockets at 6:00 or so every morning. I also once rode a helicopter from one place to another. Now I still remember that the rocket that came closest to me was at least 50 meters away, but I could easily begin to think it was closer. I could easily believe (remember falsely) that the helicopter was fired on but not hit. Also, I've noticed that most of the Vietnam vets I've met here (except retirees at JUSMAGTHAI) were not clerks like me. Every one of them was Special Forces, or Marine Recon (or LRPP), or SEAL, or even Project Phoenix (why anyone would be proud of that I can't explain).