Brian’s lying, the media’s crying and we’re just sighing

Brian Williams, 57, started working with NBC News in 1993 as an anchor for the Weekend Nightly News. He is now the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, and in the 11 years since he came into that position, he has built up a reputation as a credible and respectable reporter.

That reputation is now shattered.

The details are everywhere, and there’s little need to share it all again here — countless media organizations have been sharing it ad nauseum.

We at the Oakland Post are reluctant to continue this coverage, but we have a few questions about the latest media-focused fiasco.

We believe it’s right to question Williams and hold him accountable. But to condemn him to such a painful degree?

We should be holding journalists to the highest standards, especially those who are the face of our news. We question, however, the fierceness with which everyone is attacking Williams in particular. We question how narrow — and arguably arbitrary — this ferocity is.

There are others who lie, cheat and misrepresent themselves on a daily basis, yet when they are found out (if ever), the consequences are rarely so severe and the response rarely so vehement.

Media or not, if the same attention was brought to each and every leader of the world — in journalism, education, engineering, law, medicine, etc. — America would be a much different place.

We at the Post have a hunch: our fellow media organizations (we say “fellow” loosely) are up in arms because it’s another journalist, a prominent one, that has made a mistake. And since it’s a common thing for media members to be questioned and attacked (unjustly so, of course!), these other journalists want to prove to the rest of the world that they and Williams are different kinds of journalists.

They want to save themselves. He is not credible, they are, and apparently giving constant air time to the subject is the best way to prove it.

We have to inform and serve the public, after all. It’s journalism 101.

Jon Stewart brought this point up in his Monday night show, playing clips of other outlets discussing Williams’ mishap with his usual no-holding-back  humor.

“I love that now the media pretends that they must guard the crown jewel of their credibility, when we’ve already seen it’s Al Capone’s vault.”

It’s the best Williams coverage out there, and if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out now.

….speaking of Stewart, the announcement was made halfway through the writing of this editorial that Stewart will no longer be hosting The Daily Show after this year.

We find this to be more important and interesting news than Williams’ potential “misremembering” and have decided to dedicate the rest of our time to Stewart.

Williams will be out of a job for the next six months — perhaps he can give satire a try. If the media allows it, that is. Either way, he would be hard pressed to match Stewart’s stellar reputation.

“I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything,” Stewart once said.

You should be proud, Mr. Stewart. We wish you luck and hope to continue hearing from you in some form or another. Thanks for the laughs, the insight and the honesty.