Brian Williams: Member Of Media Circle Jerk


Ilana Mercer

Facts are a journalist’s stock-in-trade. He cannot be cavalier about the truth. Nevertheless, Brian Williams, the suspended iconic managing editor and anchor of NBC Nightly News, embellished liberally about events he covered in the course of a limelight-seeking career.

As it transpires, Williams’ helicopter did not come under enemy fire in Iraq, in the early days of the war. Nor did his Ritz-Carlton hotel take on water during Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. The body he “witnessed” floating by that establishment would have had to be floating in a few inches of rain, the precipitation in the French Quarter. Neither did gangs “overrun” the Ritz-Carlton, nor dysentery afflict its guest, despite the story the intrepid Williams disgorged to the contrary.

The public has yet to receive a full accounting of Brian Williams’ journalistic transgressions, but the press is already riffing on the merits of Christian forgiveness. Who said Christianity isn’t invoked, occasionally, in the service of the progressive project?

A USA Today journalist minimized the gravity of Williams’ fibs. “Journalists have been known to occasionally exaggerate their exploits. … Williams’ seemingly genial personality and likability could work in his favor,” he noodled. Another USA Today reporter, exposed by NewsBusters, attempted to coat Williams’ self-serving fables with a scientific patina, by invoking Elizabeth Loftus’ research into the amalgam of influences that make-up “false memories.” Democrat Clintonite Lanny Davis echoed the “false memories” meme.

Others in the “trade” proclaimed to be “rooting for Williams.” “There is no glee in watching a titan of journalism falls.” “A good person who made a big mistake,” vaporized Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “I come not to praise Brian Williams, nor to bury him,” equivocated another. And it was boilerplate David Brooks to write as though with himself in mind (along the lines of, “What if the Williams fate befalls me?”). Prematurely, the New York Times’ neoconservative-cum-liberal columnist demanded forgiveness on behalf of Williams.

In mitigation—there’s been a great deal of that—Williams told tall tales not about the news, but about his imagined role in the dramas he covered. From the ethical perspective, Brian Williams’ reportage is not really tarnished by this petty self-aggrandizement; his character is.

Not for nothing have his colleagues, left and right, formed a protective barricade around Williams. With few exceptions, the media-complex within which Gilded Ones like Williams slither so effortlessly is mired in corruption—the kind this scribe did not encounter in the structurally more conservative Canadian industry. It is anathema in Europe too, I am told.

Conflict of interest is at every turn. Major anchors—the gifted and gorgeous Megyn Kelly too, sadly—beaver at sculpting a celebrity persona. They hangout on late-night shows. They hobnob with the hosts to curry favor with them, “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central being their professional Shangri-La.

Over and over again do the celebrity journos, then, relive their moments of glory with their own fans, holding out hope for the next invitation. Lovingly—self-love being the operative word—do they track their media appearances from their respective network seats. The better-looking flaunt their assets over fashion spreads in high-gloss magazines.

Almost all—your favorite opinionators, too—attend the annual Sycophant’s Supper, where they cozy up to Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé Knowles. (Kudos to the few, such as former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who’ve excoriated the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, or who’ve refused to attend, irrespective of the political affiliation of the man ensconced in the White House.)

The annual White House Sycophants’ Dinner is where the most pretentious people in the country—in politics, journalism and entertainment—convene to revel in their ability to petition and curry favor with one another, usually to the detriment of the rest of us in Rome’s provinces.

Those gathered at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, or its Christmas party, are not the country’s natural aristocracy, but its authentic Idiocracy. The events and the invited say a great deal about the press, its ethics and code of conduct.

Like nothing else, the Sycophant’s Supper is a mark of a corrupt politics and press, as the un-watchful dogs of the media have no business frolicking with the president and his minions. This co-optation, however, is the hallmark of the celebrity press, in general. The days following these glitzy events, the Gilded Ones spend genuflecting to … themselves.

What else? Celebrity journalists marry their sources and hop right back into their roles as reporters. Their colleagues in this circle jerk are none the wiser. Examples: CNN and ABC’s Claire Shipman who wed Obama press secretary Jay Carney. Campbell Brown, formerly of CNN, is hitched to Romney adviser Dan Senor. “Meet the Press’” Chuck Todd is married to and gives an occasional shout-out to Democratic strategist Kristian Denny Todd.

The presstitutes straddle the fleshpots of D.C. with the skill of a Department of Justice that bestrides the roles of defender in court of the Infernal Revenue Service, as well as the agency charged with investigating the tax collector. All of them ride us like the asses we are.

No better than the lobbyists and the politicians they petition, the presstitutes move seamlessly between their roles as activists, experts and anchors; publishers and authors; talkers and product peddlers; pinups and pontificators.

To wit, former White House press secretary Dana Perino is also editorial director of Crown Forum, the country’s foremost “conservative” print, where she supervises the further “Closing of the American Mind,” to use Allan Bloom’s famous title.

Oblivious to a conflict of interest, Megyn Kelly promotes husband Douglas Brunt’s books from her perch at Fox News. In the same vein, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin entertained Cousin Sgt. Charlie Mink as her self-styled expert on prisoner interrogation in Iraq. On the same network, Suzette Malveaux (law professor) is legal expert of choice to Suzanne Malveaux (anchor). The two are twin sisters.

The list and nature of the professional incest is long.

Vanity, not veracity; narcissism, not integrity: These are the tools of the trade among America’s celebrity journalists.

Now please lead me to the Vomitorium.

ILANA Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the United States. She pens WND’s longest-standing, exclusive paleolibertarian column, “Return to Reason.” She is a contributor to the preeminent libertarian site Economic Policy Journal and to Junge Freiheit, a German weekly of excellence. Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an award-winning, independent, non-profit, free-market economic policy think tank. Ilana’s latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. She blogs at www.barelyablog.com.

Into the Cannibal's Pot

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4 comments

  • The wild stories of Brian Williams go back a long way. For example watching missiles being fired at Israel five miles away from his position, becomes missiles going just under his helicopter “they could have come in the window if they had adjusted the aim” (as if these things are really aimed) with a “four star Israeli general” (no such rank exists in the IDF).

    Even when he came upon a real story, such as the dreadful Katrina floods, he had to make-stuff-up, he could not stick to the actual story in front of him.

    However, it is not really his wild Walter Mitty stuff that bothers me – it is not the stories that he made up, but the stories he failed to report.

    All the old “big three” television networks have a built in “liberal left” bias – the last time they were really fair to a Republican Presidential candidate was most likely 1956 (and perhaps because Ike had just knifed Joe McCarthy in the back – so CBS and so on decided “I like Ike”), and they “spike” stories that show the left in a bad light (these stories do not get broadcast at all – or they get such little and distorted coverage that they die a death).

    Homosexual activists screaming insults at boy scouts at the 2000 Democrat Convention – might as well not have happened (ABC, CBS and NBC did not report it).

    Detailed background research on the Communist connections of Barack Obama – forget about it, let us tell the viewers that John McCain can not type (and leave out the bit about how his fingers were broken when he was tortured by the Communists in Vietnam), and dig up some stories about how Mitt Romney was a bossy kid at school – back in 1965.

    However, the old “big three” are not the same – there is a worst network, the one that really stands out as not broadcasting stuff that would show Barack Obama and co in a bad light.

    And the Media Research Centre and others are in agreement that the worst network of all is – yes NBC.

    Brian Williams was not just a talking head making up wild stories about how he found Big Foot or whatever – Mr Williams was the Managing Director of NBC nightly news.

    Mr Brian Williams decided what was covered and how – and what was NOT covered. He did not get all those millions of Dollars a year just for being a talking head (not even modern culture is that absurd) – Brian Williams was the man in charge.

    This is the real harm he has done, the stories he downplayed or made sure never got any airtime at all, this (not the wild stories) is the reason I despise Mr Williams.

    As for Fox News (M. Kelly and co) there is an unhealthy effort to try and make friends with Comedy Central and so on (Saturday Night Live is another example).

    Listen up people – Jon Stewart (now going) was a socialist even at High School. His boyhood hero was not a baseball player or an explorer – he boyhood hero was Norman Thomas (the old American socialist leader).

    People like Mr Stewart live to attack conservatives – they (underneath the twisted smile) HATE you.

    So trying to make friends with people like him (to seem “cool” and “hip”) is not going to work.

    The editor of the “Daily Beast” revealed it recently – on seeing Rand Paul going to get vaccinated (Senator Paul supports voluntary vaccination) he tweeted “Fuck you Rand Paul”.

    It is not “the war” (Rand Paul was against the interventions) and it is not Civil Liberties (Rand Paul is strongly in favour of Civil Liberties) – the “mainstream media” HATE Republicans on “Social Justice” grounds (i.e. the msm want more taxation and government Welfare State spending).

    With a couple of drinks inside him Brian Williams most likely says “Fuck You” whenever he sees a non leftist on television also.

  • Who is Brian Williams?

    Is this the man? I am so sorry, but I have never heard of the fella in all my life.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Williams

    Why is he important then? He’s just a news bloke on some channel or other. For sure, nobody pays any attention to what such people say, do they.

  • But he did get this! Must be a really really cool guy then.

    “He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bates College in 2005.[59]”
    Source: Wikipedia.

  • Pingback: Thoughts on Flash Forgiveness | The Libertarian Alliance Blog

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