Brian Williams is being pilloried for the wrong lie

Brian Williams is having a crash & burn from fabricating a tale about being in a helicopter in Iraq that was fired on. They’re now looking at all his reporting to find other lies, especially in his coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Actually his coverage of Katrina was quite compelling because he forthrightly laid out the government’s refusal to rescue thousands of stranded Blacks for over a week. And forthright & honest is the last thing you expect from a news reader, especially about racism in the US.

He isn’t the first to fabricate personal heroics. Scores of politicians, including JFK & John Kerry, & almost all reporters do. It’s not just a staple in film; it’s an entire genre. Witness John Wayne films. After all, isn’t that what “American Sniper” is all about? TV is doing it now with psycho CIA agents as heroes on several series.

Nobody likes when people invent heroic tales but frankly it’s much more objectionable that Williams reads press releases from the US Pentagon, White House, & State Department as if it was real news & that he covers for US war crimes. That’s when lies count–not whether Williams was actually shot at or not. News readers are hired precisely for their ability to be believable telling lies & if our man gets canned it’s only because he jeopardizes their purposes, not because he wants to be a hero without doing the work. Reading from press releases & attending White House dinners doesn’t allow much opportunity for heroism; it just requires ability to act. Not unlike the US presidency.

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