As George Costanza said one time (or more) on a Seinfeld episode, “it’s not lying if you believe it.”
Brian Williams, a reader of the news, saw how Bubba, Mrs Bubba, Heinz-Baked-Beans-Kerry, Al-not-too-Sharpton, the faux “reverends” Jackson and Jeremiah Wright, the rogue fraud “president” Obama and others around him, succeeded and became filthy rich by lying repeatedly and saying whatever was necessary to win elections or high-paying gigs from corrupt political lobbyists. So Williams must have figured out that if the American voters accept lying from Bubba, Mrs. Bubba and Obama, they wouldn’t care so much about a few lies or more that would make his job more interesting. After all, “it’s not lying if you believe it”.
Maybe his real crime is in borrowing female Bubba’s story that she was under sniper fire in Bosnia. Williams must be wondering why he got laid off for lying about a helicopter, while female Bubba, who lied about sniper fire, could well be elected as the next rogue fraud “president” or something. It occurs to me that we seem to have higher standards for news readers than we do for “presidents-in-waiting”. Once again “it’s not lying if you believe it”.
As Harry Truman so famously revealed: “My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”
Harlots move freely from one cathouse to another. White House, Congress, TV and Radio, Hollyweird, ShowBiz, it’s all the same. Whichever prostitute spreads his/her legs widest receives the highest reward from the Keepers of the National Bordello. Until it all goes south and they take everyone with them … After all “it’s not lying if you believe it”.
In this editorial from the magazine he founded, The American Spectator, R. Emmett (Bob) Tyrrell, Jr., arrays us with his perspective of the Williams’ debacle, and opines accurately on what the likely outcome will be…
On the vexed matter of Brian Williams my friend and colleague Wes Pruden raises a fundamental question. “Brian Williams, the tall tale teller for NBC News, has had a rough few days, but he’s likely to survive,” writes Wes. “He’ll probably be back,” Wes speculates, even overcoming the derisible endorsement of Dan Rather. Dan, your endorsement could be the kiss of death to poor Brian. Is there no reality-check on these egomaniacs?
My view is at variance with Wes’s. He will never return to NBC Nightly News. Within a week of publicly apologizing for claiming to be on a helicopter that endured enemy fire in Iraq in 2003, Williams saw his ranking among America’s most trusted public persons drop from 23 to 835, according to a leading research firm that gathers such preposterous findings for advertisers and marketing executives, the New York Times tells us. In six months his ranking will be in oblivion. The Times also tells us that Williams is “distraught,” and “according to people close to him, [he is] telling friends that if he could go door to door and apologize to each of his viewers he would do so.” I suggest that he start doing so, and after he has apologized to his last viewer he might return to NBC and ask for his job back. The job will be gone as will some management at NBC News.
After all, his showboating has revealed that people from the top down through the ranks at NBC were wise to his con and even supported it. He had become a hot property for NBC, and with all his self-promotion—appearances on comedy shows and late-night talk shows—he had, as they say on Madison Avenue, enhanced the NBC brand. As for his first mendacious stunt back in 2003, anyone who reads about it carefully today understands that there were more witnesses than nearby soldiers. There were NBC personnel on the ground and shortly thereafter there were NBC execs back in New York. They all were complicit.
What is more critical, his exaggerations and lies have cast further doubt on the whole media culture that we conservatives call “mainstream media.” Dan Rather and now Steve Kroft of CBS are but recent dramatic examples of the mainstream media’s decline. Ever since Spiro Agnew complained about liberal bias in the media back in 1969, conservatives have been wise to this bias. But in recent years there are more charges against increasingly flagrant political bias, shoddy professional standards, and the commercialization of reputations until a simple newsreader is treated, well, like a brand name. Why has Williams not marketed a line of men’s underwear? Will Kroft put his name on a champagne flute?
The market for TV news has been declining for a generation. It became a hustle with a few exceptions. Conservatives have been wise to it for years. They see through its phony claims to objectivity. They deprecate its shoddy standards. They know mainstream media is not “their world.” Fox News is their world, and if one Fox News journalist had acted as Williams has he or she would be shown the door in no time. If you want objectivity you watch Fox News.
Now other Americans are seeing through the pretentions of mainstream media, mostly Independents, which makes sense. A coalition of conservatives and Independents has come together in our recent “wave” elections and changed America. The Independent voters are more serious than the so-called Liberal voters or the Democrats. They are alarmed about bulging deficits and the kind of out of control spending that is in President Barack Obama’s budget. They see events in the Middle East and realize that the world is a dangerous place. The evening news is no place for the grandstanding antics of Brian Williams.
His world is a fantasy world. Yet he is not the only one who lives with fantasies. There are more fantasists in the world of journalism than ever before. Remember Jayson Blair? Remember Stephen Glass? Yet the fantasists are not contained to journalism. Think of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her legendary landing under enemy fire in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1996. Or how about former Senator Tom Harkins on the campaign trail in 1992 and his war stories about combat over North Vietnam. Or recall if you will candidate Richard Blumenthal claiming falsely to have served in Vietnam when he never wore a uniform and won five military deferments between 1965 and 1970. He won his race for the Senate from Connecticut in 2010. Finally think of that serial liar Joe Biden claiming enemy fire forced his helicopter down in Afghanistan. He was forced down by a snowstorm.
Brian Williams may be finished with NBC News, but there is always a place for him in politics.
Remember … “it’s not lying if you believe it”.