Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm Glad Brian Williams Will Be Back on Television

That's right, I'm glad Brian Williams will be back on MSNBC, where he started, rather than being exiled from news reporting and anchoring forever.

I get that he did something wrong in his braggadocio misremembering of several news events of which he was not a part.  But that wasn't as bad, as, say, the racist comments made by Imus on the radio a decade ago, or even Dan Rather's misreporting of the George W. Bush evasion-of-the-draft story, if indeed that was misreporting.  But Brian Williams' exaggerations were not a misreporting of a news story, just of his own direct involvement in it.  And although people who tell us the news should be held to a higher standard of truth-telling than the average person, it's worth noting that exaggerations of personal experiences are as common as saying you loved a popular movie when you slept through it, as in fact at least one famous movie critic was reported as frequently having done.

As for MSNBC, they can use all the help they can get.  Despite their highly intelligent and articulate anchors - especially in the evening - they've been consistently in last place in the Fox, CNN, MSNBC lineup for a while now.  They were outrightly dumb to get rid of Keith Olbermann, the most energetic, iconoclastic person ever on their air.  And the tick-like constant reference to their "Pulse" statistics - to show what their viewers are thinking - is a drag on more than one of their shows.   But whatever its problem, MSNBC will be well-served with Brian Williams and his sage, incisive, sometimes satirical analysis -- especially with the 2016 Presidential campaign already in gear, and William's astute political sense.

Rachel Maddow, the best person on MSNBC and for that matter on any news network, last night took a point of personal privilege and said how happy she was that Brian Williams was returning and being given a second chance.  I couldn't agree more. Now, if MSNBC got back Olbermann, I'd bet at least even money that they'd overtake at least CNN once again,


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