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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hats Off to Brian Williams

Yesterday - Friday, September 25, 2015 - was an extraordinarily important day in news.  Pope Francis was at Ground Zero and Madison Square Garden and other places in New York City.   The President of China was in Washington, DC with President Obama.  And Speaker of the House John Boehner announced his resignation.

Any one of these would have been an occasion for breaking news reports.  John Boehner's resignation would have triggered in depth-reporting that dominated the news for most of the day.  And the Pope in New York City was a once-in-a-lifetime event for many people.

Brian Williams, back on television as MSNBC's anchor for breaking news, did a masterful job in commenting, interviewing people about, and all ways covering these three events.  His astute observations, his mix of historical contexts, eye and ear for detail, and humor, provided seamless hours of vidid reporting.   In the hands of a lesser master of anchoring, so many events to cover live could have a resulted in a confusing hodgepodge that reported well on none of them.

I went on record earlier this year, suggesting that Brian Williams' exaggeration of what happened to him in a combat zone was not the end of the world - certainly not enough to have him removed from his position as anchor of the NBC Nightly News.    He should have been called out and chastised for those statements indeed - but yanking him off the air was not only overkill, but a disservice to all who enjoyed and benefitted from his sage anchoring and reporting.

It was thus especially good to see him back on the air, and at a perfect time in terms of important events to be covered.  Reports say MSNBC had a nice ratings spike with Brian Williams at the helm - good, not surprising, and I hope to see much more of him on television.

See also I'm Glad Brian Williams Will Be Back on Television
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