As a frequent watcher of NBC News, it is sad to see Nightly News host Brian Williams faced with a six-month non-paid leave from the job because of his comments last week about his time in Iraq in 2003. Immediately after he made his remarks, people accused him of lying, including those he was supposedly on a helicopter with, who said he arrived well after the RPG hit a helicopter.
I found this particular article by PBS very interesting, because it supports Williams’ “trouble” with his memory, if that is the case. I know that I have experienced forms of this and I have seen others experience the exact phenomena that PBS has described.
I really enjoyed Williams as a newscaster, and I hope that he is able to return to this job. I hope that they find that he is not lying, but simply falling victim to forgetfulness.
As a journalist, it is sad to see someone who has built a news-media empire as great as Williams fall to the ground. That us, however, a price that comes with putting too much personal experience and anecdotes into news pieces, especially in television news soundbites. Anecdotes may help to add an emotional reaction from the viewers, but it isn’t always necessary.