My wife read last week’s post about Sabrina & her delightful punk on Julian Edelman, and while she agreed with my points that A) Guys have been taking sleeping pictures of girls they “bagged” in one night stands as long as there have been cameras, with little more than a collective “tsk, tsk, tsk” among the juvenile chortles of their cohorts and this is a happy reversal of the standard and B) Even out of context, it’s funny–think of the ingredients: hubris, infidelity, takes two to tango, etc. Nevertheless, Mrs. Junk took me to task for writing about bar chicks and slatternly wide receivers when Brian Williams not-so-wild helicopter ride was ripping through the headlines.
So, some random observations:
The frenzy: Journalists eat their own. As far as I can tell, everyone with a public forum (even me, look!) is loving the hell out of this story.
The sympathy. Brian Williams was hilarious in his 30 Rock cameos. And he raps like Genghis Khan.
The damage: One thing I don’t get is the outrage and, what I hear the most, the damage to Williams’ reputation. He went off script and lied. I get that. He told a tall tale–but what was the context? Did he do it on the evening news? Let’s keep this in perspective.
The simple fact is that Williams stopped being a journalist a long time ago, when he became a News Reader. Oh, we can look at the network, BIG TELEVISION from which precisely 27 Americans still glean their understanding of the world, and understand how they might not want the face of their network to be a story teller–but in no way, shape, or form does Anchorman translate to Journalist. He may have been a Journalist once–the way I used to be an Airborne Commando who parachuted into rural communist Bolgrovia with cans of spam for the hungry and copies of John Stuart Mills’ “On Liberty” in my rucksack in the days leading up to the fall of the Iron Curtain–but now he’s got a script.
That’s the guy–or gal– I’d worry about being a liar: the one who writes the scripts and loads the teleprompter (those papers the anchors shuffle around on their desks are props, in case you didn’t know).
So, yeah–there’s my stance on Brian Williams. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass as long as the SOB can read and speak coherently. The truth is, I didn’t even realize he was Brian Williams for years. I thought Peter Jennings just got a face lift.
Am I right? They’ve got a mold somewhere.
And it could have been worse. It could have been Brian Wilson who lied. What if he’d never been on that boat at all. What if all it was was a poor, pathetic bar brag? That wouldn’ve shaken me to the core.