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Brian Williams. Sigh.

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 brian-williamsreversal 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.

brian-williams-untrustworthy-news-networks-funny-ecard-qvWThe 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.
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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.

 

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My Favorite Christmas Recordings # 19 Andy Williams: The Andy Williams Christmas Album

Bitter, cynical, and borderline misanthropic for most of the year, I reform for the holiday season and from mid-November to the last minute of Epiphany I’m all about the season.  Readers of Old Road Apples will find themselves under a constant barrage of holiday fare this season–from themed essays to book reviews to a countdown of my very favorite Christmas recordings.

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I’d wager a guess that most people my age and younger have little more than a cloudy recognition of Andy Williams, if they know who he is at all, but when I was a kid he was fairly ubiquitous with Christmas.  He had several albums of his own, an annual Christmas Variety show on the TV each year, and a center front position on all those old grocery-store compilations which formed my tastes in Christmas music.  I’m not sure how to classify this album–he’s not a slick as Sinatra, or as smooth as Dean Martin, but his voice is sweet and seems to be propelled by gleeful enthusiasm, as if he’s inviting us to join him rather than entertaining us.

But let me be clear: this is an essential Christmas record.  I guarantee that you’ll be pleased, and wonder how you lived without it.

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