In case you missed it, The Washington Post reported yesterday on Myra DeGersdorff, the manager of the Ritz-Carlton hotel where Brian Williams stayed on the edge of the French Quarter in new Orleans. Her account of Katrina and his were very much in disagreement, although she tried to be diplomatic, as you would expect someone to be in the hospitality industry.
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
Brian Williams has ruled the roost at NBC Nightly News for more than ten years. Right before he took over, he saw Dan Rather’s career go up in flames at CBS over phony National Guard documents marshaled against President Bush.
The anchorman's career has imploded for another reason. He seemingly can't stop telling falsehoods about himself.
Katie Couric is among the elites applauding Tuesday’s David Brooks column coming to the defense of Brian Williams, “The Act of Rigorous Forgiving.” Once again, Brooks is playing ideological switcheroo. Maureen Dowd is the Williams scold, while Brooks is the scold of the Williams critics.
Brooks looks most ridiculous when he suggests the unfolding exercise in accountability for self-aggrandizing Williams is somehow a “barbaric” crusade, an example of “coliseum culture.” In the wake of ISIS burning pilots alive, it’s somehow metaphorical savagery to condemn journalists for lying to make themselves look good?
While the locals in New Orleans doubt Brian Williams saw a body outside his Ritz-Carlton window after Hurricane Katrina, Williams made that tall tale look small last October at Temple University. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Clark DeLeon reported he told a crowd at Temple University as he was receiving an award for “excellence” that “I have seen thousands of dead people.” And not in the Haley Joel Osment way:
In columns appearing on Monday, Time TV writer James Poniewozik and New York Times media columnist David Carr both insist NBC anchor Brian Williams has committed a significant media sin.
Poniewozik pierced through the idea that any self-respecting media outlet would expect others to view an internal review to be a satisfying attempt at public relations in a scandal:
The Birmingham News is the largest newspaper in Alabama (even though it only publishes a print edition three times a week now.) That could be in part due to leftist pranks. The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, has defiantly ordered a halt on gay marriage licenses, prompting News commentator Kyle Whitmire to offer a Readers Poll on Sunday asking “Is Roy Moore a closeted homosexual?”
Liberals apparently love this question, because the poll results are 71 percent yes, 6 percent no, and 22 percent “Maybe, but just that one time in college.” It probably won’t be shocking to note that Whitmire was a stringer for The New York Times for seven years (2005-12).
CNN’s Reliable Sources devoted most of its show Sunday to the Brian Williams scandal, but host Brian Stelter made sure that Williams defenders in the liberal elite, from Joe Klein to Bill Moyers, were quoted and discussed. Stelter didn’t have interview or quote any conservative critics of Williams.
Stelter quoted Bill Moyers the PBS omnipresence to former network reporter and analyst Jeff Greenfield, now with The Daily Beast. It said "Brian Williams' helicopter lie is nothing compared to the misinformation spewed by U.S. press in lead-up to Iraq War."
Sunday’s Washington Post devoted a front-page article that extended an eye-opening three whole pages to Rev. Al Sharpton and his “private doubts,” mostly about his own legacy, as he ponders the creation of a museum to promote his significance.
Post reporter Eli Saslow chronicled how a haunted Sharpton wonders if he’ll ever measure up to Martin Luther King. This is a little like Pee Wee Herman wondering if he’ll ever be Clint Eastwood.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a strong attack on Brian Williams (and the other network anchors) for Sunday's newspaper. Could this have been a factor in NBC's Saturday announcement? She began her Williams critique: "THIS was a bomb that had been ticking for a while."
NPR talk show host Terry Gross interviewed American Sniper star Bradley Cooper for Monday afternoon’s Fresh Air, and the weirdest part came when she asked Cooper if he was spooked out of working with director Clint Eastwood after he “interviewed the chair” at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in 2012. Cooper laughed and dismissed her concern.
Of all the things written about the Brian Williams affair, this trend is the most hilarious: The Washington Post opining about the validity of false memory. If this kind of article isn't seen as the most obvious example of journalists circling wagons around a lying colleague, what could be more obvious?
The headline was “The science behind Brian Williams’s mortifying memory flub.” Amy Ellis Nutt insisted Williams wasn’t unusual in lying to make himself look good:
Mike Huckabee, the once and future presidential candidate, is somehow controversial for attacking Beyonce and her gangsta-rap husband Jay-Z in his new book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. Beyonce is one of the most popular singers in America, and Huckabee acknowledges that. But pollsters are distorting his book.
Conservative politicians aren’t really allowed to condemn the crudest excesses of popular culture. The Obamas can be best friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce and never face any scrutiny for their parenting, which is always presumed to be fantastic.
The New York Post reports that just like that, Rosie O’Donnell has jumped ship at “The View” again, after less than half a year. O’Donnell is splitting with second “wife” Michelle Rounds and wants to focus on her children.
Rosie’s representative Cindi Berger confirmed the breakup, as well O’Donnell’s departure from “The View,” in a statement Friday night: “I can confirm that Rosie and her wife Michelle split in November. Rosie has teens and an infant at home that need her attention.
The New York Times caught up to Thursday’s Washington Post and put the Brian Williams phony-RPG scandal on the front page on Friday. This surely explains how ABC and CBS were shamed into acknowledging this was real on TV on Friday morning.
“With Apology, Williams Digs Himself Deeper” was the Times headline, and the story continued onto page B-8, which was entirely dedicated to the Williams scandal. Inside the pull quote was “Some have called for Brian Williams to quit over his story of being fired on in Iraq.”
Making up for its tiny A-3 brief on the Brian Williams scandal on Thursday, USA Today’s splashy front-page headline on Friday was “Brian Williams loses credibility with ‘mistake.’" The story was actually Rem Rieder’s tough commentary that went online yesterday. The subheadline was “Hard to see how anchor will survive as face of NBC News.” It even jumped over to A-2 with the headline “Brian Williams’ plays with truth.”
Rieder's commentary also showed up on the front page of The New York Times, with the line "It's hard to see how Williams gets past this, and how he survives as the face of NBC News."
The New Orleans Advocate is finding the locals skeptical about Brian Williams catching dysentery from Katrina flood waters. “I saw a lot of people with cuts and bruises and such, but I don’t recall a single, solitary case of gastroenteritis during Katrina or in the whole month afterward,” former city health director Dr. Brobson Lutz said. "I don’t know anybody that’s tried that to see, but my dogs drank it, and they didn’t have any problems.”
The Washington Post made a front-page story Thursday out of the revelation that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lied about being on a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq. Media reporter Paul Farhi began: "NBC News anchor Brian Williams conceded on Wednesday that a story he had told about being under fire while covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was false."
The New York Times and USA Today each buried the Williams story.
In 2012, The Washington Post waited until Romney had defeated all his GOP rivals before releasing its enormous “scoop” that Romney may have given a prep-school classmate in involuntary haircut in 1965. In this cycle, The Boston Globe is rushing it. The Hill newspaper summarized in its February 1 headline: “Jeb Bush was a pot-smoking bully, say former classmates.”
It won’t be shocking to discover that Globe “investigative journalist” Michael Kranish can go long on Jeb’s "tumultous" but undistinguished Andover years, but couldn’t find anything negative years ago from Barack Obama’s high-school years, or John Kerry’s.
The New York Times demonstrated their ardor to take Chris Christie down a peg again in the Tuesday front page story headlined “In Christie’s Career, Fondness for Luxe Benefits.” Reporters Kate Zernike and Michael Barbaro did a “deep dive” into Christie’s fondness for private planes and luxury hotels.
So try a Nexis search over the last year for “Hillary Clinton” and “private planes” or “private jets.” No news story. “Hillary Clinton” and “luxury”? No news story. Zernike and Barbaro know they could do this kind of a news story, as they admit in their Christie story:
Emily Heil at The Washington Post’s “Reliable Sources” gossip column promoted liberal actress Ashley Judd discussing her latest flirtation with running for office. Maybe she should run for governor of Kentucky, since it's kind of a Third World state, and she has a "deep bench on that stuff." Problem: Post political reporter Reid Wilson pointed out the filing deadline for the governor's race passed last month.