Media Scandals

By Kyle Drennen | March 16, 2015 | 5:58 PM EDT

Talking to former CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield at an event for 92Y in New York, NBC's Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd praised his network's handling of the Brian Williams scandal: "Look, I am proud of my news organization, that it proved that nobody's bigger, nobody is above integrity and credibility. Period." That declaration was prompted by Greenfield taking a shot at how Fox News handled similar allegations against host Bill O'Reilly.

By Tom Blumer | February 26, 2015 | 2:18 PM EST

While it's performing a long overdue housecleaning, MSNBC should point its broom in Melissa Harris-Perry's direction and sweep her off the network for her anti-democratic, violence-advocating rant earlier this week at Cornell University.

Among other things, Harris-Perry told her audience that George Zimmerman deserved whatever injuries he received at the hands of Trayvon Martin in the violent February 2012 confrontation which began with Martin pommeling Zimmerman and ended in Martin's death.

By Matthew Balan | February 23, 2015 | 4:14 PM EST

On Monday, Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter spotlighted how the National Association of African-American Owned Media filed a lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable which seeks "at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media." The lawsuit also alleges that Comcast "made large cash 'donations'" to Al Sharpton and his National Action Network in order to "divert attention away from discrimination."

By Matthew Balan | February 20, 2015 | 3:48 PM EST

On Thursday's CNN Tonight, former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno brushed aside David Corn's supposed expose of Bill O'Reilly's claims about his reporting of the Falkland War: "It's not a Brian Williams problem. I don't think it's anywhere near on that scale." Sesno later added, "I just don't think that this is on a par...[with] the issues, the exaggerations, and the trouble that Brian Williams is in."

By Kyle Drennen | February 16, 2015 | 4:01 PM EST

On Sunday's MediaBuzz on Fox News, Time columnist Joe Klein rushed to the defense of embattled NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "I think that we're living in an era where the ferocity of the prosecution is much greater than the severity of most of these crimes. And that's true not only for people like Brian Williams, but also for most of the journal – the politicians we cover."

By Kyle Drennen | February 15, 2015 | 10:57 PM EST

Appearing on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special Sunday night, comedian Martin Short mocked NBC for the ongoing scandal surrounding Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, declaring to the audience of A-list celebrities: “Do you realize that if this roof were to collapse right now, it would be the least of NBC’s problems?”

By Matthew Balan | February 13, 2015 | 5:06 PM EST

Frank Pallotta of CNN Money hyped in a Friday article that "in just one week, the media world has lost, in one way or another, four of its titans" – suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams, liberal Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, CBS correspondent Bob Simon, and David Carr of the New York Times. Pallotta played up that "if the impact of losing Williams wasn't enough, in the same hour on Tuesday one of media's best and most popular critics, Jon Stewart, announced he was signing off 'The Daily Show.'"

By Matthew Balan | February 13, 2015 | 1:52 PM EST

Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN spotlighted another set of questionable accounts by Brian Williams regarding a supposed relationship with Navy SEAL Team Six. Williams claimed that he traveled with the unit into Iraq just three days after the 2003 invasion; that SEAL "friends" of his sent him a piece of the wreckage from the helicopter that crashed on the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden; and that a SEAL once sent him his knife. Two guests cast cold water on Williams's claims.

By Kyle Drennen | February 12, 2015 | 1:33 PM EST

Adding to the myriad of problems for Brian Williams, actor Charlie Sheen has voiced his support for the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor. In an open letter released on Wednesday, the famously erratic celebrity praised Williams [grammar as written]: "First off, THANK YOU, for 24 years of inimitable professionalism and top shelf brilliance, as a stone cold passion driven and (PERFECTLY) fact based journalist....Now and forever you are a true Patriot and a Hero of mine until the day i leave this star crossed imperfect Rock we call Earth…"

By Matthew Balan | February 12, 2015 | 1:26 PM EST

Liberal author Douglas Brinkley did his best on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 to excuse Brian Williams's "embellishment" regarding his reporting of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – mere moments after the CNN program spotlighted examples of the NBC anchor's questionable claims. Despite this reporting, host Anderson Cooper never confronted his guest over his own role in boosting Williams's statements in his Hurricane Katrina book.

By Tom Johnson | February 11, 2015 | 6:07 PM EST

Ken Auletta reports that Williams had agreed to a suspension but “wanted a declaration by NBC that he would return as an evening-news anchor.” NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, “torn between wanting to take a hard line and feeling compassion for Williams,” sought Brokaw’s counsel regarding the matter. After Brokaw said he was “concerned about the effects of Williams’s actions on the reputation of the rank and file in the news division,” Burke decided to make the suspension “non-negotiable.”

By Kyle Drennen | February 11, 2015 | 5:09 PM EST

Reacting to the decision by NBC News to suspend NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for six months following his Iraq war lies, Today 9 a.m. hour co-host Willie Geist acknowledged it was "kind of a difficult and strange morning." Fellow co-host Natalie Morales added: "...it is a difficult day here and we are certainly sharing our best wishes with Brian. It's a tough time for him and his family, so we hope and pray for the best."