After Brian Williams was suspended from his position in February, it is unlikely that he will ever be returning to a television set near you. According to the now retired Dan Rather, former CBS evening news anchor, Williams’ chances of returning to NBC were “slim to none” a few months ago. Now, Rather has changed his mind saying that Williams’ chances are “slim just left town.”
Dan Rather is a close friend of Williams and claims that he has not spoken to the news anchor since his suspension. A large part of the problem of bringing Williams’ back will require him to say what he did wrong; but where and how would he do that?
Dan Rather was in a similar situation in 2005 when he retired. Usually retirements are voluntary but Rather’s was urged/forced due to misinforming.
Brian Williams’ suspension is mid-way over. Reports say that they are weeks away from a decision about his return. People are split in the decision to bring him back or not. The people who support him and want to bring him back believe that he was dismissed unfairly and that what he did was not egregious enough to dismiss him. Others say that if they bring Williams back, audiences would simply turn the channel when he is on. His supporters want him back on the Nightly News; but they realize that it will be unlikely for Brian Williams to return. His supporters also believe that he will be back if the decision is made that he has to retire. They went on to say that the current anchor, Lester Holt, is good, but he is not Brian Williams good.
The exaggerations in which Brian Williams is accused of making while NBC anchor have been stacking up. For example, at the Arab Springs uprising in 2011, in Cairo, Egypt, Williams claims to have seen pro-government forces riding horses with whips to beat people. He claims to have made eye contact with these horseback riding, whip yielding forces, however, it is unknown as to whether or not he was even there to see this transpire according to Paul Farhi, Media Reporter at the Washington Post.
The original exaggeration Williams is accused of making in 2003 was about how he was hit by a flying grenade in a helicopter during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Several more fabrications of the news have been found on his part.
For several weeks now, the viewership of the Nightly News with Lester Holt has lost its top spot to ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. Williams has spent three months in silence as he will have to spend another three months in silence due to the terms of his suspension, which will end in August with him either brought back or retiring. Supposedly, what he has going for him is that he has friends in high places at NBC; on the flip side there are people who do not want to see his return.
Brian Williams return is unlikely, but a decision is expected on May 11 on NBC’s annual “upfronts” presentation for advertisers, because anchors are highly important to advertisers for viewership of their advertisements.
By Jacob Dowd
Photo by globochem3x1minus1 – Creativecommons Flickr License