Brian Williams Has Been Released
He did the crime and now he has done the time. The crime was exaggerating – embellishing – even inventing – a few moments in an otherwise admirable career. In telling and re-telling, he put himself in more dangerous positions covering war than he had actually been – not a good thing for an anchor, a correspondent, a star.
Brian Williams’ punishment was a work-release program. Instead of appearing on the main network of NBC, for the past five years he toiled at 11 PM on MSNBC, the cable version of the network, where he provided gravitas, experience, even grace.
Now Williams has announced he is leaving the network,. He has been a pro, listening to his guests, reacting to what they were saying, or what they were not saying. He presided over a recap of the day’s news and also the latest “breaking news” that never seems to stop. And when their segment was over, he thanked his guests, often with a turn of a phrase. (Wish I could come up with a few right now, but they were unfailingly witty and gracious.)
Some Friday nights, Williams’ handsome face has seemed drawn, his hair more gray, at 61, from dog years on the air. I feel the same way from watching MSNBC -- the same commercials for old-people ailments, plus a parade of hosts, some of whom have lost their charm, who natter on, before finally prodding the guests, who can’t always deduce the question, much less the answer.
And for four years, the whole process was polluted by a president who did not know truth or reality, only what he could stuff in his gunnysack.
It’s not all bad, of course. Andrea Mitchell, the noon anchor, has been there, done that, for decades.
Nicolle Wallace and Lawrence O’Donnell have worked inside government; Steve Kornacki can name every county seat in this huge county. Chris Hayes is best in front of an audience. And the younger correspondents out in the field – too many of them to list -- are darn good reporters,
I remember when Rachel Maddow would go out in the field to report and editorialize about states polluting their own rivers, states doing their darndest to make Black college students dare to vote in some obscure outback. She was wonderful, and urgent. Now she talks. A lot.
Brian Williams, doing his time, pulled the whole day together in the final 60 minutes.
I don’t know whether Williams is looking to rest and spend time with his family (the standard departure goal for politicians, or come up with a fresh gig in a better time in front of much larger network audiences. That’s up to him. I only know that Brian Williams has been a ray of experience and poise. Thanks, man.
11/16/2021 12:03:04 pm
Brian Williams is a comfortable way to wrap up the day's news. His coverage is always steady and on target.
11/24/2021 05:42:37 pm
Alan, i never did watch news on TV back in those days when I was working, but I did watch a lot of MSNBC upon retirement but I've had it with the format. I'm more comfortable with PBS news and Cristiane Amanpour's great show on CNN INternational and BBC -- am now rooting for Katty Kay to land on one of the US networks where she would be allowed her normal gravitas. best, GV
11/22/2021 07:12:50 pm
never watch nightly news on any of three major networks in the usa. used to williams on talk shows, but can't remember which ones....daily show with jon stewart?
11/24/2021 05:55:00 pm
Bruce, I understand, the one-off interviews we journalists have, and you never seen that person again. Cronkite may have been acting polite about Reagan, Politics aside, I wanted to giggle when he talked. He seemed empty. Of course Carter was smarter, He was a Rickover guy out of Annapolis.
11/24/2021 06:03:37 pm
Alan D. Levine
11/30/2021 01:16:14 pm
I like to count how many times Rachel Maddow repeats the same thing. When she gets to seven, I change the channel. I've cut my MSNBC viewing time. Chris Matthews used to call it the place for politics. But it's really the place for prosecutors--and retired FBI agents--and retired CIA agents--and so-called moderate Republicans.
11/30/2021 01:29:31 pm
12/1/2021 06:31:43 am
Hi! Brian Douglas Williams is one of my favorite American journalist at MSNBC, formerly serving as the NBC News network's chief anchor of NBC Nightly News, former reporter, and now host of its cable weeknight news program, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, he is the best! But what about studying, I know exactly that learner's life is so busy by its time and stressful. An essay writing can be one of the most hard and time-consuming assignments that students have to do. For this reason many pupils turn to online writing agency that provide young professionals, just check their site.
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.