I’m sure by now you’ve heard about or seen the latest Brian Williams faux pas. Of course, the former NBC News anchor, now relegated to what, MSNBC? is discussing the failed campaign of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And basically, Williams and a New York Times reporter are discussing a Tweet that someone sent. It basically says that there are 325 million Americans, and that Bloomberg spent $500 million in advertising during his failed campaign and that had Bloomberg just opened up his checkbook, he would have been able to give ALL Americans $1 million each!
Well, if you do the math, they’re off a little bit. Basically, he could have given all Americans $1.53, not a million with “lunch money left over” as Williams pointed out.
And here is the problem I have with this. Journalists, and yes, Brian Williams IS a journalist, are supposed to do their homework. They are supposed to have gone to J-School. In case you’re wondering, Williams didn’t. In fact, he never graduated from college. He attended Catholic University, and George Washington University, but never graduated. He has an associates degree from a community college. Apparently, they never taught math, or didn’t put much stock in telling the truth there.
The whole point of this is that what we are shown on television newscasts, and granted, this was only MSNBC, which isn’t watched by a ton of people anyway, but what we are shown is not very well vetted. In fact, the producers of Brian Williams’ show probably should be fired for allowing that on the air in the first place. Isn’t that the job of a producer? Don’t they fact check what the host is saying? Apparently not in this case.
The old saying, “when you assume something, you make an ass out of you and me” couldn’t be more spot on. And it is just an example of the level that journalism in this country has sunk. Think back, and I know I use these guys a lot in analogies, but do you think that Murrow, or Cronkite, or Huntley, or Brinkley would have ever let something like that go on the air? Of course not! Those guys were consummate professionals. Yes, they were all liberals, but they took their jobs seriously, and were so much better trained than the peons that come out of today’s colleges and universities.
Brian Williams has been on the outs for a long time, ever since he was canned at NBC for lying about his involvement in the stories he covered. And his banishment to MSNBC has proven that you can’t really trust much that comes out of that network anymore. And yes, the same can be said about all networks these days. Finding the truth in a newscast is like an enigma. You need to peel it back and do your own homework in order to find the truth. And when you think about it, if you have to do that much work to fact check today’s journalists, why do we even need them in the first place?
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!