After days of controversy and speculation, Brian Williams has decided to take a leave from news reporting. Williams, the anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," has been criticized for inconsistencies in his reporting over time, raising questions about his credibility.
Williams' reporting of the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina are being investigated. He apologized this week for saying that, in 2003, he was on a helicopter that was hit by a grenade. His reporting at the time differed and changed during the past 12 years. During Hurricane Katrina, Williams claimed to have seen bodies floating in the French Quarter, but this is now disputed as well his claim to have contracted dysentery.
In a brief statement posted on the NBC News site, Williams acknowledged the distraction:
A Personal Note from Brian Williams
In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.
According to The New York Times, the leave may give the NBC executives more time to decide Williams' status with the network.
- What do you make of Williams' reporting on these situations? Keep in mind that memory does change over time.
- Did Williams do the right thing by taking a leave from the news? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Consider the potential consequences of staying and leaving.