Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shame on Brian Williams

The night of the Ohio and Texas primaries, I was watching the returns on MSNBC. Brian Williams hosted. There was a panel of four pundits--two from the left and two from the right--which included Rachel Maddow from Air America Radio. The panelists had just spoken and the camera cut back to Williams. Brian commented on the unique studio setup that evening, one that gave him a frontal view of the four panelists through a glass wall. He then proceeded to say something like, "I'm seeing quite a bit of Rachel Maddow this evening. She's been drinking a lot. I don't know what's in her cup but she's been going after it."

A short while later--by then, apparent that Senator John McCain would be the Republican nominee for president--Brian launched into a brief biography of McCain's war record, emphasizing his toughness and perseverance, then urged his listeners to "keep this in mind between now and the election".

I could hardly believe what I was seeing and hearing. Having been a regular viewer of the NBC Nightly News, I had come to respect Brian Williams for his warmth and fairness. I was flabbergasted by his apparent misogyny and blatant disregard for the reputation of one of the fastest-rising female commentators in the business. I hardly need to explain to my readers--both of them--the implications of his remarks directed toward Rachel. These were compounded in their egregiousness by his subsequent open endorsement of a partisan candidate for president.

I walked the few feet to my PC and attempted to send an email of complaint to MSNBC/NBC (they are virtually one entity vis-a-vis their websites). However, I was further frustrated by my inability to find a way to do that. Nowhere on the websites could I find a link to an email address, either to the network or to Brian Williams personally. (What is the use of being raging mad and unable to vent? Thus, this blog.)

It seems that Mr. Williams has just driven one more spike into the coffin of the "liberal media bias". If it ever existed--which I don't doubt--it's long-dead now. How I long for the days of Eric Sevareid, Charles Kuralt, and Walter Cronkite. Those were the days when newsmen--and they were all men--were born, not transplanted from the White House press room or failed congressional or presidential campaigns. They were what they were, unvarnished and as honest as the day is long. But they didn't pretend to be unbiased while consorting with the enemy.

Here's a new dot for you: when you're looking for "news", try to get at the truth and not just what might smooth the feathers of General Electric.

1 comment:

---Feathers said...

They really do make it hard to find out how to contact them but I found a "Contact Us" link all the way at the bottom of the page in small print.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10285339/

There they list several e-mail addresses for both MSNBC and NBC News as well as a PO address.