The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Brian Williams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian Williams. Show all posts

Friday, July 8, 2016

Media:: Reality TV When We Do Not Need It.

As the coverage of last nights terrorism in Dallas literally erased publicity regarding the tragic and senseless killings of two African-American men over the course of the week, MSNBC reminded us of the ratings-garnering potential of "excitement news."   

Of course, coverage of the post-peaceful protest march police killings in Dallas warranted some form of television news coverage; without question. Yet we should question the level, scope, and depth of coverage which will surely inspire other copy-cat killings. CNN's coverage while also somewhat hyperbolic was augmented with guest contributors who spoke eloquently and productively about the weeks of senseless killings. 

Have we grown so addicted to reality television we allow the inane questions, comments from highly paid talking heads, and over-broadcast segments to ruin our psyches? Have we moved from early "Shock & Awe" Iraq War segments regarding the Iraq war to 24/7 showing and re-showing of news segments that actually diminish value within hours?  Is there true value in the re-runs with on the street comments from just about anyone the reporter feels is newsworthy? 

From this:

Watch his comments, as posted by CNN, here:

Bernard Shaw and Peter Arnett: CNN 
The Ratings gold mine cache of Iraq War "Shock & Awe."

We also offer a much longer version with video from Sky News of Austraila.

Sky News (Australia)
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's "Shock & Awe."

To this:

Brian Williams with imagery that may appeal to our reality TV addictions, but serve no civil purpose. His reference to JFK and his use of "Urban warfare." are not surprising, Last week Williams compared President Obama's campaign speech (in support of Clinton) a reminder of the late Richard Pryor. No surprise out of the mouth of Willaims. Nonetheless, the overuse of drama, war-hyperbole with associated verbiage has become common on cable news shows and has contributed to the removal of a network news anchor from NBC's Evening News.  Well now, wasn't that anchor Brian Williams? 

MSNBC's braggadocious host, Brian Williams, (known for reporting hyperbole and outright lies) took the Dallas coverage to that of reality TV.

While CNN continued its model of running and re-running video every twenty minutes, the network's managers and producers offered hosts and guests with forward reaching and civil messages.

The day after with Charles Blow.

Television is s a powerful media. It is as integral to our lives as the kitchen refrigerator and air conditioner units. But. we should recall, television has given us some of our most horrific memories and has contributed to the success of the GOPs nominee for the top of their 2016 presidential ticket.

Celebrity rules and those who are not celebrities are mere pawns and paths to millions in earnings for the celebrity.

UPDATE: Media Matters reported on probably most heinous of media responses to the cop killings.  The following is utterly ridiculous and shameful. The New York Post.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Brian Williams Saga Continues

BREAKING: Brian Williams becomes first person in human history to suffer professional consequences for lying about the Iraq War.

The Brian Williams saga continues. 

In addition to reports of other cases of embellishment and hyperbolic ego laden exaggeration, one source is reporting Williams may face a very long term suspension along with an apology for the ages.

As this morning gave way to the noon hour, Mediaite reported on developing stories of Williams's misrepresenting coverage of the aftermath of Katrina.

Hotel Owner: Brian Williams Definitely Didn’t See Dead Katrina Bodies, Wasn’t Attacked by Gangs

More details about Brian Williams‘s dramatic misremembering of Katrina have emerged, with the manager of the hotel he stayed at directly contradicting his narrative of seeing dead bodies float in the street, being attacked by gangs in his hotel, and contracting dysentery.
“I can tell you that at no time did any of my people report any sightings of any bodies,” Myra DeGersdorff, then the manager of the French Quarter Ritz-Carlton, told the Washington Post. “He may have simply misremembered. But I can tell you no one broke out in the hotel with dysentery.”
DeGersdoff, who currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ, was in fact so well-prepared for Katrina that she won an award from the luxury hotel’s corporate headquarters:
She enlisted a number of local cops to stay in a half-dozen of the hotel’s 452 rooms, and at any given moment there were at least “six or seven” officers on hand. She dispatched a team of “strong, tall” employees to barricade the exits with king-sized mattresses, and to “make sure those doors stayed locked,” she recalled in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. And she had set up an impromptu “MASH unit,” stocked with medicine from a nearby Walgreens and manned by more than a dozen doctors.
The preparation paid off. Though the hotel was packed, everyone there made it through one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history in one piece.
A few looters attempted to break into the building, but were chased off by security guards, and DeGersdoff says that while it’s possible Williams saw a body, he probably didn’t see one in the French Quarter, which only got “a few inches of flooding.”
“I’m not going to judge him, because it was such an unpleasant week and there were times to be concerned,” she offered. “And when there is that kind of concern, you can misremember.”
The French Quarter itself was spared from much of the damage of Katrina, with few shops and museums looted and some minor flood damage. The Ritz-Carlton itself, however, is located in the lower areas of the Quarter and was mere blocks away from streets where floating corpses were found, and was forced to undergo a $100 million renovation after the storm. Different guests during that period have conflicting memories about exactly how high the water was: some told the New Orleans Advocate that they saw nearly six feet of water, others reported a few inches.
(Let’s be clear about one thing, though: Brian Williams reported on Katrina, miles away from the actual devastation of the hurricane, out of a Ritz-Carlton.)

Under the banner of "Tall tales, Fact-checking Brian Williams". CNN's Randi Kaye broadcast a telling segment about post-Katrina Williams and other reports that may not pass the veracity test. 

Williams allowed his ego and a need for self-promotion to place his lucrative contract in jeopardy and virtually kill his on camera career beyond local reporting at 5:00 and 10:00PM. 

Mediaite reported later in the day on NBC management's consideration of Williams as host of their prime time anchor seat.
The Hollywood Reporter cites anonymous NBC sources to say that network executives, including NBC News president Deborah Turness, are going to reach a final decision within the next few days over what to do about Williams, amid the ongoing controversy over his history of misstatements and exaggerations.
Read more

NBC executive management may have lots to ponder and a history of outright lies to support their decision. 

UPDATE:  According to CNN's Brian Steltar, NBC management will place Williams on six months suspension without pay ($5 million USD).  

NBC News Anchor Brian Williams speaks onstage at The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2014 in New York City.

NBC News takes Brian Williams off air for six months

NBC News president told staffers Tuesday evening that Williams had been suspended following revelations that he exaggerated tales from an Iraq War mission.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brian Williams "TO BE OR NOT TO BE."

“Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft. I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened."  Lance Reynolds, flight engineer on the Iraq War helicopter of Williams's "mistake."

I have no ax to grind with Brian Williams. In fact, as I consider the 5:30 CST network news text readers, Williams was one I could watch for longer than 10 minutes. He was (is) palatable. Yet, it seems there is a fathom Williams, who lives in a world wrought with machismo and love of heroic characters who recant stories of war survival. We fail to look-up to our real war heroes, yet we seek to adulate those who return from war with stories that make us feel good. Only rarely do we serenade the real heroes who give or gave their lives for the nation. We seem to levitate towards people who claim unseen victories or who claim (false) tallies of kills to appeal to the American affinity for life as if it were "reality" TV.

We need to seek no better example than the Chris. Kyle mythology that has engulfed the nation. Kyle's lies about shooting 33 Alleged looters in post-Katrina New Orleans, shooting carjackers in Dallas, Texas, and "decking" Jesse Ventura. According to a lengthy Snopes piece, Kyles's hero status after Iraq is over the top filled with unsubstantiated personal claims.

(Note:  Retired General Russell Honore`, retired Army General and commander of National Guard Force that patrolled New Orleans post Katrina has stated such the killing of 33 looters without his knowledge is impossible.)

War zone heroes for many Americans garner accolades almost to the point of the ridiculous. The dynamic is so pervasive we frequently find ;former military enlistees who lie about war zone inquiries and heroes who are later revealed liars. Apparently, the dynamic reaches beyond the military enlistee to some who seek accolades or seek perceptions of machismo related to short-term excursions into war zones.

Brain Williams is the irrefutable example. Imagine the level of self-perception requisite in telling David Letterman and others about being shot down in a helicopter in a war zone.

One memory professor indicated an initial reaction that seemed to support Williams's claim of a "memory mistake." The New School psychology professor William Hirst responds in a Think Progress phone interview that memory can distort perception of past reality. 
His initial reaction upon hearing Williams’ story was to “view it as one of those mishaps that is often typical to memory,” he said by phone.

“There’s a large amount of evidence [that shows] that we confuse things that we imagine — the thoughts that go through our heads — and in many cases we begin to think that they actually happened.”
I find it impossible to move beyond the "lie," even with consideration of the Think Progress piece with the Hirst's delineation of possibility regarding Williams's claim of a "mistake."

Mediaite offers a piece that more coincides with my perception of the Williams "lie." 


My Assessment of Brian Williams: How One Past Incident Forever Shapes My Point of View

When I wrote about why the “Voice of God” still matters five years ago, I went into some detail about what separates the really good anchors from the middle of the road anchors. One part is directly pertinent to this story…
In truth, no anchor truly has a complete mastery or command of the story in all details. But then that’s the whole point. That voice of God lulls you into thinking they do, or at the very least convinces you they have more than a superficial knowledge of the subject at hand. And those with that talent are self-aware of their limitations. They won’t put themselves in a position where they’re caught flat footed or out of their depth. If they don’t know something, they’ll admit as much up front, rather than allow the viewer to discover that on their own, thus destroying the connection between viewer and anchor. Better to admit your shortcomings and maintain the relationship as an honest broker than try to skate by and hope the viewer doesn’t catch on that you really don’t know much about what you’re talking about.
In a single utterance, Dresden destroyed Brian Williams’ credibility with me. I never looked at him the same way again. I now looked at him as one who needed to be managed, to be controlled, because if you let him riff on his own he could get himself into trouble. And if you look at the way NBC has handled Williams since he became NBC News anchor you see a pattern that seems to underscore that. Very rarely do you see him in an uncontrolled environment.
Sure there was Katrina which put him on the map so to speak (though apparently parts of that are now part of this mess). There was Tahrir Square which was about as uncontrolled as it gets. But they were the once in a while exceptions. I never got the feeling NBC let him run loose the way CNN could let Anderson Cooper run loose and not have to worry or the way CBS uses Scott Pelley, FNC uses Shepard Smith, or ABC David Muir.
And that’s when I started thinking about Broadcast News and William Hurt. A lot of people think the Hurt character is an in over his head lightweight who doesn’t know jack. There is some truth to that but the Hurt character was a lot more than a self-aware dim bulb. I’m going to quote what Andrew Tyndall wrote here about this…
The depiction of the New Age anchor replacement for Jack Nicholson (Dan Rather?) in Broadcast News was more subtle than the fact that he was superficial, glib and out of his depth.
Those were the attributes that the movie appears to consign to him, because we are led to look at the network news operation through the eyes of Albert Brooks (Aaron Brown?).
But the Hurt character trips us up — and Brooks and Hunter too — with a couple of insights.
First, he understands that Old Media news was too male oriented. He covers a story on date rape and intuitively understands that there is an entire range of topics that were hitherto taboo that can make a female audience feel its agenda is being attended to. The personal is political, as it were.
Second, he is able to project a sense of calm and proportion and intelligence in a breaking news crisis — without having a flop sweat. Brooks says the words into a telephone, they travel into an earpiece, and come out of the anchor’s mouth. Cool under fire.
So skills that seemed superficial and glib to the old school journalist turned out to be insights of the new school.
My vote is for Brian Williams.
I’m in agreement with Tyndall.
I never felt that Williams was an idiot and you don’t get to be White House correspondent by being a lightweight either. He has that ability to directly connect with the viewer on a 1:1 level without looking like he’s reading a script or being overbearing and preachy. That’s not something you can teach anchors easily, it’s mostly instinctive.
But at the same time the observable evidence (read: what happens on TV) seems to suggest that Williams, despite being Managing Editor of his newscast, needs to himself be managed because if he starts riffing he could get into trouble. He did on Dresden. And he appears to have with however you want to characterize his missteps in this chopper fire story. Maybe Katrina too.
I can’t blindly trust someone like that. I have to leave my radar on, especially when it’s not a structured news cast scenario. I still believe he’s capable of busting out another Dresden at a moment’s notice.
[image via Screengrab]
– –

All said, Williams has placed his career on the chopping block for no reason beyond his obvious need for accolades, and an unchecked ego. NBC can ill afford to leave Williams in his role of managing editor anchor (news text reader) of NBC Nightly News.

While Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Powell (begrudgingly and manipulated) avoid any investigation regarding their Iraq War lies, the dark shadows of Iraq war lies continues to haunt the nation.


Suspensions and possible removal from the Nightly News is one thing and devastating enough. Imagine being used by Sarah Palin as a branding strategy and used as a tool for Palin victim-whining.

If you have not read enough on this topic and are in a mood for some pure ridiculousness and self-serving bull, visit the Palin Facebook page link.

If you visit the link you will also notice another Palin trick. After the extremely criticism of (possible) staging her son standing on the family dog, we should have expected a cover photo session to somehow rationalize the Palin way of life (as phoney as it gets).

When a highly compensated network news professional becomes the target of Sarah Palin, the news guy has to know his days are numbered.


Friday, February 6, 2015

UPDATE: Iraq Helicopter Pilot Defended Brian Williams's Story, Also Lied! (NBC Investigates?)

As I developed this story yesterday, I watched as an alleged helicopter pilot, Rich Krell,  joined (Mr, Conservative) Jake Tapper in defense of Brian Williams's account of being shot down over Iraq.  My instincts regarding the report was, "I don't believe this guy."  My instincts proved as accurate as the 34 hour Greenwich clock. The guy is apparently a former military helicopter pilot, but the rest of his story rivals Williams's lie regarding the false claim. 

Helicopter pilot tells CNN Williams 'messed up': Rich Krell, who was piloting the Chinook that Williams was on, tells a different story than the crew members who spoke to Stars and Sripes.  
"Some of things he's said are not true. But some of the things they're saying against him are not true either," said Krell, who spoke exclusively to CNN on Thursday morning. 
UPDATE: Krell is no longer standing by this account. On Friday morning he told CNN: "I am questioning my memories." (full story) 
Krell explained that, contrary to Williams' comments in the past, there were three helicopters flying in close formation, not four.
"One of the birds broke down, so we were a flight of three," Krell said. "We were hauling metal bridges." 
Williams was in the back of Krell's aircraft along with three other NBC staffers. Krell referred to his Chinook as the "second bird" in the formation. The "first bird," right in front of the "second bird," was struck by the RPG.  
Due to his seat in the back, Williams was most likely unable to witness the RPG attack, Krell said.  
All three of the helicopters were hit by small arms fire, Krell said, supporting Williams' past claims about that.  
"The bridge expansions we were hauling took most of the hits," Krell said. 
The three Chinooks took evasive maneuvers. Krell's helicopter dropped off its payload, then met up with the other two about 45 minutes later. That may explain why the other crew members told Stars and Stripes that Williams arrived in the area later. 
Krell said of Williams, "Yeah, he messed up some things and said some things he shouldn't have. I [first] heard it a few years ago. ... Actually one of my flight engineers said, 'Did you hear him say that? Wasn't he on our bird?'"
Krell didn't seem overly bothered by Williams' revisionist history -- he chalked it up to wartime theatrics. "After a while, with combat stories, you just go 'Whatever,'" he said.
Read more linked above
CNN Brian Steltar joined a segment of CNN Newsroom earlier today and delivered a definitive narrative about Krell's recant.

You may have noticed Costello perform her patented, head to the side, frown lean forward: "why did he do that."

Of course, Steltar could not answer such a cognitively deficient question. There is no answer other than "Lies Begets Lies!" Krell stated he has been battling with his memory for 12 years. I find the statement preposterous and I find it seriously sad CNN continues to throw these non-credible unvetted characters on their air. Is the value of the scoop so cherished the network finds itself in the unenviable position of frequent back-tracks and clarifications?

It doesn't take much of an imagination to realize, someone got with Krell and called him out on his false support and possibly indicated a TV appearance to wipe his story clean?

If you have an additional moment allow me to take the matter one step farther. I notice an unbelievable lack on interest in the story during a related Williams "Lie"  Google search and as I reviewed related site visit data here on the TPI.  Is it possible speculation about NBC executive management's willingness to simply allow the Williams lie to pass into the archive of American reality TV? Is it possible American shave grown accustomed to embellishment and lies for media, the Williams episode isn't bothersome?

Pew Research and other survey authorities have published reports with indications Americans get most of their news via television.  US society really has diminished to a wading pool for Right-wing media operatives, if NBC employs a $10 million dollar per year news text reader who will openly lie on national TV while visiting Letterman. Political operatives who thrive off lies fed to you and me via electronic media and who welcome our indifference to veracity and truth.

It appears while keyboarding this piece, the story sharpens as NBC is reported to have opened an investigation into the Williams 'lie."


(“Used with permission from the TPM websites, a service of TPM Media)

"background-color: transparent; color: #cococo
NBC Reportedly Investigating Brian Williams Over Bogus Iraq Story


AP Photo / Julio Cortez
NBC News assigned the head of its investigative unit to look into "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams' statements about taking fire while reporting on the Iraq War, the New York Daily News and the Associated Press reported Friday.

Citing anonymous sources, both news outlets reported that Richard Esposito, a former Daily News editor who now heads up NBC's investigative unit, would lead the internal investigation.
Williams issued multiple apologies this week for repeatedly claiming he was aboard a helicopter that was forced down by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Brian Williams Issues Apology for "Mistake" (AKA "LIE")

View image on Twitter

Brian Williams, NBC News reader darling, has committed the holy grail of TV journalism; he has been sought flat-out lying (replete with all levels of machismo) about a harrowing helicopter downing in Iraq.  In 2013. Williams joined David Letterman and laid this egg.

Soldiers and airman who either staffed or accompanied the flotilla of four copters across Iraq, either missed the 2013 "lie" or they let the lie slide by thinking not worth the hassle. As is frequently the case when a lie goes unchallenged, the perpetrator takes the lie to another level (hence the likes of Rand Paul). The highly compensated Williams is no exception.

Last fall, Williams renewed his seat as the news anchor of American television and proudly flaunted around with camera ablaze relishing in the glory of Top .00001 (er) compensation status.

NBC's Brian Williams Signs New Long-Term Deal With Network

News anchor to get a reported $10 million plus a year for at least five more years.

It's a good day to be Brian Williams. Not only has the anchor of NBC's "Nightly News" had his job for ten years and attracted more than 9 million viewers a night, but he's set to sign a new long-term deal to continue his duties, according to the Los Angeles Times. That includes a compensation package reputed to be more than $10 million a year. 
"It's probably time I admit that I am a one-trick pony," the 55-year-old Williams told the paper. "I am, I think, designed and put on this Earth to do what I'm doing now - and that is to eat, sleep and breathe nonfiction and the news going on in the world. And then at 6:30 every night I get to deliver it, and I get to hear from the audience, and I get to know them." 
"Brian is one of the most trusted journalists of our time," wrote NBC News president Deborah Turness in a staff memo, according to the New York Post. "He has led this organization through every major news event for the last decade, from Hurricane Katrina in his first year in the anchor chair to his exclusive interview with Edward Snowden this year, through elections, wars, natural disasters, tragedies and triumphs. In all of those cases he's taken viewers to the heart of the stories that matter most in a way that's uniquely his."
Read more

The words and sentiment ;associated with Williams's re-up are astoundingly evident of the fallacy and lack of credibility of US new media. Of ;course, we should not blanket indict all media to the level of Williams lie, but it is obvious media has become entertainment. As indicated via the AOL Jobs link and except above, Williams is had at the level of opulent to read text while on camera. He is not journalist, but one would expect anyone earning $10 million per year over the course of his contract to live a life that supports the perception of credible.

While paying tribute to our heroes in uniform, Williams again laid the lie. The resultant backlash differs greatly from the no reactions in 2013.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday recanted a story he and his network have long perpetuated about his helicopter being shot down while he was covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry,” Williams said.

When the story was posted on NBC’s Facebook page, one commenter called Williams out for fabricating the story.

When the story was posted on NBC's Facebook page, one commenter called Williams out for fabricating the story.

The lie also generated a barrage of Social media memes and coverage on every news network (and probably national print publication). If you want to see and read deep humor regarding William's lapse in veracity, check out this CNN link.

You know what comes next: the perfunctory apology for a flat out lie, serves my frequent posit that we are seeing so many apologizes these days, it is impossible to take the words seriously. Williams mentions the word "mistake." His words were clearly a lie without equal and should lead to disciplinary action from NBC Executive management.

The ever-present apology!

 Williams offered an apology during Wednesday’s Nightly News broadcast, saying he “bungled” the story.

Williams earns over $10 million per year to deliver news in front of a camera.  We should be able to rest in the comfort network news anchors work at a standard well beyond that of Fox News and Breibart News.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Daily GOP Ignominious: MItt Romney, Jon Stewart and the Ignominious

Ignominious (Shame:  is a failure to meet your own standards of behavior. )


We shame when we think of poorly of ourselves. Shame is the emotion that encourages us to do our best. When we are ashamed we may feel vulnerable and even helpless. Shame reflects a decrease instature while pride is the emotion reflecting an increase in stature.


  1. Feeling badly about yourself.
  2. Dissatisfaction from your assessment of a decrease in stature
  3. Disapproving of your own actions or accomplishments.
  4. Failure to meet my own standard of behavior.
  5. Absence or deficiency of self-love. 
  6. Feeling inferior.
  7. Believing you are a bad person.
  8. Loss of honor.
  9. Blaming yourself for making a mistake.
  10. Knowing you did wrong when it was possible to do right. Not meeting your responsibility to yourself.

So far Mitt Romney has not shown one iota of shame for his missteps, his obvious lies, his American Monarchy like avoidance of paying taxes, nor shame for the lives he ruined as a cavalier Vulture Capitalist.  He also is not showing any degree of shame for his campaign staffs overwhelming incompetence.  The strength of the campaign teams speaks to candidate potential as Commander-in-Chief. 

It continues.....

The Progressive Influence understands gaffes, misstatements and even has a soft spot for speaking publicly when tired: mistakes happen.

Last week, the nation suffered yet another mass killing of innocents by people who are obviously deranged.  The Colorado Movie killings are being discussed on every media, newspaper, and many on the streets. 

How can a candidate for the presidency do the following?  Again, where are his handlers and his staff. We must remember, the people who are working to secure the White House for Romney will be on staff and integral to the national and international ins and outs of Romney's brain trust.  Listen and watch!.

His non-committal response is no surprise as he just be careful about angering All GOP demagogues and the NRA. But, to go on international television and completely blow the response with overwhelming inaccuracy is unfathomable.
Of course, I am very biased, but contrast that mess with the president's comments at the Urban League. Specifically, comments about the killings in Colorado.
Off topic but relevant, Jon Stewart on Romney and GOP representation of President Obama's comments about "you did not build this.... (alone)."  Parentheses added by me.
.....And the Band Plays On......