Brian Williams may have a hard time retaining his popularity with viewers considering the results of a survey commissioned by Variety regarding the news anchor’s false claims to have been on a helicopter shot down by enemy fire in Iraq.
An overwhelming 80% think that Williams should no longer continue as a news anchor for NBC, according to a survey conducted Thursday by celebrity brand expert Jeetendr Sehdev, who polled 1,000 people who either watched or read the anchor’s apology.
“It’s no surprise that super savvy audiences today didn’t believe Williams’ scripted ‘fog of memory’ explanation or his apology. Williams didn’t tell the story to thank a ‘special veteran’ but falsified the story to celebrate himself.”
— Celebrity brand expert Jeetendr Sehdev
If Williams keeps his seat in the anchor chair, he will have to face an uphill climb to regain viewers trust. Seventy percent of respondents surveyed by do not believe that Williams will overcome the mistake.
Eight out of 10 respondents reported that they will now struggle to believe what Williams says following his admission that he “made a mistake in recalling the events 12 years ago,” as he said during his Wednesday night newscast.
Seventy percent did not describe Williams’ apology as sincere, with 60% believing that the anchor attempted to minimize the significance of his fabricated story in his apology. Read the rest of this entry »
“Unlike the Chinook helicopter he rode in, Brian Williams credibility is completely shot.”
— The Butcher, punditfromanotherplanet
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams apologized Wednesday for incorrectly claiming as recently as last week that he rode on a helicopter that came under enemy fire when he was reporting in Iraq in 2003.
“If credibility means anything to NBC News, Brian Williams will no longer be managing editor and anchor of the evening newscast by the end of the day Friday.”
— Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik
Instead, Williams said, he was in another helicopter trailing a Chinook that actually was hit. He apologized on “Nightly News” for getting it wrong.
The embarrassing admission came after a story in the Stars & Stripes newspaper pointing out the discrepancy. Williams had made the claim on the air last Friday during a story about Tim Terpak, an Army officer who he had befriended when Terpak was assigned to protect the NBC crew.
“Brian Williams has to go. NBC’s credibility is completely shot.”
— Brent Bozell, founder of Media Research Center
Williams reported on “Nightly News” that he had gone with Terpak to a New York Rangers hockey game. They were introduced to the audience by the public address announcer, who also repeated the claim that Williams’ helicopter had been hit.
“This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not,” Williams said on the air Wednesday. “I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology.”
“It’s hard to see how Williams gets past this, and how he survives as the face of NBC News…”
Stars & Stripes quoted Lance Reynolds, the flight engineer on the crew that rode with Williams, as saying that “it felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”
The newspaper said Williams’ helicopter traveled about an hour behind the aircraft that actually took fire.
“An anchor’s No. 1 requirement is that he or she has credibility. If we don’t believe what an anchor tells us, what’s the point?”
— USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder
In a Facebook response to service members who had pointed out the mistake, Williams said that “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy.”
— National Review (@NRO) February 5, 2015
Despite the apology, some media critics are wondering if NBC News should let Williams go. Read the rest of this entry »
Rowan Scarborough reports: Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.
The investigative file made available to The Washington Times show that the helicopter’s landing zone was not properly vetted for threats nor protected by gunships, while commanders criticized the mission as too rushed and the conventional Chinook chopper as ill-suited for a dangerous troop infiltration.
Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.
“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”
Doug Hamburger’s son, Patrick, an Army staff sergeant, also perished when the CH-47D Chinook descended to a spot less than 150 yards from where armed Taliban fighters watched from a turret. Read the rest of this entry »