I don’t know what to think about Brian Williams. On the one hand? Almost certainly a chronic exaggerator, maybe an utter fabulist. Depressingly, none of this really matters in the performance of his job. The olden days when an anchor was a real journalist are pretty much over; while they might be trotted out to do standups here and there, the producers do the heavy lifting.
When Don Lemon, CNN’s barking idiot, tweeted a photo of his smallpox scar a few days ago and called it a measles scar, and this after speculating on the air that a Malaysian jetliner might have been swallowed by a black hole, I expressed frustration to a member of the NN.c commentariat. He replied:
I think Don Lemon is just fine when you put news stories on a teleprompter and ask him to read them in sequence.
I think William Hurt’s character in Broadcast News was just fine when you put news stories on a teleprompter and ask him to read them in sequence.
That, however, has long ceased to be the CNN “anchor” job description.
I think that’s true everywhere, with maybe a few exceptions. If you have the right look, a modicum of charisma, can read a prompter and are relatively quick on your feet in a live-interview situation, and as long as you have that elusive something that makes you one in a few million — you too can be a network news anchor. It’s not an easy bunch of qualifications to wrangle under one handsome head.
Of course, once you’ve attained this level, you have to deal with this sort of thing, i.e., co-workers trashing you anonymously:
“Brian is deeply disliked inside NBC—extremely unpopular. The people at NBC are loving this,” says someone in the know. Why? “Because he enjoys being a celebrity too much.” He also doesn’t pull his weight. “He never comes in in the morning”—as a managing editor, you should. “He calls in from his apartment and shows up around lunch time, has a fancy lunch with some important person, and then at the 2:30 production meeting—close to air time—he tears everything up.”
They pay him an eight-figure salary. I expect this is part of the deal.
And now Williams has been suspended for six months, effectively ending his career. Seems a big waste of…something, but I’m not sure what.
So. What sort of bloggage am I in the mood for?
This arrived on the radar yesterday, and nobody knows how it happened. Good for the Vipers, though.
The slut shot, i.e., the HPV vaccine, does NOT turn girls into whore-monsters. Such a relief.
An oral history of Laurel Canyon in the ’60s and ’70s. Love that Joni Mitchell.
Now, I must go to bed before I collapse.