February 11, 2015 12:30 pm -

[su_right_ad]The slow-motion train wreck that has been the Brian Williams RPG attack scandal (RPGate?) came to a head Tuesday night when NBC News announced that Williams will be suspended for six months without pay, at which point he will presumably return (hopefully, my dog Emma will also return from that farm upstate for a long-awaited visit). One of the underrated subplots to this drama has been the absurd, disgraceful way NBC News has handled the story as both news outlet and news source.

Although Williams made his apology on NBC’s air, it would be several days before cable news sister network MSNBC would cover the story and, when it did, viewers were treated to surreal touches like this:

“According to Variety, a person familiar with the story said that NBC News executives had counseled Williams to stop telling the story in public. This is disputed by someone familiar with current NBC News operations.”

This is double-plus-absurd, because for starters, the sourcing and attribution in the Variety article wouldn’t make it past the editor of the James O’Keefe Memorial High School Gazzette (emphasis mine):

What makes Williams’ admission worse, according to one person familiar with the situation, is that he had been counseled in the past by senior NBC News executives to stop telling the story in public. The advice, this person said, was not heeded. One person familiar with current NBC News operations disputed that information.

Those attributions are so weak, they could both literally be used to describe me. Much more glaringly, though, why is Mika Brzezinski reporting on what an anonymous rando says NBC News executives said, instead of asking, oh, I don’t know, an NBC News executive? Or anyone at all connected to the news outlet that she works for? This is akin to Josh Earnest reading out anonymous White House leaks to reporters in a press briefing. It’s absurd and disgraceful.

Since then, MSNBC has covered the story in much the same manner, generating news content and commentary from the same limited set of facts and statements as everyone else. On Tuesday night’s The Rachel Maddow Show, someone finally called them out, and it was Rachel Maddow…READ MORE

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D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

2 responses to Rachel Maddow Sweetly Calls Bullsh*t On NBC Over Brian Williams Coverage

  1. Foundryman February 11th, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    These Daily Banter articles where they want to charge you 60 bucks to read the rest of the story are really kind of ridiculous.

    I already pay for internet content, I won’t pay individual sites even more. They will just have to figure some other way to make money or find someone else to fork over some bucks. I hear the Koch Bros. have some extra pocket change.

  2. fahvel February 12th, 2015 at 12:40 am

    this guy is a reporter like romney is an intellectual politician. Dudley doo rights with the chin and the bravado and not a dollop of integrity. F’em.