Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When MSM Covered For NBC's Brian Williams

I knew before I started blogging MSM news orgs did a lot of covering for their own.

But I thought it was mostly for things like the publisher getting a DUI or the news editor's kid getting busted for underage drinking. I believed they couldn't ignore or fog over big stories involving nationally known MSM personalities, especially if what happened happened in "full view."

But how wrong I was, as this July 1, 2005 post - MSM ignores anchor's remarks while bloggers report and comment - makes clear.

Once again bloggers are covering an important news story MSM news organizations are ignoring. As with Eason Jordan and Linda Foley, this story reflects poorly on one of MSM's own.

In this instance, it's NBC anchor Brian Williams' remarks equating the leaders of the American Revolution with Islamic hard-liner and alleged hostage taker, Iran's president-"elect" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

For those new to the story or wanting reference points as the story develops and Williams' apologists try to fog over what he said, the following 3 posts provide a mix of fine reporting, commentary that's thoughtful and properly outraged, and links to other bloggers contributing to the story.

At Betsy's Page, she details the story's development leading to Williams' on air remarks. She then provides some historical information Williams either doesn't know or chose to ignore. And she has a pointed question about a "source" Williams used.

Michelle Malkin, along with reporting and commentary, does her usual outstanding job linking to seemingly everyone with something to contribute to the story. Her site must be causing a lot of pain right now at NBC.

Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters has the reporting but it's his commentary that really stood out. Here's part of it:

Did Washington bomb women and children indiscriminately in order to chase the British out of North America? Did John Hancock send teenagers with bomb belts into marketplaces to kill as many people as possible to destabilize colonial society? This comparison insults the intelligence and the memory of those who fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War, which (despite what's commonly thought) mostly saw European-style, set-piece combat between uniformed forces.

Williams indulges in the same, tired moral equivalency that led Michael Moore to declare Zarqawi as the Iraqi version of the Minutemen from our war of independence. This minimizes the cruelty and inhumanity of the enemies of freedom that use civilians as their targets while trying to impose tyrannies far worse than anything George III could ever have dreamed in his most feverish illusions. It also continues the generation-long effort to rewrite American history to eliminate the idea of American exceptionalism, where all forms of government are relatively equal and democracy is simply another choice with no special moral value over monarchies or autocracies.

Shame on Brian Williams, and shame on NBC.

Shame indeed.