Brian Williams’ Consequences are Severe

Oh, for fuck’s sake: 

“This has been a painful period for all concerned and we appreciate your patience while we gathered the available facts. By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate. Brian’s life’s work is delivering the news. I know Brian loves his country, NBC News and his colleagues. He deserves a second chance and we are rooting for him. Brian has shared his deep remorse with me and he is committed to winning back everyone’s trust.”

Eat a dick. Perhaps the $7 million Brian Williams will not make during this six-month suspension can be used to fund TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY THREE REPORTING POSITIONS at $30,000 each, for a year. You can’t convince me this is about anything but money, and you know why?

Because I know reporters without any.

This goddamn anchor drama is about somebody who makes a squillion bucks doing less work on his busiest day than any courthouse stringer does on her laziest, so spare me the Wagnerian language and prostrations. It’s embarrassing.

I mean come on. Consequences? This isn’t even a bruise, except to Brian Williams’ ego, which is NOT A REAL THING. Brian Williams’ self-esteem is not of any concern to anyone other than Brian Williams and possibly his wife. The rest of us know how this is going to go. He’s going to spend his suspension writing a book. Call it What I Have Learned, or some shit like that. It will be published by an NBC-affiliated publisher.

He will emerge from his suspension with a round of penitential interviews on NBC-owned properties, and we will be subjected to endless thinkpieces about how Brian Williams is our new sacrificial goat or something Biblical like that, as if that’s not self-indulgent in the extreme.

When he returns to TV he will do so in a ratings bonanza, benefitting NBC and its advertisers immensely and convincing the public for ten seconds that anyone outside of the studio gives a shit about the myth of the network anchor.

A year from now, no one will remember any of it at all.

During all of this, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld will remain free men, and walk the earth untroubled by the slightest cruel word. And as for men like these? 

Rosacker graduated from Junipero Serra High School in San Diego in 2000. He joined the Marines to “do something for his country,” his father said.

“He was an all-around good student and athlete,” said Donna Somerville, principal of his high school. “His coaches all speak highly of his dedication to sports. And his English teacher told me that he used to write essays about becoming a Marine. Some of the senior students remember him, and there’s a lot of grief here.”

Rosacker is survived by his wife of two years, Brooke, who lives in San Diego, his parents, and two younger sisters, Samantha and Antoinette, also of Bremerton.

It will be as if all of this has never happened. The trajectory is nothing if not predictable.


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