by Mark Karlin
Brian Williams has taken a hiatus from being an anchor for NBC Nightly News due to the fallout from his embellishing a tale of reporting in Iraq. His evolving story of “stolen valor” was clearly used to enhance the image that he was an intrepid, courageous journalist. Now, he and the NBC brass are waiting to see if Williams can ride out the storm he created by “disappearing him” for a couple of weeks.
As television critic Mary McNamara of The Los Angeles Times writes, Williams represents the contemporary conflation – ironic because that is what Williams claims happened with memories of helicoptering around in Iraq more than a decade ago – of purported journalist anchor and image branding. The two are generally mutually reinforcing in this age of news as both entertainment and revenue source for corporate broadcasting – as long as tall tales are not exposed.