For some reason, Brian Williams felt that the recently released Nixon tapes deserved nearly four minutes of air time on the June 23 Nightly News. I guess it's easier to air 40-year-old news than to report on current news. Here's another excerpt from the Nixon tapes that was reported in the June 24 New York Times (from a Feb. 21, 1973 phone conversation between Pres. Nixon and Billy Graham):
(Pres. Nixon speaking): "Anti-Semitism is stronger than we think. You know, it's unfortunate. But this has happened to the Jews. It happened in Spain, it happened in Germany, it's happening--and now it's going to happen in America if these people don't start behaving....It may be they have a death wish. You know that's been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries."
Now here's an excerpt from a speech that Brian Williams gave earlier this month at the Nantucket Film Festival (as reported on the June 22 bostonherald.com website):
"Welcome to the Nantucket Film Festival--where Jews come to be honored. Nantucket is actually a Yiddish word meaning where the WASPS live."
Let's try an experiment. Let's substitute the word "African-Americans" for "Jews" and the word "Swahili" for "Yiddish". Would Brian consider those comments to be acceptable? In this age of political correctness, most people seem to understand that it's inappropriate to make derogatory comments based on a person's skin color. Yet many of those same people think it's okay to insult people of the Jewish faith. Nixon believed that he would be able to invoke presidential privilege to keep his tapes from being released. Maybe Brian thought he could invoke anchor's privilege to keep his comments from being heard. Obviously not. Brian owes an apology to his viewers (and everyone else) for his insensitive remarks.