Saturday, September 12, 2009

Why Brian Is Presidential

On Sept. 4, Brian Williams reported that the Associated Press printed a photo of an injured marine who later died of his wounds. Brian then earnestly pledged that, "NBC News, by the way, is not airing the image in question." What a joke. Nightly News would show any photo or video if Brian and his producers thought it would result in a ratings bump. If Nightly News isn't showing the picture, it's only because the NBC News research department has already informed Brian and his producers that there would be no perceptible ratings gain as a result of displaying the photo. And by the way--a pledge from Brian isn't worth the audio tape it's recorded on. This past Jan. 5, Brian pledged that Nightly News would not air any stories about Sasha and Malia Obama unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Fast forward to Aug. 17 when Nightly News aired a story Sasha and Malia are enjoying their totally awesome summer vacation. That's a compelling reason to report on Sasha and Malia? I don't think so. I guess Brian and I just disagree on the definition of "compelling".

Meanwhile, Brian fancies himself a scholar of presidential history. So he should be gratified to know that he has so much in common with many of his study subjects. Many presidents also made pledges that weren't true: "I am not a crook."(Nixon) "There is no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe."(Ford) "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."(Clinton) "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction."(George W. Bush) "Read my lips--no new taxes."(George H.W. Bush) "We did not--repeat, did not--trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we."(Reagan) "I have previously stated and I repeat now that the United States intends no military intervention in Cuba."(Kennedy)

Bravo, Brian. You're in good company.

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