Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stand Up 2 Brian Williams

On Friday, Brian Williams took part in the "Stand Up 2 Cancer" telethon. Here's a quiz for Nightly Daily readers:

Brian Williams participated in "Stand Up 2 Cancer" because:
A) He lost his mother and sister to cancer
B) Using his fame to battle cancer is the right thing to do
C) It gave him lots of extra network face time to feed his massive ego and allowed him to bask in his ratings superiority over Katie and Diane

Obviously, the correct answer is C. Regarding choice A, I would like to see the paperwork on that. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that Brian lied about his mother's and sister's causes of death in order to make himself appear as a more sympathetic character (I would lose the "sym" and just describe him as "pathetic").

Here's a great idea for a network telethon. It's called "Stand Up 2 Brian Williams". It would feature singers, actors, comedians and other entertainers who would implore viewers to pledge money to NBC News so they could hire producers, editors and a News Division President who have the cojones to stand up to Brian Williams. Make no mistake--this is an important issue. Every edition of Nightly News is about WBW--Whatever Brian Wants. It's all about HIM. How HE sees things. How stories affect HIM. His favorite expression is "For those of us...." ("For those of us who love dogs...", "For those of us with kids in college..."). That allows him to transform a news story into a news story about HIM. Night after night, he ignores important news events so that he can tell us the latest about Bruce, Bono, Medal of Honor winners, firefighters, American cars, brave men and women of the military and anything else that interests him (actually, the military is not just an interest of Brian's, it's an obsession). He doesn't understand (or care about) the difference between a story that's important and a story that's important to him. His agenda is to promote himself (relentlessly), promote his broadcast, promote NBC shows and promote his sponsors. He panders to the viewers with stories that are chosen solely to boost his ratings (celebrities, cute animals, courageous sick children, families with someone serving overseas in the military), rather than provide information or report news. He will report on the most obscure story if it allows him to promote a sponsor's product or an NBC TV show. Similarly, he will ignore a story if it portrays an NBC sponsor in a negative light. He shamelessly brags about his broadcast's ratings (and the ratings of other NBC shows). He offers self-congratulatory back pats to himself and his network for Emmys and other awards (and he makes sure to tell us when the awards are for him). His faux-humility can make viewers gag. He tells us how we won't want to miss this or that story and then says, "See? I told told you it was important," or "That's why we do this." Self-righteous does not even begin to describe Brian Williams. He constantly mentions his wife and his children on the air--unprofessionalism at its most extreme. He is always trying to impress us by name-dropping his good friend so-and-so. Every place he mentions is preceded with the pandering preface "the great city of..." (or "my beloved Jersey Shore"). Sickening. On an ongoing basis, he makes sure to let us know about his vast knowledge of music, movies, television and a host of other subjects. He frequently refers to himself as a "buff"--a presidential history buff, a Supreme Court buff, an American car buff, a military buff, an aviation buff, a NASA buff. If he were any more buff-y, he could be a vampire slayer. He appears on sitcoms and talk shows to impress us with his comedic wit and vast knowledge of all subjects. His ego is out of control and his narcissism runs wild.

And he gets away with this crap every night because no one at NBC News has the courage to stand up to Brian Williams. No one has the nerve to tell him about how inappropriate his behavior is night after night. No one calls him on his bullshit. Ever. So please--let's have a "Stand Up 2 Brian Williams" telethon. Do it for NBC. Do it for broadcasters everywhere. Do it for the viewers. But most of all, do it for the children--it's their future that's at stake.

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