Brian Williams has always been respected as a journalist, news anchor and broadcaster in his career, but just one mistake can jeopardize a great reputation. As the great Warren Buffett quoted, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Brian Williams got everyone’s attention on February 7th, 2015, when he admitted that he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to reports, he has been claiming that he was in a helicopter that got shot at for many years, but now he is admitting it was false claim. Williams said he had misremembered the events and just kept with the original story. NBC, his employer, has since suspended Williams for 6 months after an investigation from that started when he admitted the false claims.
In class we’ve been talking about attention and the average audience doesn’t pay attention to media. In the case of Williams’s story, once this report came about everyone’s attention was caught in awe because of Williams’s reputation. In my opinion, if he would’ve reported that he made a mistake right after the incident happened, I believe no suspension would have come about or a loss of reputation for Williams’s.
NBC did not want to suspend him at first, but they needed to keep their integrity about them. They made the right choice because now in the future all journalist and news broadcaster will know what happened to Brian Williams and that journalist will not make the same mistake. – Zach Hastreiter