The fallout over Brian Williams’ retraction of his years-old story that he was on a helicopter shot down by enemy fire in Iraq might be primarily about credibility and trust, but it is also about celebrity, ratings and, some say, race.
“You know…Patricia Smith, Jayson Blair & Janet Cooke all got fired for being lying reporters. What will happen to Brian Williams? What do you think?” one African American Facebook poster asked, referring to three black journalists who left the profession after their fabrications were discovered.
Another veteran black journalist wrote, “I know that my career would have been permanently snuffed, crushed and disfigured had I engaged in ANY fabrication of the news. Not so for Brian Williams, who predictably won’t be severely punished…”
[Williams announced Saturday that he was taking himself off the air “for the next several days” and that Lester Holt would fill in.