Friday, February 13, 2015


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by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA

On NBC: Anchor Brian Williams typically has 23 minutes to give the news. Monday, sole advertiser Philips will cede six minutes.
Brian Williams in the studio of "The NBC Nightly News"

Something is rotten at 30 Rock (the New York address for NBC), and we don't mean the Tina Fey sit com.  Their Star news anchor, Brian Williams, for the "NBC Nightly News" is under fire for stories which he has now admitted are untrue and there seem to be other stories emerging around the beleaguered news anchor.  Williams has been suspended from NBC for six months without pay.

Noodleman has been critical in the past of the American news media for coloring and filtering the news reported in this country and now we have proof!  Our suspicions were first raised back in the late 1960's by CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite and the CBS accounts of the Vietnam war (if you are able to remember that far back)  This in now history and should always be remembered as an example of integrity.  

In the Vietnam era as a mater on conscious, Cronkite while anchor of the "CBS Evening News" was compelled to question the actions of our Government.  The account of this event is provided to us from  "Cronkite journeyed to Vietnam to report on the aftermath of the Tet offensive. In a dramatic departure from the traditions of "objective" journalism, Cronkite concluded his reports with a personal commentary in which he voiced his strong belief that the war would end in stalemate. Cronkite's editorial would later be regarded as a critical indication of public opinion of the Vietnam War".

Cronkite at CBS; 1969
In the United States where freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution, many of us feel that what we see and read in the news is true and uncensored and is reported by Journalists who are beyond reproach.  The press in many circumstances how ever reports stories as the Government has released them in their press releases without fully investigating them.  This is what Cronkite faced during the Vietnam War; a war which lasted for over nineteen years.

Over the years others have been critical of the press leaving room for speculation about just how much is true.  During the Vietnam war, President Lyndon Johnson's war, Johnson was a very politically strong President able to dictate his programs and polices. With the revelations of Vietnam there was room for speculation concerning other programs which were a part of Johnson's administration. 

If "conflate" is the word that journalists use to describe their lies and deceptions than all journalists are corrupt since they take their ques from the Unions which they are members of and we should know that the only thing saving Brian Williams from being terminated at NBC was his Union.  We should also know that this is only the tip of the ice berg as journalists conflate their news reporting of the Democrats and are propping up a corrupt President like Barack Obama.  In real journalism we call this "PROPAGANDA"! 

Then as today, especially today with a President like Obama, we must be cautious of the lies coming from the administration and the media which is reporting them.  We must always question the information we are receiving and we must separate fact from fiction.  The best method for uncovering these "conflations" is not to rely solely on one media source for the news but to follow the events in the news from several reliable media agencies both written and broadcast.  

We also need to beware of those who are confusing the issues such as foreign governments, especially during a time of war.  Here at "Noodleman" this is what we do!  We pull many different sources to bring together as many angels on a story and look at the bigger picture.

Operation Anchor Shield: Why NBC News and Brian Williams Need to Open Up, Now
To regain trust at this point, an "internal review" is not going to cut it.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 2
Douglas Gorenstein—NBC/Getty
Journalist Brian Williams
appears on The Tonight Show

on Jan. 16, 2015

Here’s a thought experiment: let’s suppose NBC News were covering a scandal involving a household-name public figure–at the NFL, say, General Motors, the White House–and the organization that figure belonged to said, sorry, it was going to handle the investigation itself. Don’t worry: there would be an “internal review,” they would put really good people on it, and if it turned out there was anything to be concerned about, they’d be sure to let everyone know!
Would that be good enough for NBC News? Would it be good enough for managing editor Brian Williams? I sure hope not.

But it’s exactly the process that NBC News, a journalistic organization, apparently expects to satisfy other news outlets and the public they report to. On Feb. 7, Williams announced he would take a temporary break from anchoring after he apologized for falsely reporting on air that he was in a helicopter hit by an RPG over Iraq in 2003. The day before, NBC News president Deborah Turness announced in a memo to staff also released publicly: “We have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are – and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.”

Well, that’s considerate.

I’m sure NBC’s team is a group of conscientious professionals of high integrity; reportedly, it will be headed by Richard Esposito, the head of NBC’s investigative unit. But in the end, it’s still investigating the boss. (And in fact there’s some doubt as to whether this is any “investigation” at all, or whether it’s instead simply “fact checking” before addressing the controversy.)

That shouldn’t be a satisfying answer to any journalistic outlet. And a big part of the problem here is that NBC News isn’t acting like a news organization; it’s acting like a business doing crisis p.r.
There are still a lot of questions about just how false Williams’ stories of his Iraq exploits have been (as well as newer concerns raised about his reporting on Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans). The answers, or some answers, presumably lie within the NBC organization. Williams wasn’t on that chopper alone: what crew was with him, and what do they say? Where was he exactly? How far behind the chopper hit by RPG was he really? Did his aircraft take fire or not? Did anyone in the organization speak up earlier? There’s a lot that people could say–Williams above all–and they’re not saying it, publicly, to anyone.

Now, this may well be the best strategy for a business in trouble. Circle the wagons, keep your information tightly held within the company, get your story straight, figure out how bad things are and how you can manage the situation. Limit your exposure.

But NBC News is not just a business. Or, at least, its business depends on journalistic trust, which is not exactly bolstered by a defensive, CYA reaction. If NBC and Williams want to make things better, that starts with opening up–really opening up.

If they simply, honestly believe this situation is no big deal, that Williams already apologized and everyone should move on, then they should make that argument, openly, and good luck doing that.
Otherwise, Williams should be talking, not to his own staff, not to David Letterman, but to outside journalists. If he wants the truth to get out, have him do an interview, no questions off-limits, with a reporter from another network–say, somebody like media reporter Brian Stelter at CNN. Put him under a 100-watt bulb with an interviewer with no incentive to do anything but dig uncomfortably. Make support staff and records available to outside journalists, not some closed internal process.

That may sound ridiculous and foolhardy. But NBC and Williams have a trust problem, which is therefore also a business problem. Only openness will fix that—and the later and more grudgingly it comes, the less good it will do.

Tom Brokaw Wants Brian Williams Fired
Tom Brokaw wants Brian Williams fired
Tom Brokaw (right) is livid over the revelation that Brian Williams lied about being in a chopper that was hit by an RPG in Iraq.Photo: AP

By Emily Smith and Kenneth Garger
February 5, 2015 | 11:05pm

You know you’re in trouble when Tom Brokaw is out for your blood.

NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.
“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source said. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”

On Wednesday, Williams, 55, acknowledged that he had repeatedly said he was aboard a chopper that had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq, when he was actually safely traveling in a different aircraft.

Brokaw, 74, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.
“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.
NBC News execs had counseled him to stop telling the tale.

Williams still took the anchor’s seat for his “Nightly News” broadcast Thursday evening — and was working at 30 Rock all day despite calls for his dismissal. He didn’t address the issue during the broadcast.

“He is not going to be suspended or reprimanded in any way. He has the full support of NBC News,” a network source said.

Many of Williams’ colleagues believe his claim that he simply “conflated” two versions of what happened in 2003.
“There have been meetings about it all day. They are taking it very seriously,” the NBC source said.

“But we believe that Brian’s apology on the air speaks for himself. He admitted over time he conflated the events.”

NBC brass hasn’t been talking to lower-level employees about the situation, leaving people in a panic, the insider said.
“NBC bosses don’t understand how serious this is. Nobody in a leadership position is talking to the troops. Nobody has addressed it,” the source said.

One longtime NBC employee who has worked with Williams on several occasions had a few dirty words to describe the celebrated anchor, calling him a “real pompous piece of s–t.”
“He’s an a–hole,” he fumed. “He’s not a journalist. He’s a reader.”

“Oh, the fireworks that are going off inside,” he said. “It’s embarrassing. He’s the face on NBC. He’s a liar.
“Everyone knew it.”

On Friday, Brokaw responded to reports that he wanted Williams axed.
“I have neither demanded nor suggested Brian be fired,” Brokaw said in an email to The Huffington Post. “His future is up to Brian and NBC News executives.”

NBC News: Brian Williams Suspended For 6 Months Without Pay

2/10/15 7:49 PM EST

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay following his false claims about an experience he had during the Iraq war, NBC News president Deborah Turness announced Tuesday night.

Deborah Turness / NBC

"We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately," Turness wrote in a memo to staff. "We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News."

In addition to Williams' false claims about Iraq, Turness said she the Comcast/NBCUniversal brass had "concerns about comments that occurred outside NBC News while Brian was talking about his experiences in the field."

Steve Burke, the CEO of NBC Universal, said Williams' actions "are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate." However, Burke also said Williams "deserves a second chance and we are rooting for him."

In the  memo from NBC News President Deborah Turness she writes:

"We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately.  We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News.
Our review, which is being led by Richard Esposito working closely with NBCUniversal General Counsel Kim Harris, is ongoing, but I think it is important to take you through our thought process in coming to this decision.

While on Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.

In addition, we have concerns about comments that occurred outside NBC News while Brian was talking about his experiences in the field.

As Managing Editor and Anchor of Nightly News, Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high standards of the news division at all times.

Steve Burke, Pat Fili and I came to this decision together. We felt it would have been wrong to disregard the good work Brian has done and the special relationship he has forged with our viewers over 22 years.  Millions of Americans have turned to him every day, and he has been an important and well-respected part of our organization.

As I’m sure you understand, this was a very hard decision. Certainly there will be those who disagree.  But we believe this suspension is the appropriate and proportionate action.
This has been a difficult time. But NBC News is bigger than this moment. You work so hard and dedicate yourselves each and every day to the important work of bringing trusted, credible news to our audience. Because of you, your loyalty, your dedication, NBC News is an organization we can – and should - all be proud of. We will get through this together.
Steve Burke asked me to share the following message.

“This has been a painful period for all concerned and we appreciate your patience while we gathered the available facts. By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate. Brian’s life’s work is delivering the news. I know Brian loves his country, NBC News and his colleagues. He deserves a second chance and we are rooting for him. Brian has shared his deep remorse with me and he is committed to winning back everyone’s trust.”


Our hearts are truly saddened over Mr. Williams acts and consequences.  This has been a very hard article to write as it cuts to the core of our soles and illustrates how things work and some times don't work.  Truth always seems to be a casualty in Government and sometimes in journalism.  We must always be on guard and demand the highest standards when we are dealing with others in our day to day existence and those in Government and the media! Next we will be writing about the President and his request to Congress for funds to fight ISIS.  This has been Felicity writing for the "Noodleman Group".

(courtesy of STEVE BREEN / U-T San Diego 2015)

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