By now it’s fairly well known that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was recently caught lying about being aboard a helicopter that took RPG fire while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. While I get why it’s a story, in my opinion, it’s been completely overblown.
I’m not sure why he lied, or “misremembered” if you want to look at it that way. It’s all really silly when you think about it, but it is what it is. My feeling is that there’s just no way someone in his position recovers from this. When you’re someone who many Americans are supposed to trust to deliver the news, and you get caught lying about something such as this, that’s pretty much it for your career as a leading news anchor.
Well, last night Jon Stewart weighed in on the whole “controversy” with a different twist.
First he started off by ribbing Williams a bit for the story he’s now admitted was a lie, essentially saying that Williams’ celebrity side conflicted with the news anchor side which is what ultimately led to him continue to tell this fairly elaborate, yet ultimately fictional story.
“Self-love can be a bad habit,” Stewart mocked. “Probably shouldn’t do it at your work desk.”
But then he teed off on how the media seems so concerned with nailing Williams for his lies about what happened in Iraq, while they failed miserably to properly vet the misinformation and lies the Bush administration was feeding the American people leading up to the actual war.
“Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq war,” Stewart said. “It might not necessarily be the first person you’d want held accountable on that list. But never again will Brian Williams mislead this great nation about being shot at in a war we probably wouldn’t have ended up in if the media had applied this level of scrutiny to the actual f*cking war.”
He made sure to remind people that the Bush administration actually went as far as to plant a story with the New York Times, followed by Dick Cheney then going on Meet the Press to hype the story – that had been planted by them.
And Stewart’s absolutely right, our media completely failed us leading up to the Iraq War. They were literally being played and manipulated by the Bush administration and either they didn’t care or they were simply too incompetent to do their jobs correctly. It’s pretty sad day when the Bush administration outsmarts you, but that’s exactly what happened.
So while it’s nice that the media wants to be so thorough when it comes to vetting Williams’ lies about what happened to him in Iraq (as well as other stories he’s reported on), as Stewart said, it would have been really great had they cared as much back in 2003 about investigating all the misinformation and propaganda the Bush administration was feeding the American people.
Watch the segment below via Comedy Central: