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  • Six Months Without Pay Only The Beginning For Brian Williams?

    Brian Williams’ tall tales were too much for NBC suits to sweep under the proverbial rug.

    He’s officially been suspended from his top-rated news show “NBC Nightly News” for six months with no pay, according to a memo obtained by Politico.

    Williams’ suspension is a result of his lying about coming under RPG fire while reporting in Iraq in 2003.

    In addition to Williams’ embellishments regarding Iraq, other harrowing stories of his, including dead bodies he allegedly saw during Hurricane Katrina, have come under heavy scrutiny.

    In fact, there’s apparently an internal document replete with more fabrications. More on that below.

    The full memo from NBC News President Deborah Turness on the suspension:

    All,

    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.”

    Deborah

    Since Williams has commanded millions of dollars as a journalist and speaker, I think he’ll be OK financially. But if during this hiatus more instances of lying are unearthed, we’re looking at “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” for more than just six months.

    And, reportedly, there’s a dossier chock-full of Williams’ lies. A dossier!

    Quoting New York Magazine:

    NBC News execs are currently deciding the fate of Brian Williams: The Nightly News anchor and his agent met with NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke in the last 24 hours, and were presented with a dossier of Williams’s apparent lies, according to sources. One can only imagine that Williams wishes his anchor escape plan had worked out and that he were the host ofThe Tonight Show right now. After NBC decided to move on from Jay Leno again a few years ago, according to two NBC insiders, Williams lobbied NBC executives to give him the host’s chair. “Brian wants to be a late-night comedian,” one former colleague explained. “He traded on being Nightly News anchorman-war-reporter to ingratiate himself with Jimmy, Lorne Michaels, and Jon Stewart.”


    Matt Schuck

    Staff Writer

    Matt Schuck is a staff writer for Daily Surge. He's a DC native who got his start in broadcasting doing stints at the legendary radio station DC101 and Hot 99.5, before being recruited by the Heritage Foundation to launch their first ever radio program. Matt has worked with SiriusXM, Phil Hendrie (Team America, Futurama), and as an executive producer for the John Fredericks Show.

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