NBC suspended anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay and it is a decision I cannot argue with.
He lied. He misled. And he must pay.
In the news business you are allowed to be wrong. But you cannot lie. It is as simple as that. You must be able to trust the people that provide commentary and content. If we are up there lying how can you trust us? How can you trust the news?
We are wrong sometimes. That is a big difference. We must trust people to tell us the truth. That does not always happen. That is why we talk to multiple sources and hope that we have enough evidence to provide an accurate portrayal for you. But you know how it is. If you talk to two people there is one person’s version of a story. There is a second person’s version and in between lies the truth.
We cannot lie.
I cannot tell you I was at the 1977 World Series and I wasn’t. I cannot tell you I talked to Barry Sanders when I didn’t.
This business is becoming blurred. There is competition for fast news, interesting stories and being on the front lines of stories. Williams fell for that trap and it is costing him six months of pay and possibly his job.