What Should Brian Williams’ Fate Be?
It's been a long time since we've seen somebody of Walter Cronkite's character. His demeanor, his composure, and his character were all cause for complete trust in his role as a newscaster. There will likely never be another like him.
That being said, how big of a deal is it that Brian Williams is caught up in several lies involving reporting expeditions? Williams is faced with at least two stories where he seems to have embellished details that elevated his stature as a network correspondent and all-around good guy.
I'm sure that each and every one of us have told some little white lies in order to make a story sound more intriguing to the listener. And what's the harm if it makes us look a little better as human beings? It's a long standing moral question that has developed into a gray area for many people.
However, Brian Williams' job is to report the facts. As a reporter myself, I can tell you it is nearly a fireable offense if you're caught tweaking the details of a story. News is supposed to be straightforward, with no curveballs.
Though Williams' alleged lies were more personal accounts than news stories, they had ties to serious matters: the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina. The twists Williams' is accused of throwing into the accounts put faces on the issues, though now they may have been masks instead.
My opinion on the matter: suspend Williams' pending an investigation. If it's found that he was indeed lying about these occassions and possibly others, terminate his position. If he's found to be telling the truth, or he "misremembered" these events, keep him on air and let the viewing public determine if NBC Nightly News continues to be the #1 rated network news program in America.