I can’t believe
A word you say
Are gonna make
You sad someday – The Knickerbockers, 1966
The New Orleans Advocate reports that
NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who apologized on the air Wednesday night for lying about an experience covering the Iraq War, is now facing scrutiny over his gripping accounts of Hurricane Katrina, the disaster that burnished his nightly news bona fides almost a decade ago.
Williams’ account of seeing a body float by in the French Quarter — which remained largely dry — and even a claim of catching dysentery from drinking Katrina floodwaters have raised eyebrows among bloggers and elsewhere since he took it on the chin this week over a claim that he rode in a helicopter that was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq.
“I was instead in a following aircraft. We all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert,” Williams said Wednesday. He painted his earlier description as a “bungled attempt” to thank an Iraq War veteran.
The online feeding frenzy quickly turned to the 55-year-old anchor’s signature assignment: covering Katrina from before it made landfall, when he spent the night of the storm with refuge-seekers in the Superdome and then reported on the harrowing days that followed.
“When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country,” Williams said in a 2006 interview.
And last year, in an interview with Tom Brokaw, the man he replaced in the anchor chair at NBC, Williams said:
“My week, two weeks there was not helped by the fact that I accidentally ingested some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery, our hotel was overrun with gangs, I was rescued in the stairwell of a five-star hotel in New Orleans by a young police officer. We are friends to this day. And uh, it just was uh, I look back at total agony.”
But the French Quarter, the original high ground of New Orleans, was not impacted by the floodwaters that overwhelmed the vast majority of the city.
A spokesman for NBC did not immediately respond Thursday to questions about those comments, the hotel to which Williams referred, whether Williams stands by the claims or whether the network is reviewing them.
Williams has described his experiences during Katrina as personally transformative, and he has returned to the city and the topic numerous times since.
“I saw fear, I saw death, I saw depravity, I saw firearms being brandished, I saw looting,” he told the Los Angeles Times a year after Katrina made landfall.
He also recalled the danger of the moment in a 2007 interview on C-SPAN.
“We had to have men with guns behind me one night because I was the only source of light downtown, was the lights that were illuminating the broadcast,” Williams said. “We were told not to drink our bottled water in front of people because we could get killed for it.”
Other accounts have Williams curled up in the fetal position between his on-air reports from a bad bout with dysentery.
A spokeswoman from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said dysentery is not one of the reportable diseases the agency tracks but that contaminated water sources are possible “transmission points” for dysentery.
Dr. Brobson Lutz, a former city health director who manned an EMS trailer that was set up in the 900 block of Dumaine Street, a block from his house in the French Quarter, said he was a fan of Williams but dubious of his claims.
“We were never wet. It was never wet,” he remarked of the conditions in the city’s most historic neighborhood.
As for dysentery, “I saw a lot of people with cuts and bruises and such, but I don’t recall a single, solitary case of gastroenteritis during Katrina or in the whole month afterward,” Lutz said.
As for Williams saying he accidentally drank floodwaters, Lutz added, “I don’t know anybody that’s tried that to see, but my dogs drank it, and they didn’t have any problems.”
In his interview last year, Brokaw praised Williams, saying that with his reporting during Katrina, Williams “took ownership, if you will, of the anchor chair” following a longtime stint as Brokaw’s understudy.
Since then, Williams has become well known for his sharp-witted comic turns on the late-night talk show circuit. And he has continued to check in on a city that he has said “is always going to be a part of me.”
Questions about Williams’ recollections of his experience during Katrina weave into a larger tapestry of erratic, and sometimes downright erroneous, journalism that emerged from the chaos of the storm and its aftermath.
Why do members of the Main Stream Media, like Brian Williams, feel so compelled to lie about their experiences, “embellishing their resumes”, and acting like a poor man’s Geraldo Rivera?
First, Let’s look at the make-up of our nation, in terms of political ideology.
38% of Americans are Conservative.
34% of Americans are Moderate.
23% is Americans are Liberals.
These numbers prove that Conservatism remains the strongest political ideology in America, followed closely by Americans who consider themselves to be “Moderate”.
Liberalism remains the smallest (albeit most vocal) political ideology in America, still mired in the low 20s, in terms of that ideology’s percentage of our population.
The disconnect between CNN and MSNBC and the American Viewing Public occurs because the political ideology of the Main Stream Media is overwhelmingly Liberal.
A while back, the Media Research Center reported that:
In May 2004, the Pew Research Center for The People and The Press (in association with the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists) surveyed 547 journalists and media executives, including 247 at national-level media outlets. The poll was similar to ones conducted by the same group (previously known as the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press) in 1995 and 1999. The actual polling was done by the Princeton Survey Research Associates.
Five times more national journalists identify themselves as “liberal” (34 percent) than “conservative” (just 7 percent). In contrast, a survey of the public taken in May 2004 found 20 percent saying they were liberal, and 33 percent saying they were conservative.
The percentage of national reporters saying they are liberal has increased, from 22 percent in 1995 to 34 percent in 2004. The percentage of self-identified conservatives remains low, rising from a meager 4 percent in 1995 to a still-paltry 7 percent in 2004.
Liberals also outnumber conservatives in local newsrooms. Pew found that 23 percent of the local journalists they questioned say they are liberals, while about half as many (12 percent) call themselves conservative.
Most national journalists (55 percent) say the media are “not critical enough” of President Bush, compared with only eight percent who believe the press has been “too critical.” In 1995, the poll found just two percent thought journalists had given “too much” coverage to then-President Clinton’s accomplishments, compared to 48 percent who complained of “too little” coverage of Clinton’s achievements.
Reporters struggled to name a liberal news organization. According to Pew, “The New York Times was most often mentioned as the national daily news organization that takes a decidedly liberal point of view, but only by 20% of the national sample.” Only two percent of reporters suggested CNN, ABC, CBS, or NPR were liberal; just one percent named NBC.
Journalists did see ideology at one outlet: “The single news outlet that strikes most journalists as taking a particular ideological stance — either liberal or conservative — is Fox News Channel,” Pew reported. More than two-thirds of national journalists (69 percent) tagged FNC as a conservative news organization, followed by The Washington Times (9 percent) and The Wall Street Journal (8 percent).
Since Pew conducted their research, 10 years ago in 2004, the Liberal Political Bias, present in America’s Newsrooms, has steadily become worse, to the point of being unwatchable, due to their slavish devotion to the “First Post-Racial President”and their decidedly Liberal slant to every single news story, including the shootings of Strong Arm Robbery Suspect Michael Brown, Earl Gardner in New York City, and all of the politically-funded “protests”.
The brilliant Conservative Economist, Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote,
…Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the world envisioned by today’s liberals is that it is a world where other people just passively accept whatever “change” liberals impose. In the world of Liberal Land, you can just take for granted all the benefits of the existing society, and then simply tack on your new, wonderful ideas that will make things better.
Liberal Ideas always cost taxpayer money…and they never make things better for the average American.
The Main Stream Media firmly believes that it is their job to serve as a Propaganda Arm for both the Democrats in Congress and President Barack Hussein Obama and his Administration, no matter how costly their programs might be to the American People.
President Ronald Reagan once famously said,
It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.
Which explains the gross overestimation by “Broadcast Journalists”, such as Brian Williams, of their own intelligence and potential popularity through their subjective coverage, aimed at a Liberal audience.
In clear and concise terms (in deference to any Liberals who may be reading this), the reason that Fox News kicks CNN’s and MSNBC’s hindquarters week after week, and is actually more respected than the Broadcast News Operations, is because their programming and news-reporting philosophy more accurately reflects the political ideology of the average American.
When I was a Collegiate Radio News Director from 1978-1980, I made sure that all 21 students on my on-air staff, including myself, maintained our objectivity in our reporting.
In Main Stream Media Newsrooms now, 35 years later, ideology has replaced objectivity.
And, that is why they fail.
…And, why Brian Williams felt compelled to lie…and lie….
Until He Comes,