THE FOG OF BRIAN’S VARIOUS SONGS! Mitty and Heep, together at last!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2015

Part 1—With application to others:
Increasingly, NBC’s Brian Williams seems like a bit of a nut.

In interviews—largely not on news programs—he has made an array of peculiar statements down through the years.

These statements tend to have a bit of a Walter Mitty feel. They seem designed to heighten our sense of Williams’ heroism and moral greatness in the face of suffering and personal danger.

Talk about sufferin’ down below! Williams has seen rivers:

He has seen, or perhaps hasn’t seen, someone jump to his death in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.

He has seen, or maybe not seen, a body, or perhaps a number of bodies, floating outside his hotel during that same ordeal.

At one point, he slipped and fell in the Superdome, landing flat on his back. Needless to say, this allowed him to spot, or perhaps not to spot, a small hole in the Superdome’s roof as he looked up from his nasty fall—a small hole which later became a major structural problem.

To judge from the way he told that story, he may have been, or may not have been, the first person to spot that small hole.

How bad did things get during Katrina? In 2005, Williams accepted a Peabody Award for his reporting during that crisis. His acceptance speech was characteristically humble.

(There’s an obvious strain of Uriah Heep in Williams’ peculiar public statements. In a masterful strain of humble-bragging, Mitty and Heep tend to join hands as he makes his peculiar claims.)

Back to Williams’ humble statement as he humbly accepted his award. Early in the statement, he sounded perhaps a tiny bit crazy as he listed the names of a lot of little people—names which should have appeared next to his on the trophy he held.

First names only! To watch this statement, click here:
WILLIAMS (5/16/05): ...And finally, names like Matt, the Jefferson parish police sergeant who, at the depth of things, found me on a mattress in a hotel stairwell and brought me back and got me back to work.
Say what? “At the depth of things,” a policeman found Williams on a mattress in a hotel stairwell? This policeman brought Williams back and got him back to work?

Brian’s voice seemed to break as he reached the words “hotel stairwell.” Meanwhile, what was Williams doing, at the depth of things, on a mattress in a hotel stairwell in the first place?

There may be, or may not be, a good explanation for that strange-seeming report. On another occasion, we’ve been told that Brian’s “five-star hotel” (it was the Ritz-Carlton) was “overrun with gangs” during this ordeal.

Williams saw, or possibly didn’t see, those gangs overrun that hotel. And these are just the peculiar statements he has made about Katrina. It was his inaccurate statements about Iraq which created the current flap.

Make no mistake—the inaccurate statements about Iraq have sometimes been carefully staged and planned. The intended messaging has sometimes been quite plain.

Example:

In March 2013, Williams told his story about Iraq on the David Letterman show. The story lasted about five minutes.

To watch the story in its entirety, click here. The story starts around the 2:20 mark.

Rather plainly, Williams’ appearance this night was built around his telling of The Story. It was the tenth anniversary of the event. Williams brought a photograph of himself out in the desert with an American soldier.

There’s nothing automatically “wrong” with telling such a story. But if you watch Williams telling The Story that night, you will see several groaning misstatements—and you’ll see a story which has been crafted to increase our awe about Williams’ obvious moral greatness.

Letterman didn’t thank Williams for his service, but he came pretty darn close. Like his hair, Williams’ humble-bragging was perfect.

But uh-oh! On this occasion, Williams somehow got it into his head that the pilot of his helicopter “took a Purple Heart injury to his ear in the cockpit” during the dangerous attack which didn’t actually happen. He also told a strange-seeming story about the sandstorm which forced his team to hunker down in the desert for three days.

The sandstorm was real. Did the rest of this peculiar-sounding story actually happen?
WILLIAMS: [Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks] surrounded us for three days during the sandstorm that was so big it suspended the war effort. It was called Orange Crush. And they got us out of their alive.

LETTERMAN: You were on the ground, in combat, for three days?

WILLIAMS: Yeah—unbeknownst to anyone back here. NBC sent my wife and children to The Breakers in Florida to keep their minds off it and keep them occupied because no one knew where we were. We couldn’t be in touch.
Really? Williams was missing in a war zone for three days. In response, NBC sent his wife and his kids to a fancy hotel in Florida “to keep their minds off it?” And they actually went?

Everything is possible! But that sounds strange to us.

“I have to treat you now with renewed respect. That’s a tremendous story,” Letterman said as Williams ended his recitation this night.

Uriah Heep responded to that, as you can see on that tape. But anyone with an ounce of sense will understand an obvious fact:

Williams told that five-minute story for an obvious reason that night. He told the story to generate that fawning statement from Dave, who was happy to give it.

Does any of this self-serving foolishness actually matter? Not necessarily, no! If a journalist does outstanding work but sometimes enters Mitty mode, the caliber of his actual work would still stand on his own.

That said, Williams doesn’t do outstanding work; on the whole, neither does his team at NBC News. And his silly reinventions-of-self have been going on for a very long time now.

His reinventions date way back. They constituted a work in progress well before the start of the war in Iraq.

The liberal world has tolerated this self-serving conduct from Williams, and from other big stars, every step of the way. We’ve even tolerated the selling-of-self from brand names in upper-end liberal journalism, not excluding the increasingly peculiar Nicholas Kristof.

In our reports about the fog of war which has invaded Brian’s songs, we’ll also discuss the selling-of-self which increasingly seems to pervade Kristof’s somewhat peculiar work.

PBS viewers, did you understand what Kristof did with that weeping child in Haiti? Frankly, we still do not. We sometimes wonder about the actual empathy and compassion—and journalism—of this exalted man.

(For background, see our next post.)

We’ve warned you for years about wealth and fame, about what “journalists” will do to obtain them. In our view, Williams has played a dishonest, sometimes destructive game as he has seemed to grab for the golden rail.

But then again, so have quite a few of our leading “liberal” journalists. The liberal world has accepted this crap every step of the way, to the sands of Iraq and beyond.

Are we “too dumb to be self-governing?” We’ll report these matters all week. Incomparably, you can decide.

Tomorrow: Revisiting one of Brian's songs in the run-up to Iraq

61 comments:

  1. Tragically, Ben Stiller was snubbed by Oscar for his role in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." He did garner a Saturn nomination for Best Actor.

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    1. "Brian's Song" got a number of Emmy nominations (it was a movie for TV).

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    2. "David Copperfield" got a Best Pic Oscar nod and a nomination for the Mussolini Cup.

      Roland Young, who played Uriah Heep was snubbed. He did get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for "Topper."

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    3. Uriah Heep got snubbed by the Grammy's.

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    4. Uriah Heep, according to Wikipedia, still has quite a following in the Balkans, where, as you know, Hillary Clinton came under sniper fire.

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  2. Wait, now Brian Williams' is the "liberal world"'s fault too? How about blame if on the back-scratching media-entertainment-corporate news world? The next liberal I meet --- other than my mom, who thinks Brian is handsome --- who didn't think Brian is a vapid, mannered, affected, utterly empty suit will be the first.

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    1. Libs happen, Geoff.

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    2. cicero (pretending to be Anonymous here), just another freeper:

      http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/by:cicero/index?tab=comments;brevity=full;options=no-change

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  3. How can libs be incredulous that B.W. is a bona fide liberal Democrat? He endorses liberal politicians and is endorsed by liberal Hollywood types. Williams fawns over Bill Clinton, POTUS Obama & FLOTUS and Letterman and Alec Baldwin consider him one of the network news standard-bearers of liberal orthodoxy.

    http://www.mrctv.org/videos/worst-reporter-history-man-award-nominee-brian-williams

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    1. Well your link certainly convinced me. Lots of fawning.

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    2. Brian Williams is a hustler who clawed his way to the top by slandering the Clintons and Gore during the Jack Welch era.

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    3. Brian Williams lied about rescuing a hush puppy from a grease fire during his stint as a busboy at Perkins Pancake House.

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    4. "How can libs ....?

      2 reasons: he's not and look who's pimping him as a lib.

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    5. @ 12:15

      That would be libs David Letterman and Alec Baldwin doing the pimping along with Carter, Clinton, Obama, FLOTUS, etc...

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    6. Brian Williams has never emerged from his perfumed limousine to explain why Chuck Todd was allowed to be on the air.

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    7. @ 12:47

      Look at the paid troll pimp Williams as a lib. What's next - Glenn Beck is an undercover lib?

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    8. cicero, just another freeper:

      http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/by:cicero/index?tab=comments;brevity=full;options=no-change

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    9. B.W. is handsomely paid to be a Democratic Party shill with better hair than Debbie Wasserman Shultz.

      Would it be too much for the dailykosters here to pony up any video of Williams demonstrating a fondness for conservatives? Next thing, Anonymous will claim Carter, Clinton, and Obama are actually conservatives.

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    10. I'm looking for the clip where he says Bush painting his toe in the tub puts him past Carter on the ex-President's list.

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  4. NBC news anchor Williams alternated from his job as DNC talking points disseminator to disseminator of utter bullocks.

    "Was Brian Williams terrorized by gangs at the Ritz-Carlton during Katrina?"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/09/questioning-the-ritz-carlton-gangs-that-brian-williams-said-terrorized-him-during-katrina/

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    Replies
    1. Troll on freeper.

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    2. He also led an all east coast Irish Catholic gang once.

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    3. At least his daughter's porn career is off to a good start.

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    4. Porn star? Wow, that is the most precipitous fall for a child since the son of two college professors stooped to anchoring TED talks.

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  5. I certainly hope Brian's demise will open up an opportunity for America's first openly gay nightly network news gatekeeper.

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    1. Only if that anchor laughs like Anderson Cooper.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyxOoR_uWvg

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    2. I would insert a comment about looking down the tube of an RPG launcher, but it might not be pc.

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    3. cicero, just another freeper:

      http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/by:cicero/index?tab=comments;brevity=full;options=no-change

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  6. The liberal world depends on lies from Brian Williams, Al Sharpton, women who accuse fraternity brothers of rape, and presidents who tell audiences of gullible, low IQ viewers who wanted to applaud their own disapproval of rape, "One in five women are raped." If he had used the opportunity to offer a statistic that also has the benefit of being true, he could have said 75% of black children are born out of wedlock, the vast majority to negligent parents who subject them to poverty, he might have a slight impact on human misery.

    Liberals accept lies and tell lies to themselves because the reality they would prefer for various oddball reasons, of one in five women getting raped and an epidemic of out of control white cops killing innocent black youth, doesn't exist. On the rare occasion the lies are exposed, the liberal world response is that truth is incidental and one is missing the larger point.

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    Replies
    1. Finally a reader who gets Bob's point.

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    2. "Finally a reader who gets Bob's point."

      Sad, pathetic, but true.

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    3. It's not just Brian Williams and Al Sharpton @12:45, here are Sam Seder and Michael Brooks getting all pissy PC over what they overheard in a Man Cave somewhere in the Real America.

      [LINK]

      Or did I go off topic?

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  7. It matters whether our news reporters (including anchors) tell the truth. It doesn't matter whether Brian Williams is considered liberal or conservative or somewhere in-between. Apparently, Williams considers himself more of an entertainer and pundit than a serious journalist, else he would take greater care to get the facts straight when telling stories about his experiences doing his job of reporting.

    You guys treat this as one big joke. Maybe that is what participatory democracy is to you. What a waste of opportunity you guys are.

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    1. Of course it matters that all network anchors are and have been liberals. Cronkite, Rather and Brokaw have proclaimed their allegiance to liberalism. Liberals didn't care about Williams lack of credibility as long as he did softball interviews with liberal politicians. Now that Stars & Stripes. opened the floodgates for lampooning Williams, liberals want to disown him.

      Williams in no way considers himself an entertainer and neither does NBC. The network goes to great pains to sell him as a hard news anchor and news editor. NBC insisted that the moonbat liberal personalities were relegated to the ugly stepchild MSNBC. In fact, the personalities are interchangeable.

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    2. If these guys are such a waste of opportunity how come you keep hanging around with them?

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    3. cicero, just another freeper:

      http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/by:cicero/index?tab=comments;brevity=full;options=no-change

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    4. Brian Williams, not just anther lib, but one who sees dead people....floating.

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    5. Troll on freeper.

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Trolls deny Williams' lib credentials. How long have you been a TDH troll?

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    8. Can't you two trolls compare notes elsewhere?

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  8. The guild, now that a member is wounded, will quickly turn on the most convenient politician to divert attention from itself.

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  9. The herd, stampeded, will thunder.

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    1. Tomorrow: Chimps, screeching, flinging poop. We promise!

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  10. OK, Brian Williams, this time we gotcha. American has seen the light. No more will we allow our airwaves to be cluttered with corporate sponsored pabulum. No more will our news divisions be expected to make a profit or entertain. No more will news anchors be recruited from the ranks of smarmy B-movie actors who fritter away their credibility on sit-coms and late-night pitch-fests in the interest of being of being "real." Yes, thanks to Brian Williams being caught in his pathological lying, America is going to get its free press back, and with it the kind of enlightened and informed citizenry necessary for the betterment and perpetuation of its democracy. American is saved.

    What was it Theodoric of York said? -- NAAAAAAH!!

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  11. I am glad Somerby found a way to weave Kristof into this story. It would be a shame to let him off the hook too early for that empathy business.

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    1. First Dowd said Gore was lactating. Then Somerby borrowed on Dowd to accuse Kristof of lactating. Now, as our intellectual culture collapses. SCOTUS says its all out fault.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/supreme-court-says-men-lactate-too-when-can-they-start-breastfeeding

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    2. Why can't we have more manly men? Like sissy-row from freeperville.

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  12. Did the analysts pleasure themselves when they read about --

    "Matt, the Jefferson parish police sergeant who, at the depth of things, found me on a mattress in a hotel stairwell."

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    1. Poor Brian. He fell for an impersonator. Jefferson Parish doesn't have a Police Department.

      Don't tell the Analysts or Bob.

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    2. The reference is to Matt Pincus of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department.

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  13. Quaker in a BasementFebruary 9, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Williams is a liberal journalist?

    What happened? Did we get last pick?

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    1. Last pick? He certainly had all the qualifications desired by liberals i.e., soft ball questions for liberal politicians, fawning over liberal politicians and gave liberal late nights hosts entertaining sci-fi stories.

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  14. I'm sure Williams is a serial self-puffer, but don't forget the media serial qualities of never letting the facts get in the way of a good cyber-bullying. I just posted the following comment under the latest Washington Post hit piece: haberstr: McCoy concocts "three separate individuals" saying the hotel was not "overrun with gangs" from thin air. He links to three reports: (1) a Guardian piece where a guest who stayed at the hotel _about_ the same time as Brian Williams said there were no "criminal gangs" but that a "criminal element" was allowed into the hotel that had created "scary moments." (2) a N.O. Advocate piece where a 'local community activist' in the very general neighborhood says 'things were scary and there were rumors of gangs but there were no gangs, I don't think'. (3) a Times-Picayune report from September 26, 2005 on the entire city of New Orleans and not the Ritz neighborhood that quotes N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin, who spoke of "hundreds of armed gang members" just after the hurricane. It says nothing at all about the neighborhood around the Ritz-Carlton, and says nothing at all about debunking or not the notion that there were gangs or armed gangs in that area. http://goo.gl/Q4UikK

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    1. Cyber-bullying? How could this happen to a delicate snow flake that brought this onto himself?

      B.W. claims he was rescued by a cop at the hotel and that they have remained friends since then. They find that cop and he says it's bullocks you can stick a fork in your buddy Brian.

      "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 from the stairwell of a five star hotel in New Orleans by a young police officer we are friends to this day."

      http://soopermexican.com/2015/02/04/also-fabricated-brian-williams-told-similar-story-in-katrina-about-cop-rescuing-him-from-gangs/

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  15. I think Mitty/Heep is a much better use of literary comparisons for Williams than Dimmesdale was for Kristof.

    I worry that many of Somerby's young readers were not introduced to these great works, however.

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  16. I think Mitty/Heep is a much better use of literary comparisons for Williams than Dimmesdale was for Kristof.

    I worry that many of Somerby's young readers were not introduced to these great works, however.

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    1. That said, I repeat myself. I must be getting old. .

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