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Brian Williams is no exception, he is the rule

Lying journalists like Brian Williams are the standard in today’s mainstream media.

Whether or not the entertaining Williams keeps his job, we have a media establishment overrun with serial distorters, gotcha artists, exaggerators and liars. And whether Williams stays or goes, people will continue to report low levels of trust in journalists. That’s because the problem is far bigger than the occasional Sabrina R. Erdely, Stephen Glass or Brian Williams.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Edward

    We have heard of the “fog of war.” Apparently there is also a “fog of news.”

    Such a fog would explain why first reports have a tendency to be wrong, but with all too many journalists, the news gets even more wrong with time. Unlike a fine wine, the fog only worsens news with age.

    No wonder we Americans are losing our faith in the American press, their heads are foggy.

  • Cotour

    Lets make a distinction between a “journalist” and a “news reader” , the one being confused with the other. Brian Williams seems to be a kind of hybrid, he has been in the field and he is behind the desk on the set. Mr. Williams seems to be suffering from something on top of it all based in a defect in his character that allows himself to not embellish, which might be over looked, but to invent facts about his personal experience designed to enhance peoples perception of him.

    He has characterized it as ” misspeaking” or “miss remembering” which is a dodge of reality, he is a liar and his lies are based in self-aggrandizement. The “facts” happened or could have happened he just inserted himself in the events in order to become more relevant, to I would guess himself and secondly to his viewers. Why not, who could it hurt?

    Mr. Williams forgot that his credibility at his work is based solely on being credible, and that he no longer is. Another example of how the internet has brought another down from on high with the immediacy of being able to check on what the facts really are. Too bad it does not seem to be relevant to politics where we find serial liars, liars that can actually change through law and policy how things really are.

  • Edward

    Even the news readers are willing to report lies. They knew and understood that Tea Party events had permits and were peaceful, inclusive, crime-free, and left their sites clean. They also knew that Occupy invasions were illegal campsites, riddled with crime, trashy, and that businesses in the area were experiencing trouble from these squatters. They reported the opposite for both movements.

    When other trusted media celebrities defend the outright lies of the news media, then they aren’t as trustworthy as they should be. This is why, in the olden days of news, reporters were so adamant about truth and avoiding becoming the news themselves. The movie “Broadcast News” describes the time when that changed in television news.

    In the mid 1980s, the movie shows, television networks decided that the news divisions, which had always been financial drains on the networks, should become their own profit centers. Thus, the news programs had to draw enough viewers to make the advertising pay for the news gathering and reporting. As “Broadcast News” shows, reporters started to personalize the news, making themselves part of the story, so that viewers would be interested in watching. Instead of seeing an impersonal report, they were watching as though a friend were telling them what happened during the day.

    This led to reporters needing to promote themselves, as though they were Hollywood actors, or something. For instance, Dan Rather shot a missile for the Afghani fighters, back in the 1980s, and became famous after faking a punch at the 1968 Democratic Convention. And then they started to manipulate the stories so that viewers would tune in, as though the news were a soap opera. Then they manipulated the stories so that progressives, such as the Occupation Movement, looked good and that conservative groups, such as the Tea Parties, looked bad.

    This is why Williams was not called on his lies earlier, why he was promoted despite being a known liar, and why he thought he would never get caught lying. How could he have foreseen that the military men that he was honoring would turn on him for lying about his role in their heroism? No one else was honest enough to rat him out, why would he expect them to be any more honorable than the “important people” that he works with?

    Thus the “fog of news” was born, bred, and propagated.

    Everyone in the media is in on the lies. They know that when one is caught, the lot of them are suspect. It has happened before, and it will happen again and again. The whole lot of them, journalists, readers, producers, camera operators, interns, etc. are liars, either by making the purposeful misstatements or by enabling the misstatements.

  • Cotour

    All’s fare in love and war, and this is war.

    Its political / corporate story telling over news, and what I have come to understand is that sometimes it is the lie that is created and then promoted and repeated that secures the power (a controversial subject that puts the everyday mans morality on its head).

    Remember, politics is about power, the acquisition of power and the retention of power and anything, any lie or action can be justified to accomplish what must be accomplished.

    First we eat, then civilization.


  • Edward

    We live in a society in which (a poll reported*) the nation’s youth get their news from comedian Jon Stewart. Add to that, NBC considered Stewart to be the host of “Meet the Press.” Our society does not take news or accurate knowledge seriously, anymore. No wonder the youth of today do not believe that we went to the moon. They already know that the news is made up lies, designed to get them to think the way the government wants them to think.

    We engineers, on the other hand, know that if we don’t know the truth, we will design and build things that will fail. Politicians do not yet understand that, which is why the world gets so many failed government programs. However, the politicians still get to keep their power, and they aren’t sued for incompetence (they seem to be immune from such lawsuits, but then again, they are the ones in charge of the laws — is this a conflict of interest?).

    That so many people (including the helicopter pilot) hope that Williams does not lose his career shows how accepting of lies our culture has become. The only sign that some of us do not accept a lying news media is that the ratings have plunged for network news in general, not just NBC:

    DC Comics’ Superman used to say that he defended truth, justice, and the American way, but a decade or so ago, the saying changed in “Batman Returns.” Now that the press is against “the American way,” we are left with lies, injustice, and the socialist way.

    * Unless that news, too, was a made up lie.

  • PeterF

    Remember all the flak that W took for not preventing the atrocities during Katrina? How could he have prevented them? It turns out that many of them were made up by Brian Williams and his cohorts! They never happened!

    Brian Williams is crooked and its as obvious as the nose on his face!

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