Another talking head at the NBC news desk is about to bite the dust it seems... and I am taking his side.
1) Williams is in the t.v. news business which implies his mission is entertainment above all else.
2) Journalism has not been actively practiced by the major networks in nearly 30 years.
So, castigating Williams for doing his job and not being a proper "journalist" is absolutely silly. So, he exaggerated/lied about his role in a news story. Did his version fundamentally change the events that occurred? A helicopter did get hit by an RPG. He was in a tight situation, trapped with others in the front lines. Ok, so his bird wasn't actually hit and maybe he wasn't in as much danger as he claims. Whatever. If you rely on Williams for accurate coverage of what is happening in Iraq, Syria, or anywhere else... well... that is a "you" problem. As in, YOU are not taking responsibility for your own knowledge base. When was the last time network news broke a real story or really did their jobs?
Watching interviews, no one gets tough questions. Journalists come unprepared with no follow-up questions and instead just regurgitate what they are told by whatever spokeshole or asshat politician they are interviewing. Of course, if the mainstream media dares to ask tough questions, then the politicians find even easier prey
So, of course, this breeds a whole culture of crony journalism. Williams is just part of the cycle. He is not exceptional. His actions don't warrant some special rebuke.
Look at this interview from NPR to Obama
Not a single real follow-up disputing a single word he offered. They are discussing immigration and the interviewer does not feel the need to ask Obama why he is doing things he had claimed on multiple occasions would be illegal. He disputed Obama's take on the Republican party, but offered up a similar straw man. Obama says he was "frustrated" he could not get immigration done. You'd think the interviewer might ask why he was so frustrated when the Democrats had two years to get it done while Republicans were completely out of power.
My point here is that journalism is non-existent today. Yet, some are holding Williams up to some mythically high standard which we probably haven't seen since the 1970's and even then it was probably more myth than factual. So, let it go everybody. Let the guy get back to his job of comforting lonely old men and women who haven't figured out how to use that whole interwebs thing. Let him tell his evening stories. The world will still turn.