By John Montone, 1010 WINS
We remember Bob Simon as a great reporter. A legendary journalist. A giant in the TV news business. The other guy…well.
What a week. Brian Williams changed before our eyes from NBC Nightly News network ratings king to an easy punch line. “Did you lie, Bri?”
And what of Williams’ precipitous fall on the list of trust-worthy people from 23rd to #435? Who makes these lists anyway? But #435! Which allowed yours truly to report on 1010 WINS radio, “It puts Bri in a tie with the guy…from Duck Dynasty.” On the same morning from outside 30 Rock as the crowd gathered in the cold to catch a glimpse of Matt, Al and the gang, I started one story on the LIVE radio with, “It’s anchor away, without pay…”
Before his career was shot down by his telling of a tall tale about being shot at with RPGs in Iraq, I considered Williams a bit smug, more of an actor than journalist. The made-up Iraq Attack was worse because it made the reporter the story. That’s bad form. So when I learned it wasn’t true I thought, LIAR! And when Williams put up a self-defense of, “I misremembered.” I thought, “C’mon, man!”
But I am a curious cat so I did a search on the Inter-web and found a New York Times Health section article about human memory. It turns out memory experts do not think Brian was lyin’ about those RPGs. They say that, “memories can change and shift dramatically over time,” and that Williams might have, “…developed a false memory.” That he could indeed have “misremembered,” the incident in Iraq.
“Poor guy,” I thought for a short time until I read another online post accusing the writer of the “False Memory,” article of being biased in favor of “liberals” and “media darlings.”
So who do we trust? Who do we believe?