It’s been a rough few months for suspended news anchor Brian Williams. Now that the fog is lifting and decisions have been made regarding his fate, Williams is making public appearances again to apologize for making inaccurate statements while in his position hosting NBC Nightly News.
In an interview this morning on NBC’s Today with Matt Lauer, Williams apologized to viewers for his untrue statements:
”I know why people feel the way they do. I get this. I am responsible for this. I am sorry for what happened here. I am different as a result and I expect to be held to a different standard...
While stopping short of calling his statements lies, Williams did admit to saying things that were not true and blamed his ego and his desire to appear sharper and funnier when appearing inplaces other than Nightly News, like his appearances on Late Show with David Letterman or The Tonight Show, during which he told stories about covering the Iraq war in 2003. These statements were later called out as untrue by some of the servicemen who were there.
You can catch the full interview, below.
It has now been confirmed that Brian Williams will not be returning as host and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, and that Lester Holt, who has been filling in since Williams’ suspension began last winter, will continue on as the permanent host. Instead, Williams will move over to cable channel MSNBC, where he will handle breaking news and special reports. It will actually be a return to the channel for Williams, who hosted The News With Brian Williams there beginning in 1996, that is, until he took over the Nightly News position from Tom Brokaw in 2004. Williams will take over his new role sometime in August.
MSNBC could use the help. The network's ratings are down substantially. A transition to more hard news reporting, and away from the more opinion-based broadcasting that makes up most cable news, is the current plan to get the ratings back up. While Williams certainly has the experience to help with this transition, his presence may hurt as much as help when it comes to credibility, which is even more important if MSNBC is looking to be taken seriously as a hard news outlet. It will no doubt be a long road ahead for Williams, but now he has a place to start getting that credibility back.