Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fake News Icons Brian Williams and Jon Stewart Announce Their Departures on Same Day


SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Tuesday, Comedy Central and NBC announced the departures of two pioneering fake news icons: Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” and Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News.” While the timing is said to be coincidental, the similarities are eerie. Both men are highly respected within journalism circles, they represent a progressive voice in an increasingly conservative news environment, they are friends, and they have a rare gift for delivering fabricated stories with straight-faced gravitas. Millions of Americans took to social media this afternoon to express their feelings of loss and disappointment at the void both men will leave. The one difference, however, is that Stewart heads out on a career high, while Williams exits in disgrace. Unlike Stewart’s intentionally tongue-in-cheek and satirical fictions, Williams’ were revealed to break more toward perjury than parody -- or what NBC News President Deborah Turness called “broadcrafting, not broadcasting.”

“We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as managing editor and anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months,” Turness said in a memo to staff. “The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately. We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute anchor the NBC Nightly News.”

Williams has been accused of misrepresenting events during his coverage of the Iraq War in 2003 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Various members of the press called for Williams’ ouster after learning that he had falsified an account of his helicopter coming under enemy fire in Iraq in 2003, and then again in Israel in 2006. His alleged embellishments continued when he appeared on other venues, such as “The Daily Show” and Letterman, where he offered additional but equally disputed new details. He has also been taken to task for his chronicling of events during Hurricane Katrina, including stories about seeing armed looters and dead bodies in areas unaffected by the storm’s damage.

Interestingly, the once lauded and universally respected newsman found unlikely allies among conservative pundits and Fox News personalities. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Fox CEO Roger Ailes all rushed to Williams’ defense.

“While we’re naturally giddy to hear that Jon Stewart is stepping down, which means one less captain in Hollywood’s Jewish elite and enemy of fairness and balance, we’re deeply distressed about how the liberal media has turned on Brian Williams, one of its own,” Ailes said in a public statement. “We at Fox know what it’s like to be victimized by these bastards. We’ve spent years telling the American people the truth, but are portrayed as villains. There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Benghazi scandal is real, Muslim no-go zones have infiltrated all corners of the free world, vaccines cause autism, Obamacare was designed to implement elderly death panels, there’s no evidence to support global warming or the dangers of secondhand smoke, and three times as many whites are gunned down by police as unarmed black teens.”

And yet, the big money lobbyists bankrolling the liberal noise machine have their way, according to Ailes. The champions of truth, like Fox News and Brian Williams, get burned in effigy.

“In short,” Ailes added, “we believe Williams, and there’s an open seat at the Fox News desk when he’s ready to defy the NBC corporate overlords and socialist fearmongers to stand up for the principles of journalistic integrity that infuse every broadcast we produce.”

Williams’ exodus comes at an inopportune time for the network. He has crucial information his colleague Lester Holt lacks. The veteran anchor acknowledged Tuesday evening his direct involvement in and observations of several key world events.

For example, Williams recounted Kayla Mueller’s last moments of captivity as an ISIL hostage in a Syrian oil refinery. He confirmed that he too had been captured by the Islamic State terror group in the summer of 2014 when yet another one of his helicopters had been shot down by enemy missiles. Williams described his rescue by Delta Force commandos, but said that Mueller and other prisoners had been moved from the site a day before to face execution.

Williams also detailed his horrifying eyewitness account of the September 11 attacks by al Qaeda. He had taken refuge in the Twin Towers moments before they toppled, after the helicopter he’d been traveling in was struck by unidentified mortar rounds over New York.

Among a litany of other important revelations, Williams provided insights to the location of Al Capone’s real safe, the resting place of Jimmy Hoffa, Nicole Brown Simpson’s killer and the physical address of the sound stage where all lunar landings have been filmed, which is now a favorite shooting spot for adult movies. He confessed that secretive contacts and astute reporting had little to do with uncovering these mysteries.

“It was a simple matter of serendipity,” he said. “I just happened to be at the right places, at the right times. In each instance, I arrived at these fated destinations during a series of bizarre helicopter crashes.”

2015. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.
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