Looks like NBC is trying to give Lying Brian Williams the squeeze …
According to The Politico, NBC News brass is trying to shame suspended news anchor Brian Williams into resigning. One of those not so good stories regarding Williams was that according to their internal investigation, Williams appears to have embellished reporting stories at least 11 times.
Longtime broadcast executives say a triple crown of leaks about Brian Williams late last week appear to be an effort by NBC News to shame him into resigning, to avoid the messiness and possible additional expense of the firing. The brutal leaks were designed to send the message to Brian Williams and his superlawyer, Robert Barnett: “You’re dead. Now negotiate.”
This is the effect of the leaks, if not the intention. NBC insiders say his return is still possible. Look for a resolution over the next several weeks.
Williams was reported to be under a contract of as much as $50 million (five years, at up to $10 million each). Speculation is that he’ll get $20 million to $30 million to leave. The $20 million camp says that he’s so weak, he’ll get less than 50 cents on the dollar. The $30 million camp says Brian has plenty of ways to embarrass the bosses and colleagues who threw him under the bus, and NBC should stop the bleeding/leaking. “He knows things, too,” a wise man pointed out.
- WashPost’s Paul Farhi reported on the front of Friday’s Style section, “NBC’s D.C. news bureau opposed Brian Williams’s return as anchor” (online: … D.C. bureau strongly opposed … Williams’s return in February”)
- NYT’s Ravi Somaiya reported above fold of Saturday’s Business front (with A1 tease), “NBC Inquiry Into Anchor Is Said to Get New Grist”: “[Discrepancies are evident in accounts given by Mr. Williams in February 2011 [about his reporting from Egypt’s Tahrir Square] … In an appearance that month with Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show,’ Mr. Williams described his reporting from the square. …
- “Subsequent reports said that Mr. Williams was reporting ‘from a balcony overlooking Tahrir Square,’ rather than from inside the square itself … [E]mployees in the news division provided examples for the investigating team to look into, flagging instances in which they thought Mr. Williams had exaggerated.”
- Farhi reported online Saturday: “NBC News finds Brian Williams embellished at least 11 times.”