According to Maureen Dowd in the New York Times, NBC News executives knew Brian Williams had a problem with the truth but the infrastructure wasn’t in place to do anything about it. Per Dowd, things were so bad with Williams that his “flourishes to puff himself up” became “a joke in the news division.”
HIS was a bomb that had been ticking for a while.
NBC executives were warned a year ago that Brian Williams was constantly inflating his biography. They were flummoxed over why the leading network anchor felt that he needed Hemingwayesque, bullets-whizzing-by flourishes to puff himself up, sometimes to the point where it was a joke in the news division.
But the caustic media big shots who once roamed the land were gone, and “there was no one around to pull his chain when he got too over-the-top,” as one NBC News reporter put it.
It seemed pathological because Williams already had the premier job, so why engage in résumé inflation? And you don’t get those jobs because of your derring-do.
I would argue that things were much worse than that. The truth is that things got so bad and out of control at NBC News that as recently as last Friday Williams was able to retell for the umpteenth time his lie about being shot down over Iraq on the NBC Nightly News.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter: @NolteNC