The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi makes it clear that the internal NBC rebellion against the suspended Brian Williams occurred back in February, at the height of the scandal. “Sentiments may have calmed down … since,” he writes. Considering the embarrassing revelations in a recent Vanity Fair article covering the scandal, that’s hard to believe. Tempers may have calmed, sure, the resolve is likely the same:
One person who attended the Washington meeting described the overall tone as a “bloodbath” for Williams. But another news employee tempered that characterization, describing the atmosphere merely as “very raw” and colleagues as “shocked.” The individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
In any case, the bureau staff offered a strong rebuke of Williams, whose troubles were still fresh in the news at the time. Among those who spoke against him were two of the network’s on-air correspondents, attendees said.
The journalists told Turness that the scandal had made them embarrassed to deal with their sources and to identify themselves as NBC News employees. Turness, a British TV news executive who was hired by NBC two years ago, listened attentively but made no specific commitments, the attendees said.
Williams is currently in the middle of a six month suspension. There have been all kinds of reports claiming he’ll be back and that he won’t be back. No one with any knowledge of NBC News believes either side. We all know that the final decision will come down to whether or not the return of Brian Williams helps or hurts NBC’s political agenda.
If Williams can help get Hillary Clinton elected and further the overall NBC cause of empowering the federal government, he will be back. If his return harms that cause, he will not be back.
This question will be pondered and focus grouped. It is the only thing that matters to NBC News. It is the only thing that will decide the fate of a disgraced anchor man.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC