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Editorial: Brian Williams

Posted: February 10, 2015 5:02 p.m.
Updated: February 11, 2015 1:00 a.m.

There’s a good chance here in Kershaw County, as across the rest of the United States, more people tune in to watch the evening news with NBC’s Brian Williams than with any of his competitors. Williams’ predecessor, Tom Brokaw, inspired great confidence in viewers, a quality necessary for good anchors, and which has carried over; Williams has an easy way of connecting with viewers. But now, on hiatus while NBC investigates claims he made that appear not to be true, Williams’ future is uncertain.

The anchor’s assertion he was riding in a helicopter in Iraq hit by a rocket-propelled grenade is apparently not true. And in the wake of that, NBC is investigating other statements Williams made over the years, including saying he watched a body floating in the French Quarter during Hurricane Katrina, a charge being challenged by New Orleans officials. There are other questions being raised.


The No. 1 quality a news organization must have is credibility, Losing that -- and it can happen rapidly in an era of social media -- damages the basic infrastructure of news purveyors, whether they serve small towns or the entire nation. Unfortunately, if it turns out that Williams was prevaricating stories to raise his own stature, NBC will have no other choice but to replace him.


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