Suspended "NBC Nightly News" anchor and managing editor Brian Williams found his career in shambles after it was revealed he lied multiple times about his helicopter coming under fire in Iraq in 2003. His subsequent apology -- he copped to "misremembering" and said he might have had a brain tumor -- garnered immediate mockery. On HuffPost Live Thursday, veteran journalist Bryan Burrough said the fiasco was all Williams' doing.
Burrough, whose Vanity Fair piece on the Williams scandal received national attention, explained to host Alyona Minkovski that Comcast had very little experience with talent management when it took over NBC Universal in 2011.
"The criticism that's voiced repeatedly in our article is that Comcast managers really have allowed the kids to take over the playhouse, if you will. That Matt Lauer runs 'Today.' Brian ran 'Nightly,'" Burrough explained. "And the managers that they brought in, whether it's Pat Fili-Krushel or Deborah Turness as head of NBC News, basically have not had the strength or have chosen not to exert the strength to run these shows."
When asked about management's involvement in Williams' apology, Burrough said it was crafted solely by Williams, and added that the story's cover-up and apology may have been worse than the actual scandal itself. He explained:
It unnecessarily angered the veterans that were involved and those people who felt like he should have just come out and said he lied. There’s this great quote in [the Vanity Fair article] from somebody who was involved in crafting the apology and involved in the blow by blow: "'You couldn’t get Brian's mouth to form the words ‘I lied.’" He didn’t seem to understand himself, legitimately, why he’d done what he’d clearly done.
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