THE BLOG
04/20/2007 04:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Brian Williams Is Good But Brian Williams Is Wrong

Wouldn't it have been extraordinary if a major
television network said: we dont give a damn
about the scoop, the poop or the profit? We
are going to do what's right for the families
of the dead and not run this advertisement
for mass murder.

I applaud the families of the fallen who told
the Today Show: count us out.

I respect Brian Williams and I'm a customer
of the NBC Network News and there have
been times I've worked closely with producers
at the network on stories of major moment.

But: when that tape started running, I turned
off the show, disgusted.

Mr. Williams says not one reputable news
organization would have done anything
different.

That's baloney. First, Edward R. Murrow never
asked what everyone else would have done
when he set the standard for broadcast news.

Second, had Brian Williams made a public
statement at the beginning of the broadcast
that NBC had the tape but would refuse to
run it, in deference to the dead and their
Moms and Dads, I dont agree that everyone
else would have run it.

Many, probably most, would have. Some would not have, but that misses
the point.

In an age where the major media has lost
much of its credibility, when Imus is put on
leave and only fired when the sponsors
pulled out, when garbage far too often
permeates the airwaves and political
reporters act as courtiers reminding us
of yesterdays conventional wisdom,
wouldn't it be great if someone took a stand?

We didn't learn anything new from this video
advertisement for mass murder. All we learned was something old:
another missed opportunity to make a stand, to put high principle ahead
of business, and not make the shallow excuse that "everyone would do
it".

My question for Brian Williams is this:

Somewhere in a dark hole there is some sicko
considering mass murder, encouraged that his
act of death would lead the broadcast news,
confident that if he made a tape "everyone
would play it".

Because of this decision by NBC News and
the idea that "everyone would run it" that sicko
is just a little bit more likely to do it.

If he does, Mr. Williams, and sends you the tape, will you run the
advertisement of the next mass murderer, who does the next Virginia
Tech, and inflict pain on the Moms and Dads
of the next victims of mass murder?