Why the Brian Williams Story Is Important for America
By: Bill O'ReillyFebruary 11, 2015
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As educated viewers, you guys know that the Founding Fathers gave the press special privileges.

They did that so reporters could keep an eye on powerful politicians and other people who might cause harm to the folks.

The Founders were wise to do that.  I just wish the press was half as responsible as the men who forged this nation.

A poll last year by Gallup says only 40% of Americans trust the mass media.

That's down from 54% in 2003.

The reason many Americans hold the press in contempt is two fold.

First, ideology.

It is perfectly fine for commentators like me to give my opinion about events.  That's what I'm paid to do and The Factor is clearly an opinion program, just like the editorial page of a newspaper.

But when hard news people deceive their viewers and readers to advance a political agenda, that's when the nation gets hurt.

Enter Brian Williams, the anchorman for the NBC Nightly News.

Every day about nine million people watched him report the events of the day.

Mr. Williams was successful, beating out ABC and CBS News.

But now we know that Brian Williams exaggerated certain stories, and so NBC had to suspend him for six months.

It wasn't just the Iraq helicopter story.  Mr. Williams apparently misreported other situations as well.

For example, NBC News won a Peabody Award for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Mr. Williams was a big part of that.

Subsequently, he said he was attacked by gangs in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Talking Points was suspicious of the story and so was The Washington Post.

Yesterday I talked with Post reporter Terrence McCoy, who has been investigating.

TERRENCE MCCOY, THE WASHINGTON POST: “I’m reflecting what the hotel manager said in her assessment of Brian Williams when she said he misremembered that gangs were inside –“

BILL O’REILLY: “How can you misremember that gangs – you’re a reporter Mr. McCoy.  I’m not trying to give you a hard time.  How can you misremember there are gangs in a hotel?  You can’t.  It’s impossible.  If there are gangs, there are gangs.  If there aren’t, there aren’t.  According to your article, the manager of the Ritz-Carlton said there were not gangs in her hotel.  Where did I get it wrong?”

MCCOY: “Well what happened with the hotel –“

O’REILLY: “Mr. McCoy, did the manager of the hotel tell you or not tell you that there were gangs in her hotel?”

MCCOY: “The manager of the hotel said there were no gangs in her hotel.”

And that is the same information we have, that Brian Williams said he was rescued from gangs by a New Orleans police officer named Matthew Pincus but was not rescued.

So combining that with the Iraq deal, Williams had to go.

But NBC News has other problems as well.

One of their foreign correspondents, Ayman Mohyeldin, said this about the American Sniper Chris Kyle.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Jan. 29

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Some of what people described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims as he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.  So I think there are …“

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  “Wait, wait killing sprees?  Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?”

MOHYELDIN: “When he was involved in his — on assignments in terms of what he was doing, a lot of the description that has come out from his book and some of the terminology that he has used, people have described as racist.”

Now a group of military people are demanding that Mr. Mohyeldin apologize.  And he should.  He is a hard news reporter.  It is simply absurd to say that Mr. Kyle was on a killing spree and was racist while he was in the Iraq War theatre.

Look, every news organization makes mistakes.  But those mistakes are eroding the confidence of Americans in the press.

With few constraints on the Internet, it is extremely important that the national media stop the corruption and begin telling the truth without an agenda.

I get The New York Times every morning.  That paper has tremendous resources, but over the years it has become a left-wing enterprise and that has crept into its hard news coverage.

I mean the paper can't even put out an honest best-seller list for books without injecting ideology.

This stuff has got to stop.

Now on a personal note, some of you have criticized me for not condemning Brian Williams.  Here's what I said on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night: 

Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday 

BILL O’REILLY: “Anybody who is enjoying the destruction of this man — you got to look at yourself here. And there’s a lot of people who are real happy his career is going down the drain.  That disturbs me. ((EDIT)) He embellished the story.  Now again, if it was just one time, he’ll get by.  But if it’s a pattern of this, it will be hard for him to come back and be the main anchor on NBC.”

It is now my belief that Mr. Williams after the New Orleans deal will not return as the main anchor on NBC.

Instead they will find another place for him.

I like Laura Ingraham's take yesterday: 

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: “I know Brian Williams a little bit.  I used to work at MSNBC and he was one of the first people who was, frankly, very nice and professional to me there.  So he’s always been very kind to me personally.  But I will say this—it doesn’t matter whether I watch, whether I want him to be fired, excuse me.   It matters what the folks in Paducah, Kentucky think.”

That's right on.  It's all about what you guys think.

If you can't trust a news anchor or commentator, you're not going to watch that person.

NBC News made $200 million dollars in 2013 on the Nightly News with Mr. Williams.

That was $30 million more than ABC, $50 million more than CBS.

So obviously NBC did not want Williams off the air.

But they had to take him off because if they didn't, it would insult you the viewer.

Reporting the news comes with a big responsibility.  The Founding Fathers made that point very clearly.

They said to us, we will give you freedom, we will protect you from government intrusion but in return you must be honest.

President John Adams got so angry with the press he tried to shut it down, but the balance of powers stopped Mr. Adams from doing that.

Here on The Factor we are in our 19th season, an amazing run and we have made some mistakes in the past, but very few.

We put together an honest broadcast and we take great pains to present you with information that can be verified.

All Americans who love their country should think about what happened to Brian Williams … to think about other news agencies that are distorting the facts.

We all should open that proverbial “Network” window and say, “We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!”

That's the memo.


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