Brian Williams Lied to Us, but the World Hasn't Ended, and We Have More Diversity


Yes folks, it's true: Brian Williams lied to us. He lied about how his helicopter in Iraq was gunned down by a rocket-propelled grenade, and now he's paying the price. But for all the Brian Williams naysayers out there making a fuss about his embellishment, I say this: Dial it back.

News anchors make mistakes all the time and produce retractions. Yes, Williams was caught, and it's not good, but he's paying the price with a six-month suspension. As Jon Stewart pointed out on The Daily Show this past Monday, the larger issues here is the media-generated hysteria around the Iraq War, acting as more of a Bush-Cheney press than the free American press. "Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War," Stewart deadpanned.

Williams played into the Iraq War hype and was caught. He will pay the price. But folks just need to calm down and smell the roses! There is something to celebrate here: more diversity in our pale, stale and male nightly national newscasts -- especially behind the anchor desk.

Lester Holt, the current fill-in anchor for the NBC Nightly News and the candidate at the top of the shortlist to be a Williams' replacement (if he doesn't return), is essentially the Kevin Hart of news world -- one of the hardest-working, which has earned him the nickname "Iron Pants." Along with filling in for Williams, Holt is an MSNBC correspondent, NBC Nightly News Weekend anchor, NBC News anchor, and Dateline NBC anchor. And beyond all that, his skill, fearless reporting, trustworthiness and of course his blackness will bring a refreshing change to the mundane nightly news lineup.

While mainstream media laments and prognosticates about their comrade's fall from grace, now is the time for America to see the blessing in disguise: our nation's diversity is starting to be reflected in the news we watch.

Richard Fowler is the youngest syndicated progressive and/or African-American radio host in the United States.

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