Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Why All the Hand Wringing?  Brian Williams is a Liar.


Brian Williams has been suspended by NBC for lying about being in a helicopter that was hit by RPG fire.  NBC says they are “rooting” for him and that he deserves a second chance, presumably after the suspension.  One wonders why NBC would even consider putting him back in the anchor chair.  Are they incapable of finding anywhere in the world a news reader capable of doing the job at least as well as a man who has sullied his reputation for veracity beyond any hope of repair?

Be that as it may, there has been a lot of “analysis” over a very straightforward matter.  For his part Williams says “I would not have chosen to make this mistake.  I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

Of course he would not have made such a mistake; no one would.  Of course he does not know what screwed up his mind to cause him to conflate one aircraft with another, because he did no such thing.  He lied.  Why are we even discussing any other possibility?  He is a trained journalist; a professional observer.   Does anyone seriously believe he is incapable of telling whether or not he was riding in a helicopter that was hit by RPG fire?

What was his motive for lying?  Easy.  He wanted to inject himself into the story and appear to be more relevant.  I’ve experienced this before firsthand.

One of the most bizarre experiences of my life occurred while I was representing the Columbine families.  Jim Taylor was one of the law enforcement officials who responded to the scene, and he happened to be a friend of the father of one of my clients.  Here’s where it gets weird.  Taylor told my client that he was actually on the scene when his son was shot.  He said he saw the boy get hit and go down.  Every word of it was a lie.  The truth came out eventually but not before a great deal of chaos and anguish resulting from the fact that it was impossible to reconcile Taylor’s account with the official account put out by the sheriff’s department.   One or the other accounts simply had to be false.  Naturally, my client believed his friend, whom he assumed had no motive to lie.

After all the dust had settled and his lies were exposed and he had lost his job, Taylor was asked, “Why did you do it?”  His answer, “I wanted to make my involvement look greater than it was.”  Brian Williams would understand that.

Here’s a brief article from ABC from just after the matter erupted.

O'Leary: Media are dominated by progressives, and progressives do not think facts and evidence, and dissemination thereof, are important.
Leaving aside the falsehood that "media are dominated by progressives"-- US media are dominated by moderate conservative, except Fox News and WSJ dominated by radical conservatives-- the notion that "progressives do not think facts and evidence, and dissemination thereof, are important" is laughable coming from conservatives with their Fox News lies about Muslims have made "No Go Zones" in France and Minnesota; or the ID movement whose every "weakness of evolution" is either based on redefinitions of the scientific method (God of the Gaps!) or, more commonly, factually false old wives' tales and folk hoodoo (all the peppered moths were dead and pinned to trees! there are no transitional fossils! no beneficial mutations! natural processes can't create information!). But let's see whose stories are more plausible, Brian Williams or Uncommon Descent. In a recent UD post, O'Leary writes that
Richard Dawkins, guardian of Darwinian correctness, made a point of hounding [Rupert] Sheldrake
While her source actually said,
She [Dawkins' assistant] added, “We are very keen for it to be a discussion between two scientists, about scientific modes of enquiry”. So I agreed and we fixed a date.
And O'Leary said
and [Dawkins] at one point had to be shown out of his [Sheldrake's] lab.
While her source actually said
In that case, I replied, there had been a serious misunderstanding... Russell Barnes asked to see the emails I had received from his assistant. He read them with obvious dismay, and said the assurances she had given me were wrong. The team packed up and left.
When I called out O'Leary for her inaccuracy, somebody deleted my comments. And then there is Denyse O'Leary's endless credential inflation: Ms. O'Leary calls a wedding photographer, Laszlo Bencze, a "philosopher", and calls a guy with a few papers in semiconductor research, Daniel Bakken, an "exoplanet expert." As another test of UD's concern for facts and reality, Arrington writes a post entitled, "Global Warming Fraud Exposed." The post linked uncritically to a crank whose accusations of "fraud" were debunked by the first, the very first, comment, from Piotr-- a comment whose links Barry didn't bother to follow. Even some warming deniers disowned that accusation of "fraud", but here at UD, Barry's accusation of "fraud" just disappears down the rabbit hole like everything else here, with no one bothering to defend it, but instead changing the subject to various random counter-accusations and tu quoques-- the usual UD invention, fabrication, and lack of accountability or concern for accuracy, then change the subject and counter-accuse. Let's further compare Brian Williams' self-aggrandizing stories with the self-aggrandizing lies of UD posters and commentators. Joe Gallien has the privilege of making top-level posts at UD so he's considered one of your great intellectuals. Let's see his stories. Joe G tells us he is a research scientist and an injured veteran who is working on "national security" but it's top secret and he can't tell us about it while he's telling us about it. When we ask for his peer-reviewed papers, we are told we're not allowed to ask because we don't have security clearance. This is a typical Joe G "National Security" story that at Uncommon Descent goes unchallenged. It's why you treat Joe G as one of your greatest intellectuals.
Joe G: "I have been too busy working on national security issues- detecting biological & chemical agents- and recovering from injuries I sustained in Iraq- three surgeries down and hopefully only one more to go." [Joe G says he works on national security at UD]
Query to Joe: What is your position that requires having done science? Joe G: "Electronic engineer and research scientist." Query to Joe: 'What experiments have you done?' Joe G: "Many dealing with ion trap mobilty spectrometry & mass spectrometry. Many more dealing with electronic circuitry and electricity. I can't get specific as it deals with security. If you can get a security clearance I could show you what I do. Then there is astronomy. On any given night I can have 3 telescopes pointing skyward. 2 4,5" aps with a 910mm FL(one automated and one manual) as well as a 10" ap with an 1125mm FL. And that is just the tip of the ole iceberg. That doesn't count the experiments I conduct in my basement. Some labs would be jealous of the equipment I house & use there. For example I now know that ticks are more attracted to watermelon rinds then they are to orange peels or orange slices. I also know that dragonflies play." [Joe G reveals his top secret scientific research at ARN]
And lastly there is KairosFocus, who repeatedly spins imaginary tales of his "minor children" being threatened and stalked by evolutionists--KF insinuates that evolutionists fly abroad to his small volcanic island to stalk his family!-- but, when we repeatedly demand evidence of stalking or threats to "minor children", he produces none. Ever.
KairosFocus: It can only be exposed to the point here it can no longer be got away with, and those who undertake such a task can count on being viciously attacked every inch of the way by inherently amoral ideologues with worldviews that open the door to nihilism. Personalities, nastiness, bully-boyism, expulsion if the nihilists have power, outing tactics, cyberstalking, stalking uninvolved family including minor children and more. Some of the more unhinged and obsessive fanatics we describe as using such tactics give evidence of anger management problems, drink and or drugs, being gun nuts, possible post traumatic stress disorders and more. KF [KF comment #231, UD, Oct. 24, 2013]
Uncommon Descent is just a gaggle of fantasists with, shall we say, rich inner lives unsubstantiated by evidence-- and you complain that Brian Williams was wrong about which helicopter got hit with a grenade? Diogenes
BW deserves as many chances as the gullible public are willing to give him. Mung
I still remember when Williams had the legendary interview with Hillary … Who knows, maybe Brian Williams and Jon Stewart will trade jobs . Heartlander
Interesting, Denyse. How propitious that there should be such a pool of benighted worldlings, available to the multinational wheelers and dealers, to staff their propaganda mills. Axel
Barry, I sense there is an underlying issue here, one I mean to unpack in a post here - because it bears very directly on our issues but most people don't even consider it. (And probably only a few will bother to read my post; it is for the record.) Media are dominated by progressives, and progressives do not think facts and evidence, and dissemination thereof, are important. Progressives think narrative, spin, and getting "memes" started are what count. They don't believe human beings can form judgements as to truth. In a society that adopts their line of thinking, they are actually right. The critical question isn't why Williams would engage in self-aggrandizing fictions, but why that sort of thing is tolerated, from him and from many others by news media management. It's because NBC management knows that its progressive viewers do not care that much. They mainly want a narrative that appeals to them and a spin that subtly aggrandizes them. There is not much hope for traditional ways of thinking (including science thinking) until we recognize that fact - and develop effective ways of countering it. More later. News
I'm sure the hand-wringing is because their heir to the throne, Hillary, suffers from the same defect demonstrated by virtually the exact same lie. If they can salvage Williams, the groundwork has been laid for the apparatchik media to better protect their candidate from this issue in the next election. William J Murray
Barry I know this sounds weird and I don't mean to offend but I have a deep respect for Eric Harris, he is the only atheist I know albeit not personally that lived by what materialism if true, actually means. Please don't think I approve of any of his actions, I do not and I condemn what happened at Columbine, Eric Harris however showed the world the logical conclusion of materialism. We must never forget that! Andre
They don't want to punish one of their own left wing mouth pieces. Its a small lie to inflate his ratings. I wouldn't punish too much. Let the punishment fit the crime. However these people would punish/hang anyone who says something about ethnic/race/sex/sexual orientation in a negative light . Everyone should enforce right things but with a gentle hand. by the way. The thing I always disliked about Williams was when Brokaw was leaving THEY were saying the next anchor should be a woman/ethnic etc. Williams didn't defend the right of Americans or American citizens to get exactly what they deserve fair and square BUT INSTEAD said/implied strongly he deserved Brokaws job because he was Irish Catholic. not a WASP or white protestant or whatever the terms. So he gets his comeupance . he sow stealing and reaped losing his job for minor reasons. Anyways just a little slap. lets be just and merciful even if they are not. Robert Byers

Leave a Reply