An article over at Boston.com makes an interesting comparison of two fallen stars of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC): the former anchor of Nightly News, Brian Williams, and Billy Bush, the currently-suspended and soon-to-be-gone co-host of the Today show.
Williams, you will certainly recall, found himself in seriously hot water after it was learned he variously embellished…and even outright invented…stories that he reported in his capacity as an NBC news personality. As for Bush, his career at NBC appeared to be going along swimmingly until he recently found himself caught up in the so-called “Trump tapes,” which show Bush participating in lewd banter with Donald Trump just before Trump’s scheduled appearance in a segment of Access Hollywood back in 2005, a program Bush was co-hosting at the time.
In the Boston.com piece, the question is raised about why it is that Williams, although out as anchor of Nightly News, was ultimately retained by the network as a “breaking news anchor” over at MSNBC and seems to have kept his overall NBC career very much intact in spite of having invented news…while Bush is close to being let go outright for a transgression that, while certainly a source of embarrassment for all involved, does not rise to the same level of journalistic crime.
As Shelley Ross, former honcho at morning shows over at ABC and CBS, pondered aloud, “How was Brian Williams given a second chance when his journalism sins were far greater?”
Some have speculated Billy Bush’s unpardonable sin to be that his lewd banter took place with Donald Trump, and that all of Bush’s historically admirable work as a journalist, roundly praised by many, is not enough to offset having engaged in “locker room talk” with the controversial Republican nominee for president.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large