Brian Williams, head anchor for NBC Nightly News, is under rapid fire allegations after revealing new facts about a story that he had claimed to be true. Williams had led people to believe that while doing a story on location in the Middle East, during transport by helicopter, he was shot down. The actual story is that he was in a platoon of helicopters, and one was shot down, but the one Williams was riding in was about an hour behind it.

Williams apologized to the public on Nightly News on Feb. 4 but was removed to a 6-month leave of absence by the network on Feb. 10.

He personally has made no comment since the apology, but the amount of feedback he is receiving is overwhelming. Some people think Williams should not be able to return to Nightly News, and there have even been rumors from the staff of the NBC program that Williams may never return to the show. The network has made no comment on Williams’s return, but Steve Burke and Deborah Turness, who are both significant leaders in the hierarchy of NBC, have said that Williams’s suspension is “justly proportional to his actions,” but they think that he is a trusted leader and a well-respected household name.

However, there has also been an outpouring of support from fans. Twitter and other social media outlets have been filled with encouraging messages forgiving the newscaster.

Senior Michael O’Sullivan tweeted in sarcastic support of Williams saying, “Totally understand the Brian Williams situation… But let’s not act like this is the first time a reporter embellished the details of a story.”

The public may have varying opinions, but the media world’s voice is synonymous. NBC is trying to recover their 700,000 lost viewers, denying lack of fact checking, but other sources imply that if they had incorrect facts about this, what else have they fabricated? CNN has taken a mostly neutral stance but also polled American viewers to find that “four out of 10 Americans think that Williams should not return to Nightly News,” explaining that it may be too risky for NBC to invite the anchor back. Fox News has chosen to target Williams’s social life, including his daughter’s wedding which as headlines read was “postponed due to Dad”.

Williams’s daughter has taken to late-night talk shows defending her dad saying, “One thing the experience has not done is shake my trust and belief in him as a man. He’s a really good man. He’s an honest man. He’s a truthful man. He has so much integrity. He cares so much about journalism. And yes, he’s a really good dad.”

As a viewer, I believe Brian Williams deserves another chance, but as a reporter, I think what he says should be more attentively filtered to avoid offending the public.

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