The PeRil of spin

      68 Comments on The PeRil of spin

brian williamsIt was a very tough week for journalism. The untimely deaths of CBS’s Bob Simon and The New York Times’ David Carr shocked their colleagues and followers, as did the announced departure of Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show”. While Stewart always insists he’s just a comedian, there’s no denying his profound influence on how we receive the news.

However, little dominated the headlines last week more than the six-month suspension of Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, TV’s highest-rated news program. After it was found Williams fabricated stories about his experiences when covering the news, he was removed from the anchor chair. He apparently lied about being shot at while aboard a helicopter in Iraq, and may have made up his report about seeing a floating body in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Both events didn’t happen according to witnesses, and Williams apologized for his “conflated” tale.

The highly-respected and popular anchor is now suffering from the peril of spin. Yes, he was on a chopper in Iraq but it was a nearby chopper that received gunfire. Yes, he was in New Orleans after Katrina, but there was little-to-no flooding in the French Quarter. Other allegations of lies and spinning are being investigated by NBC, with some believing there’s more revelations ahead.

My good friend and seasoned PR practitioner Bert Cunningham wrote, “Brian Williams’ primary mission was to tell the news story, not be the news. Same holds true for public relations pros. They need to remember they are telling the stories of (their) brands. They must not become a story through unethical or questionable practices or expressions of personal opinion–via social media, for example–that reflect badly on themselves and those they represent.”

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said last week, “Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets.” Squandering trust through spin and deception can ruin friendships, marriages and careers. No individual, business or institution is exempt from truth. In news, in PR and in all walks of life, trust must be earned and maintained. Can Brian Williams ever get it back? Your thoughts?

68 thoughts on “The PeRil of spin

  1. Hillary Alexandre

    It is commonly thought among many people that PR is about spinning the truth. When I entered my first PR class, my professor, Fresina, told me otherwise (and I wasn’t to forget it either). Unfortunately, many PR pros and journalists fall into the trap of spicing up their info and stories by adding or fabricating. In my opinion, a fake story is worse than a boring story because when your bluff gets caught, your rapport with audiences is immediately affected, and most of the time lost. No longer will be people trust you and you’re good as done in the industry.

    I’d advise that Brian Williams should look into something else. Perhaps theater will like his grandiose stories. Sorry, not sorry.

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  2. natestaggs24

    This blog describes the Brian Williams controversy perfectly. Making himself part of the story should not be a journalist’s job. They need to report what happened and only describe their personal interactions if it is absolutely necessary. I also agree that with what you say about trust. It doesn’t matter how famous you are, your reputation can be crushed in no time.

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  3. williamekanem

    Trust, integrity, credibility or whatever you want to call it is the name of the game in public relations. It doesn’t come by chance, but is deliberately built and maintained.
    Brian Williams built that for years but couldn’t maintain the trust but fell so appallingly. The question is can he come back?
    We have witnessed attempts to rebuild wrecked credibility overtime and a quick tool is always –an apology, a tool Brian has employed already.
    However, Christopher Lehane, coauthor of “Masters of Disaster” said, “apologies aren’t enough in crisis,” so what does he do next?
    My guess is for Brian to wait for the greatest healer in nature–time. Thanks for the wisdom in the six months suspension. Take that with the fact that the public always has the penchant to forgive. Six months down the road, the entire issue may turn out “one of those things,” and Brian begins to stage a gradual come back. Maybe not as a news anchor, but as a talk show host. Remember Don Imus!

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  4. Jennifer Im

    I think it’s highly unlikely that Brian Williams will be able to ever fully recover from this revelation. First off, it’ll be incredibly difficult for him to rebuild his credibility, as most news stations would spurn him. Even if by some miracle Brian Williams manages to get back on the air, the question of “what if” will always hang about him.

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  5. karisa newkirk

    It is a shame that such a familiar and trusted face has been tainted due to his mistakes, but like any other ‘celebrity’, I believe that he can bounce back with time of course. He may be forgiven but he may never be trusted with news which may make it hard for him to find another job or even get back the one at NBC.

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  6. keyanamichelle13

    Personally I never really watched NBC I watched ABC more often. After reading this Brian Williams news story, it would take a lot for me to not only listen but also believe any news stories that Brian Williams or NBC produces. Trust is something you have to earn and once its gone its very hard to get it back. Even if Williams found a way to make some sort of comeback he would not have as many as beloved viewers as he did before.

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  7. clester6

    I agree, along with everyone else, that Williams was in the wrong. However, I do feel as if the repercussions were quite extensive. Williams has been on air very long and has a very well known reputation. I personally would be easily willing to forgive, because I enjoy watching Brian on the news and am sure he didn’t go out of his way to purposefully lie and see if he could get away with it.

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  8. Deana Meccariello

    Totally unethical. His credibility is completely shot. Sure he may come back, however I don’t think he should. It is one thing to embellish but flat out lying to the public is wrong.

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  9. Vincent Frazzetto

    I enjoyed the the tidbit from Cunningham. Brian Williams was trusted to deliver the news to the American public, however got caught up in his own spin on the truth. The trust placed in him by millions of people was discredited in a fraction of the time it took him to build such accolades. Now, he must build back the trust he once owned drop by drop.

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  10. Marc Carganilla

    Brian Williams may have made mistakes but NBC is no stranger to fabricated news, yes Brian Williams romanticized some details and yes he may have exaggerated some news but lets not forget that show Dateline NBC did hosted by Chris Hansen, rather then reporting news it seems to be that they were making up news as well. Brian Williams is a well respected anchor he’s been there to report on Presidential elections, natural disasters, and other moments in American history. Yes he was untruthful and unethical with is job to say the very least. But to tarnish his reputation when he works for a network that posts tabloid garbage and other controversies I don’t think he should be placed in such a bad light rather he should just keep a low profile and everyone should leave him alone just hire a new guy to man the desk and leave this be.

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  11. Taylor Lawrence

    I think he will be able to redeem himself in some ways. If he does make it back I am sure it will be on a new station, with a smaller position. The saying about losing trust in buckets is definitely accurate. He lost all of his credibility in one day, now to get it back it may take years. That’s assuming he gets a new job at all… I do not think his come back will ever get him to the former position of the public’s eye he had been in.

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  12. Jess Hershman

    I don’t think that Brian Williams will ever be able to fully gain the public’s trust back. As one of the most respected broadcast journalists in the world, his only job was to deliver the news to his viewers in a respectable and honest matter. Since he couldn’t manage to do that, I don’t think he will ever be welcome back to NBC, and if another channel were to hire him, he would constantly be questioned regarding the validity of his reports.

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  13. elizah9

    The world of journalism has indeed had a tough week. So many events have taken place in such a short period of time. I am most surprised by the Brian Williams story, he publicly told millions of people some serious lies. Moreover, Williams is a man who was once a reliable source for nightly news, but now there is no guarantee that anything he has said in the past is true. It’s sad that with the internet being filled with false stories that nowadays we can not even relay on broadcast news for factual information. I honestly, really hope that Brian Williams can bounce back from this, but I do not think that I will ever trust him again for reliable news.

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  14. Michele Colletti

    Once your credibility is lost being a journalist I don’t believe you can ever gain it back. Brian Williams has now lost the trust of many of his colleagues and his listeners who trusted that he would tell the world the news. I do believe that his closest friends and family will be able to forgive him because they know him better then the rest of the world does, but in the matter of telling world news, i don’t think he will ever be able to bounce back from this, everyone who listens to him now will question him. It is a lot like trust in any other relationship, people may forgive, but never forget.

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  15. Victoria Kotowski

    NBC absolutely had to suspend Brian Williams, no doubt about it. In my opinion, he should not be allowed to return to his job, but I’ve seen on multiple websites that NBC will allow him to come back after this half-year hiatus. I think they would be smart and gain more respect if they parted ways with Williams, but that is just my opinion. I do think that Williams will be able to make his way back into the industry eventually, because as we discussed in class, our country loves a comeback. That being said, he needs to follow the necessary steps to ensure the public that he is not only sorry, but is a changed man. I think he needs to start with apologizing to the veterans who were affected in his fabricated helicopter story, and then I think he needs to take some major time off and stay completely out of the public and work on himself.

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  16. Ashley Fazio

    In my opinion what Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said “Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets” could not be more true. What Brian Williams did will be very difficult to come back from. When trust is lost it is very hard to get that trust back, but loosing the trust when you are known as being one of highest rated news anchors is almost impossible. If Brian Williams ever does make it back on TV it will be very difficult for his ratings to go back to what they once were. His career will never be the same after this scandal.

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  17. afairc1

    NBC did the right thing in giving him a suspension and not firing him out right. If they fired him I think the story would have blown up even bigger. Brian Williams spinning stories is a major no no in journalism, and for that I think his career is over. No matter what he does to try and win the publics opinion of him back people will always be second guessing his news and wondering if what he is saying is truthful.

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  18. Christina Michael

    I do not believe that Brian Williams will be able to gain the public’s trust back or his respect as a reporter. His job was not to inflate his own image by fabricating stories that he had experienced such dramatic things when they did not actually happen. A six month suspension shows that NBC is taking action against Brian Williams and eventually the buzz about him will settle down, however I do not think he will return to any major station as a main news anchor.

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  19. trillian501

    Brian Williams six month suspension is not a shocker to see, being as big of an anchor as he is. He certainly needs to gain back trust in the public eye after he blemished his stories about his time in the Middle East. This Brian Williams story really shows how you always need to stay within the frames of the facts. As you can see, when you start to stray outside from the facts the half-truths that are used come back to haunt you. In other news, it’s truly sad to see a lot of the media leaving the spotlight. I am especially sad to see John Stewart leave The Daily Show, his satirical take on the news was always a refreshing and funny change from the more serious alternatives. With Stephen Colbert also done with The Colbert Report, I wonder how Comedy Centrals is going to fill the void.

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    1. David Pepe

      Brian Williams six month suspension is not a shocker to see, being as big of an anchor as he is. He certainly needs to gain back trust in the public eye after he blemished his stories about his time in the Middle East. This Brian Williams story really shows how you always need to stay within the frames of the facts. As you can see, when you start to stray outside from the facts the half-truths that are used come back to haunt you. In other news, it’s truly sad to see a lot of the media leaving the spotlight. I am especially sad to see John Stewart leave The Daily Show, his satirical take on the news was always a refreshing and funny change from the more serious alternatives. With Stephen Colbert also done with The Colbert Report, I wonder how Comedy Centrals is going to fill the void.

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  20. Heather Lanci

    Cunningham’s point was very accurate. Brian Williams was trying to build up his own image by telling these personal stories, not creating a better image for the network he works for. He shouldn’t have been promoting his own agenda while reporting the news. I think that was his first mistake. I think he may be able to come back from this, but he will not be able to get back to the level of success he achieved before the truth came out.

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  21. Jessica Avenia

    I’m also very sad about Jon Stewart leaving “The Daily Show.” He made politics so much more interesting to listen to, but all good things must come to an end at some point. I am sure we will see more of him because he must have some great job offers. Speaking of good things coming to an end, Brian Williams unfortunately isn’t so lucky and leaving NBC in disgrace. I am sure the public will eventually forgive him, but I don’t think he will be reporting the news ever again. I don’t think any news organization would want him to represent them after the lies he told. People do love a comeback though, so we will have to see if he is able to sincerely apologize and truly come clean.

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  22. Abby Drapeau

    I agree with what a lot of people are saying about Brian Williams not returning to NBC. I do believe that NBC is going to use this time to find a respectable replacement for Williams. I love the saying “trust is built in drops and lost in buckets” and it definitely applies perfectly here. It took Williams years to build up the trust of the American people, and it only took one, for some two, stories to lose all of the trust. I don’t think he will ever gain back the trust of a lot of Americans because every time he says something people will always be questioning whether or not he is telling the truth, or even the whole truth.

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  23. jazmin quinci

    Brian Williams spinning tales is bizarre. He may recover from this scandal and get back into the public’s good graces. Either way he broke a major rule in journalism. He was not fighting a crisis. His professional standing was not being challenged. He lied because he could. Many professionals become arrogant to the point where they behave like they’re untouchable. They play above the rules and think that no one will notice.

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  24. Rachel Massaro

    Although I think that after 6 months of suspension another event will have come up to make this blow over, I don’t think Williams will return to NBC. His credibility and trust went down the drain and even if he tries over these next few months to win the public opinion back I do not think NBC will or should let him back after suspension because what he did was a blatant lie and when you watch the news you watch it to get the truth and facts, not for an exaggerated story to add drama.

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  25. Sarah Holzberg

    Brian Williams has two options, either he tells the truth and jumps into community outreach and becomes the next famous charity giver, or he remains quiet and hopes that after some time some basic network like a TBS or Comedy Central picks him to do a news show.

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  26. Priyanka Singh

    I think Brian Williams is in a special type of hot seat, because isn’t just one of those scenarios where he can say, “I’m sorry,” and then continue along his merry way. He is one of the top nightly news anchors and a lot of families rely on him to not only inform them of the news, but to do it with integrity and honesty. Where does that trust go now that many know he has fabricated facts about really serious scenarios? Also, how is it that this is just coming out? I feel like the lie about being on the chopper that was shot down is something you can’t really get away with for so long, so I’m curious to know how and why did it take so long for this information to come out that he lied about it? Things aren’t adding up to me. Also, I think this ties in perfectly with your post from last week about relationships. You can’t have any type of healthy relationship whether it’s personal or business without trust. That’s why as PR pros, we build our connections with a foundation built on trust. It’s just necessary in all real-life scenarios, because you can’t get people to care about you unless they trust you. That’s also why it’s so tragic to hear about the passing of David Carr and Bob Simon. These are veteran journalists that are well respected and trusted by a large audience. People value honesty.

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  27. Elana

    Right before i read this blog I watched SNL40 and while getting interviewed by people from Good Morning America, a celebrity blurts out, “Just please tell us where you are hiding Brian Williams!” Williams needs to be so much more careful now more than ever because the public is highly scrutinizing him. The decisions and actions he makes from this day on will determine who he will become. However, as a disclaimer, I think his fate is already set; people are not going to be eager to watch him nor does any news company wish to hire him. The lesson that should be learned is lying gets you no where positive in life. As cliche as it sounds, the truth will always set you free.

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  28. Mike Cox

    In my opinion, Brian Williams’ career as a television news anchor is over. For a job as well known and highly viewed as a NBC news anchor trust is everything. Now that people have lost that trust in him it will be nearly impossible for him to get it back.

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  29. Taylla Smith

    Can Brian Williams get it back? Yes. I believe he can get it back. However, we will never forget and he will forever be labeled the journalist who lied. As a society, we will drop people very easily and we will forgive IF the person handles the situation the right way. However, we tend to never forget the act that the person has done. I do not think the NBC will be accepting him back, however if Williams does all of the right things with help of his PR practitioner he may be able to have a comeback.

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  30. Dan Schaefer

    I do not see a way for Brian Williams to return to his status as one of the top news anchors in the United States. Journalists pride themselves on their honesty as their profession demands it. He will never gain back the respect of fellow journalists who have spent their entire careers reporting the news the way it ought to be reported: truthfully and without exaggeration. Williams seems to be obsessed with being a celebrity, so let him do just that. Maybe he’ll get a deal from a cable news station to host an hour long show. Maybe he’ll sign a book deal. Maybe he’ll go on Dancing with the Stars only to lose the second week to some B-list celebrity chef. No matter what he does, his reputation as a journalist is over. He might as well embrace being the story while he still can.

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  31. jhasten1

    I don’t know whether he can get it back or not, but he shouldn’t. People have been talking about how if politicians lie, they should lose just as much credibility and they don’t when something like this happens. But I think journalism is way different. The journalists are there for us to hear the truth. They are there to investigate our government and world events and expose it to us. They are us. Therefore, when they lie they have become untrustworthy and worthless to our ears. If he gets another job again in media, it will go to show how corrupt and useless our traditional media is.

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  32. marissalynn22

    Relationships are built on trust. Once you have cracked that foundation, though you may be able to continue building something upon it, no matter how hard you try to repair or reinforce it, that foundation will always remain less solid than it once was. Brian Williams was trusted by millions of his viewers and his Network, they had no reason not to trust him, they were solid relationships. If he told his viewers that something was black, then it must be black…if it was white, then it must be white…there was no reason to believe otherwise? Now his lies have blurred the lines of his truths and everything has marbled into a murky shade of gray. What makes matters worse, is that his lies seemed to benefit no one other than himself. Williams may be able to salvage something of a career in journalism, but it will be on the entertainment side of the news programing…I hear that there is an opening at Comedy Central! Even before that, Williams must begin the process of piecing together his image, which has been shattered at his own hand.

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  33. Vanessa Felder

    Even though Brian William is suspended for six months, his career as an anchor is over. Everything he says and does from this point on will be scrutinized and questioned. Sure, he will be forgiven at some point, but the audience will never forget and his credibility is forever shot.

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  34. hatcherphoto

    Brian williams hasn’t come close to how far he is GOING to fall. I have a suspicion that we are going to start hearing about more stories than we already know about that he fabricated. He won’t be getting a career back. He will rebuild slowly though.

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  35. carsoncuevas

    Whether Brian Williams stays out of the spotlight for six months or not, I am doubtful that he will ever be able to fully rebuild his image, on the journalistic side of things. He made a huge mistake that goes against everything that journalism should be, presenting the facts. When Williams chose to lie, he must have considered how dire the consequences could be if the truth got out. I think he can stay out of the public eye for a while, but come time for him to get back to a career, I do not think the journalism field will welcome him with open arms, whether or not the public forgives him.

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  36. Andrew Manning

    What upsets me the most about what Williams did, and probably happens across the entire spectrum of journalism everyday, is that it cheapens the tragedy of what he was covering. The fighting in Iraq and the damage done by Katrina are horrific enough without putting some kind exciting twist on it. Doing so implies they weren’t interesting enough without whatever details you added.

    I think it’s a good lesson for PR practitioners: the consequences of exaggeration. If I was working on a domestic abuse campaign and tweaked the figures to my advantage, not only would my own credibility be shot once I was discovered, but it could possibly damage the public’s perception of the issue itself. I’d hate for anyone to think the need to address domestic abuse is any less urgent than it is because I exaggerated.

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  37. Rachel Tyler

    Over the next six months Williams is going to have to work really hard to improve his reputation. In public relations reputation is everything. It is how you get the public to trust you. Williams mistakes have broken his trust with his viewers. If Williams were to return it would be smart for Williams to strictly follow the journalism ethics code to keep him on track and hopefully this will make him a better journalist. It is unclear whether Williams career will make a come back. As Americans we like to root for the underdog so when and if Williams does return he will have those rooting for him and those who are watching to see if he fails again.

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  38. robinperkins1

    I think that ones his suspension is over, I feel like the public will forgive him. Maybe not everyone, but something new will have sparked everyone’s attention. Everything he say from now on may be questioned, but I don’t think that it will ruin his positive image forever. He may be able to redeem himself somehow down the road.

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  39. Tamara Russo

    I think Brian Williams career has a chance to revive itself. While the things he said may have been fabricated, I think the public will forget. As time passes, people tend to forget, forgive, and move on.

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  40. Katherine Hammer

    I don’t believe that Brian William’s absence from the spotlight for 6 months will help regain his reputation as a respectable journalist. The public does not forget when people lie about something that once made them respected professionally. I think he will have to regain the trust back from the public over many years. A journalist’s job is to report the truth to the public and since Williams lied, many people have disregarded him as an effective and trustable professional in the media.

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  41. Gabrielle Furman

    When I heard this news I was very disappointed. Even though I am not an avid news watcher, I was aware that he is liked by many people. I think that he shouldn’t have elaborated on a story that was not true because the story was reported to bring awareness to the veteran not to himself personally. I truly believe that if he returns or not could be 50/50. His credibility will be lost, but if he seems apologetic and lays low for a while then it could change the publics opinions.

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  42. Jen O'Malley

    I think that it is certainly possible for some to accept Williams’ apology and continue to follow him as an NBC news anchor. There is a portion of the public who like to see a good comeback and “celebrity” scandals are a hot commodity. You know, the same kind of people that keep the Kardashians on air. However, I can’t imagine at this point that Brian Williams will be able to mend his reputation fully with the ENTIRE public, and this mistake will most likely follow him around for good. As a human being, it is understandable for mistakes to be made. But, being a good journalist requires one to be ethical and trustworthy. NBC has a major decision to make following this scandal. They can portray themselves as forgiving and stand by their top anchor. After some time passes, they can announce that they accept Williams’ apology, without condoning the behavior, and allow him a second chance. Or, they can stand firm and use Williams as an example of their condemning of this kind of behavior, and let him go. I think that either decision will continue to generate publicity for the network. I can honestly see people tuning in to watch Williams’ first episode back simply because their interest is peaked after all of this controversy. (Should NBC take him back this is.) But, is that the kind of publicity that NBC really wants?…

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  43. Grace Finlayson

    Brian Williams had been apart of my family’s nightly routine for a while. When I started college I stopped watching nightly news because I did not have easy access to a TV and it was hard to schedule the time to sit and watch the weekly news. My mom still continued, but as this scandal came out in the news she stopped tuning in. She is a journalist major and had the same reaction as other journalists commenting on the situation, which is that Brian Williams has lost his credibility. I believe that as well and think that he will not be able to return as a newscaster because when you loose your credibility as a journalist not even people who regularly watched nightly news, like my mom and I, will come back and believe what you report on.

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  44. Daylen Orlick

    I don’t think Williams will ever fully recover from this. He was a respected journalist, but the fact that he lied destroys his credibility. Even if he were to lay low for the six months i still think no one will be able to look at him as a credible source, unless he publicly apologizes for everything and works hard to gain his credibility back. Personally, I think he’s probably going to get fired. I guess only time can tell!

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  45. Cass Lang

    If Brian Williams were in any other business, he might be able to redeem himself after laying low for a while. Unfortunately for him, he is in a business where the truth is not only expected, but required. It also does not help his case that he has been found to have been lying for more than a decade. People are usually more than willing to forgive, but it is unlikely that they will trust him again. I don’t seen Williams ever returning to Nightly News, or any highly accredited news program for that matter. I do, however, due to his celebrity and personality, see him eventually getting his own late-night show.

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  46. Ariana Queenan

    Unfortunately, Brian Williams’ career as a journalist is over. Williams is going to have to reinvent himself and find a new outlet to express his talents. I do believe that within six months time the public will be ready to forgive Williams as long as he puts in a good faith effort to gain that trust back. What Williams did was inexcusable and seriously hurts the creditability of the industry. It is upsetting, so hopefully Williams take sometime to reflex on the severity of his actions.

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  47. leiselyoung

    I’m sure it took Brian Williams a long time to build up his reputation and make a good name for himself. It’s crazy to me how quickly someone’s reputation can be torn down. While I do believe that time heals things, I highly doubt that Brian Williams will be back on NBC News. From this point forward, every story that is reported by him will most likely be questioned, making sure he is actually telling the complete truth.

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  48. jheiden1

    I will never understand the people who believe in spin. Yeah, it may make your story a little bit more exciting, but at what cost? The only way to ensure your reputation remains unscathed is to offer the truth. In this business, your reputation is all that you have. Once you lose that, you might lose your career path all together.

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  49. Jenn Pizzurro

    I personally feel that Brian Williams can never regain the trust of the people who watched his show. In news credibility is very important. The fact that he lied not once but multiple times shows that he is not a trustworthy news source. I believe that he can find work again but not to the same caliber he was performing at prior.

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  50. Nicholas Taddeo

    Firstly, I want to comment on Jon Stewart’s departure; I’m a big fan and will miss him on The Daily Show. Now regarding the Brian Williams issue, I believe when it comes to ethical behavior with the public, you only get one chance and unfortunately things for him will never be the same. That doesn’t mean things will be bad all his life, just a little different now.

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  51. Villi Geow

    Given that his reputation is damaged, Brian Williams will find himself struggling for a good comeback. He may even be forced to switch organisations at this point. This incident will also serve as a reminder to others that even the mightiest can fall if one isn’t careful.

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  52. Shavone Williams

    The public can be pretty forgiving when an official in the media confesses the truth and apologizes. Before Brian’s suspension took place, he should of held an exclusive interview on the David Letterman show and apologized to the public. He could of redeemed himself if he addressed the matter quickly, before the news spread. Although he is suspended for six months, he will never have the public’s trust like he did before. People are now going to question everything he has said in the news and wonder if he was a credible source. Once you lose the trust it will be hard to return and gain the same respect.

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  53. Nicole Garcia

    Brain Williams’ comeback as one of America’s most credible journalists, will be highly unlikely. Even if Williams intends on regaining the people’s trust, lying about war and natural disaster is irrevocable. Lying about such touchy subjects for the sake of self-aggrandizement, isn’t only a violation of the core of journalism and PR, but even more, it’s entirely unethical.

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  54. Cheyenne Padgett

    He may get another job after this fall but I do not think he will ever get his credibility back. Lies like that stay in people’s minds.

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  55. Nicholas Mazzarella

    Professor Morosoff:

    I completely agree with Kevin Plank. It might take countless acts to earn somebody’s trust, but one instance can shatter that trust. This does not bode well for Brian Williams, who, in my opinion, might never get a chance to regain the public’s trust.

    If he were ever to report the news again, I think that his stories would be very closely monitored, so I do believe that people could grow to trust him again (it would take a while, and some viewers obviously would not). However, I find it hard to believe that Williams will get this opportunity; after all, employing a journalist who has acted unethically might portray a media outlet in a bad light.

    -Nick Mazzarella

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  56. Nicole Romeo

    Brian Williams definitely made a name for himself now due to the lying he was accused of doing. I know people lie all the time but when you are someone who is in the publics eye almost everyday, lying is definitely not the best thing to do. What Brian William did was wrong and I really don’t believe people will ever forget about this issue. Even if Brian William were to disappear for a certain amount of time, people will still remember what he did. I personally love what the Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said last week, “Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets.” It takes a lot for people to trust others but if you slip up just once, a relationship can be ruined instantly.

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  57. Becca Costa

    In public relations, all you have is your reputation and your word and Brian Williams has spoiled his image. In my classes, we have talked about the Williams situation and the general consensus is that for him to save his reputation, he will need to lay low and out of the spotlight for a long time. When, and if he does come back into the spotlight, I doubt he could ever be a news anchor again because he has lost the trust of his viewers.

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  58. Gabrielle Luisi

    I believe that at some point Brian Williams will be able to get the publics trust back, but not anytime soon. For right now he needs to apologize once and then just lay low. It will eventually blow over and people will start to remember the positive things he brought to NBC. I do not think he should keep going on about it and prolonging his apologies. It should just be one and done. Give the people time to let it sink in.

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  60. kaykays8

    I have heard a lot about Brian Williams this past week as we discussed it in my journalism class. Its sad that one of the most famous news media personalities felt like he needed to fabricate stories. I feel as if action from NBC should have been sooner than it did. He will not be able to easily regain trust from the public as a news reporter and most likely never to have a job as a news anchor again. This goes along with most important lesson I have learned about PR so far: don’t lie!

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  61. Kimberly Minto

    I’ll be honest when I first thought of public relations, I thought it was all about spin. I am glad that I was wrong. Brian Williams lied the public for years and he did it all to boost his career. He didn’t make up the story, but he heavily embellished it, these events were already bad, yet he felt the need to make things up. What kind of news reporter does that? I am personally glad he was suspended. I honestly don’t know if he will get the public’s trust back, however, I do know that there is no way that’s going to happen in six months. Brian Williams may somehow be able to restore his image as a person, maybe, but there is no way I will trust him to deliver the news again. Every story he deliver, if he ever does so again, will have its validity questioned. Only time will tell if people are going to officially forgive him.

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  62. emilyrwalsh

    Now that is has come to light that Brian Williams fabricated his New Orleans story, I feel that he has very little chance to make a comeback. Even though he is stepping out of the spotlight for 6 months, the public will not forget how he deceived and lied. To be a good journalist or PR practitioner, the truth needs to always be first and foremost. Without the truth, there is no trust, and with no trust there can be no way to develop healthy relationships. I think that people will forgive but not forget about what Brian Williams has done.

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  63. Paulina Zaferiou

    I don’t think that Brian Williams will be able to earn back his image as a honest journalist. A six month suspension may be long enough for some people to forget that he has lied, but I don’t think that he’ll be back at NBC in 6 months. The majority of people who still watch televised nightly news, will more than likely still remember that Brian Williams lied about two stories (so far) and they will find it hard to trust him. There would be no way of knowing whether or not he was giving the 100% honest truth in future newscasts. As a journalist, Williams had one job, and he failed at it.

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  64. Maria Emlano

    Even if Brian Williams remains completely out of the spotlight for 6 months or longer, I don’t believe he will ever be able to fully bring back his positive image. I highly doubt he will be back on NBC Nightly News, and even if he gets a position elsewhere, every story he reports will always be questioned regarding its validity.

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