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article imageOp-Ed: Brian Williams goes to MSNBC while inaccurate Fox News stays same

By Megan Hamilton     Jun 19, 2015 in Politics
Brian Williams will not be returning as anchorman for NBC Nightly News. Instead, he will be joining MSNBC as anchor for breaking news stories and special reports.
NBC veteran Lester Holt, who has been filling in for Williams will now be chief anchor.
The move is especially humbling for Williams on a professional and financial level, The New York Times reports, noting that Williams will not earn as much in his new role as he did when he was anchor of the Nightly News. That's according to an NBC executive who's knowledgeable about the agreement but wished to remain anonymous. The executive said Williams will earn "substantially" less, but wouldn't elaborate.
Information from a contract Williams signed in December reports he was making $10 million a year over five years.
NBC did an internal investigation and found that most of William's embellishments "did not for the most part occur on NBC News platforms or in the immediate aftermath of the news events, but rather on late-night programs and during public appearances, usually years after the news events in question."
Williams begins his new job in mid-August, after his six-month suspension ends, and as such, he'll also fill in on breaking news when Holt isn't available.
Williams has kept relatively quiet since the controversy regarding his exaggerations began last February. Earlier on Thursday he was at NBC News Headquarters, where he apologized to the "Nightly News" staff and attended meetings, one NBC executive said, per the New York Times.
In a statement, he offered his apologies.
"I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100 percent as he has always supported me," he said. "I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it."
So we get it now. Williams has had his hands slapped by NBC and he's apologized. Since Williams has 'fessed up, doesn't that mean that others who are in the business of disseminating news and are known for being wildly inaccurate should apologize as well? He admits he told untruths, but apparently he didn't do this during any of the nightly news broadcasts.
Recent analysis, conducted in May, shows that Fox News beats out CNN and MSNBC when it comes to lying to the American people, MintPressNews reports. The analysis was conducted by Punditfact, which is a partnership between the Tampa Bay Times and As such, Punditfact keeps scorecards on the accuracy of major TV news networks.
It found that about 60 percent of the facts reported by Fox News were actually falsehoods.
One of Fox's biggest whoppers was this beauty:
Now, unless you've been asleep for the past several months, you already know that in response to Islamic-extremist terrorist attacks in Europe, Fox claimed that neighborhoods, specifically around Birmingham, England, were off-limits for anyone who wasn't Muslim. It's been widely debunked by local residents to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Steve Emerson, the "expert" in question apologized for this pretty flagrant goof:
"I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing this apology and correction for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham. I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuses for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham. I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake. I wish to apologize for all residents of that great city of Birmingham."
Emerson added that he was making a donation to Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Punditfact separates Fox's falsehoods into three categories — claims that are mostly false (21 percent), those that were completely false (31 percent), and the out-and-out lies, which it terms "Pants On Fire" (nine percent).
It should be duly noted that Fox is sometimes so full of malarkey that comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have largely made brilliant careers out of debunking the network. Stewart is a formidable Fox foe, MintPressNews noted, and he does this so successfully that in this one instance, when the network actually got something right, he made headlines. Hilarious headlines, at that:
However, Fox News isn't the only network that has trouble telling the difference between fact and fiction. Punditfact found that the combined scorecard for MSNBC and NBC shows that 44 percent of the news being broadcast by these networks was "mostly false" or worse. CNN did better — that network's scorecard showed that 80 percent of their reports were deemed at least "half true."
So, this is all rather ironic. Brian Williams tells a few untruths while he's on television, but not while anchoring the Nightly News and he gets kicked to the curb. The networks, on the other hand, present stories that are factually error-laden and sometimes even bald-faced lies and no one is punished.
Welcome to the mainstream media in America.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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