Monday, February 09, 2015

Anderson Cooper 360 Covers Brian Williams News

Anderson Cooper covered the Brian Williams "news" on AC360.  The segment started with a "fact checking" report by Randi Kaye:


And then a panel discussion followed:


A little "fact checking" of our own shows discrepancies within CNN's reporting.  Randi Kaye brought up some questions about William's Katrina reporting in tonight's AC360 segment.

CNN's own Brian Stelter wrote on on Saturday:

Photos turned up Friday showing that there was indeed water surrounding the Ritz-Carlton, where Williams stayed. Individuals who were also in the area at the time have confirmed the flooding. 

Dr. Gregory Henderson, a pathologist who stayed at the Ritz during the storm, told CNNMoney that he recalled waking up the morning after the levees were breached to see floodwaters that were "waist-high." 

"If the question is was there enough water around the Ritz-Carlton for a dead person to float, the answer is yes," Henderson said.

AC360 viewers will remember that Dr. Gregory Henderson was a guest on AC360 during Anderson's Katrina reporting.

The New Orleans Advocate that published the story questioning Williams' claims, updated their site with this report today:
Katrina photos show water did surround Ritz-Carlton, where Brian Williams stayed

Perhaps Anderson, Kaye and the AC360 staff were too busy to fact check their own report?

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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aries moon said...

The discussion of the Brian Williams Iraq statements controversy was an interesting change of pace on 360 and Anderson's comments about how he and his producers work in the field were enlightening but I still can't get worked up or outraged about what Williams did considering that the entire Iraq war was based on lies and countless lives were lost because of it. Brian Williams is not faultless and should've been careful with his words but his misleading statements didn't KILL anyone. I'm with Jon Stewart who called out the hypocrisy of the media hitting Williams harder on Iraq than they EVER did with the very people who lied us into the war in the first place--had the media done its job THEN, perhaps none of it would've ever happened. Our actions in Iraq left death and destruction and were also one of the main reasons that ISIS exists today.

Good catch on the flooding at the Ritz Carlton, ATA. 360 would do well to correct that.

Anonymous said...

years ago when I saw Williams subbing for Brokaw (before Brokaw retired), I felt "sorry" for him - he looked like he was just being a puppet to be an anchor, like he was being groomed for the job just based on his looks and the sound of his voice.

I always thought that there was something about him I didn't like.

also being questioned was his volunteer firefighter story saving the puppy (or was it Puppies) and the Christmas tree gunpoint story

does Williams exxagerate or embellish because he feels inadequate in some way?

Anonymous said...

I find it incredible that Anderson is speaking about Brian Williams. He should be very careful. I about spit out my drink when he said anchors shouldn't surround themselves with "yes" men, because that's exactly what he did in the Summer of 2010 when he threw a fit and David Doss was removed from the EP of AC360 and Charlie Moore was given the job.

datagod said...

This is being treated as a case of "stolen valor," and it's not.

The root of all this is the media's unspoken argument that news is a culture of facts, and that BW must be sacrificed for violating this, because their audience believes that.

BW DID HIS JOB, which was to make a story sound as cool as possible, without faking honor, bravery, or good judgement. He didn't claim to take a bullet for his buddy. He didn't claim to have stormed a stronghold alone. He didn't claim to die saving a baby.

I'm not concerned about BW's interests at all. Let him be judged completely unfairly for all I care.

I AM EXTREMELY CONCERNED, however, about our society's disinterest in the difference between embellishing a story to sound cool, and "stolen valor," which is dishonorable.


Anonymous said...

@datagod You are exactly correct and Doug Sterner, the "stolen valor hunter" agrees. There was an editorial quoting Sterner in The Chicago Tribune today. Since it's probably behind a pay wall - here are Sterner's quotes:

"I'm defending Brian Williams," Sterner announced. "First of all, he's not a stolen-valor case. He did not claim to be somewhere that he wasn't. He was there in a war zone, as he said. He was in harm's way. His helicopter was not hit by and RPG, but it could have been hit. There were in danger."

Put simply, Sterner said, Williams took a true incident and embellished it to make it and himself sound more exciting -- "Or in other words, he told what we call a 'war story.' We all tell war stories. Including me! Most often the embellishment is motivated not by a desired to defraud anyone, but by a sincere desire to tell a good story."

The editorial goes on to discuss the evolution of Williams story, the entertainment-oriented nature of television, etc.

But for me this cleared up what I had believed all along, that it was not a case of stolen valor which many on the Right were calling it and the hate on Twitter because it involved veterans.