Suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams has a "morality clause" in his contract that means he could be fired by the TV news organization, according to the New York Post
Williams was given a six-month unpaid suspension after it was revealed that he lied during a news show, and at other times, about his helicopter being shot down during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He later admitted during a news broadcast that he had "conflated" his account.
The morality clause says Williams faces the ax if he offended "a significant portion of the community" or brought himself "public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule."
NBC executives, including Stephen Burke and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, will make a decision on whether Williams breached the rule, sources tell the Post, which noted that a "public morals" clause appears in NBC News employees' contract that includes a dismissal warning.
The relevant paragraphs says, "If artist commits any act or becomes involved in any situation, or occurrence, which brings artist into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or which justifiably shocks, insults or offends a significant portion of the community, or if publicity is given to any such conduct ... company shall have the right to terminate."
Williams has hired powerful lawyer Bob Barnett, who represented morning show host Ann Curry during her dealings with NBC, as the news anchor bids to make a comeback after his suspension ends in the summer.
Although he recently signed a five-year, $10 million contract, many TV pundits believe Williams will never return to the network’s news desk.
Since it was revealed that it was another helicopter nearby that was hit by rocket fire and forced down and not Williams’ aircraft, there have been mounting accusations that Williams told other lies during his tenure at NBC News.
A former member told CNN on Sunday that there was no way Williams was telling the truth about being embedded with a SEAL Team Six mission
"What Brian Williams is saying, none of it can be true," former SEAL Team Six member Don Mann told "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter. "For a reporter to be embedded with SEAL Team Six or any Tier One unit — that just doesn’t happen."
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