NBC News anchor Brian Williams committed journalism's "unpardonable sin" and reaped what he sowed, former NBC News National Correspondent Ike Seamans said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's
"The only thing that network news, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Newsmax, is built on is honesty, credibility, and truth," Seamans said. "When that is lost, and when it's lost because the face of a news division perpetrated this, it's really serious."
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On Tuesday, NBC News President Deborah Turness announced that the network had suspended Williams from "NBC Nightly News" for six months without pay.
Williams apologized on-air on Feb. 6 for repeatedly claiming he was aboard a helicopter shot down in Iraq in 2003, when in fact he was on a different helicopter that arrived an hour later. Williams said "the fog of memory" caused him to conflate the stories.
In a Miami Herald column
Seamans penned about the scandal, he said that network news anchor star power
"When he started his self-serving embellishment campaign, Williams' Iraq colleagues (who, I assure you, did most of the work to get his story assembled and on the air) knew the truth, but probably shrugged and opined, 'Sure, Brian is embellishing the story. But what the hell? He's the star anchor. I don't want to get involved. Let New York handle it.'"
Seamans said that since his column ran, he has heard from a number of network news employees, one of whom was a cameraman who worked with Williams.
"He said, 'thanks for saying what needed to be said,'" according to Seamans.
Suspending Williams is a good first step, but does not go far enough, he added.
"They wanted to let it play out a little bit further," Seamans said. "They also wanted to see what it's going to do to their ratings. He can be totally innocent of anything but if his ratings plummet, he's gone."
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