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March 09, 2015

Report: Brian Williams Blocked Stories Critical of Obama on the Grounds That They Were "Divisive"

Via Hot Air, Gabriel Sherman makes this disclosure at New York magazine:


The Nightly News crisis exposed deep-rooted anger among many NBC journalists, who felt frustrated that Williams had been allowed to gain so much power. In recent years, the anchor had churned through executive producers who challenged him.

Others complained about Williams’s unwillingness to go after hard-hitting stories. Multiple sources told me that former NBC investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers battled with Williams over stories. In February 2013, Isikoff failed to interest Williams in a piece about a confidential Justice Department memo that justified killing American citizens with drones. He instead broke the story on Rachel Maddow. That October, Myers couldn’t get Williams to air a segment about how the White House knew as far back as 2010 that some people would lose their insurance policies under Obama­care. Frustrated, Myers posted the article on NBC's website, where it immediately went viral. Williams relented and ran it the next night. "He didn’t want to put stories on the air that would be divisive," a senior NBC journalist told me. According to a source, Myers wrote a series of scathing memos to then–NBC senior vice-president Antoine Sanfuentes documenting how Williams suppressed her stories. ­Myers and Isikoff eventually left the network (and both declined to comment).

Brian Williams, you may remember, wanted to become the host of the Tonight Show, but NBC said "no."

I mention that because Brian Williams seemed to have the exact same policies about negative stories about Obama that Saturday Night Live did, a show he had occasionally appeared on. And of course SNL and left-wing comedians in genera are not interested in criticizing Obama; they too find it "divisive."

Williams seems to have had the same conception for news that a very partisan comedy show did.


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posted by Ace at 01:15 PM

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