Good grief, it’s just been a rough few days for NBC News. First, the network’s marquee anchor gets caught possibly bowing before the president of the United States. Then, an exclusive, highly-promoted exclusive interview with the president showcases Williams, a supposedly objective journalist, bashing former President George W. Bush to the point where the current president needed to defend his predecessor. Now, Williams puts his journalistic credibility into question by participating in a ratings-driven sketch comedy bit for Conan O’Brien’s first week hosting The Tonight Show.
Tonight, I hear that Williams will be doing his broadcast with Sacha Baron Cohen in his lap, naked and covered only with chicken feathers.
I joke around, but this is serious stuff. I’ve been on record saying that I do think President Barack Obama has a good sense of humor; I think I’ve also mentioned before that I was impressed with Brian Williams’ timing during a hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live. The problem with the Conan O’Brien segment is that we’re at a spot where our children’s children will be burdened with the malfeasance of the last five months, and while Brian Williams should be asking the president how he can reconcile such an unprecedented expansion of government, instead he fluffs his way through an already fluffy fluff piece — and Obama actually jokes about the bailout culture currently dominating Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, from a journalistic standpoint, this is a time when a responsible news organization in NBC News’ position, outed by all as being in the tank for Barack Obama, should be overcompensating in an attempt to do anything possible to recover lost credibility. Instead, after NBC News might as well have been on the Obama campaign payroll for its work last year and through the first few months of Obama’s presidency, it is the president who should be expecting a check from CEO Jeffrey Immelt for his work promoting The Tonight Show.