Brian Williams suspended by NBC

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Clarion photo Jacquelyn Johnson Graphic

Brian Williams, anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” has recently been suspended for six months without pay. The news comes as a shock to many Americans who have watched Williams broadcast on the network for 11 years.

The abrupt suspension is due to lack of credibility after Williams admitted to embellishing his role in a helicopter episode in Iraq. In 2013, Williams appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” where he “exaggerated the account of being on a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq.” Williams falsely claimed that he and his NBC News team were in a helicopter that was forced down, when in actuality, he was in a following aircraft.

At 55-years-old, Williams has been a familiar face throughout the country for numerous years. He drew 9.3 million viewers a night, an impressive number that reflects his long and acclaimed tenure as anchor.

Before this incident, Williams has helped strengthen the broadcast’s role as the most-watched newscast in television. Williams has received an array of awards in his career, including eleven Edward R. Murrow Awards, twelve Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia University Award, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and the George Foster Peabody Award. In addition, Time named Williams one of the most 100 influential people in the world only two years after he took over as anchor of “NBC Nightly News.”

However, since his decreased credibility, Williams’ successful career has been suspended. The New York Times stated, “Six months is a long time to disappear from the television landscape, and analysts said it would be difficult for him to re-establish himself as a viable nightly presence.”