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Brian Williams’ War Porn & the Bigger, More Pathetic Picture

FLASH: In 2003 NBC newsman Brian Williams was NOT in a helicopter that was fired upon by an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG)!!!!

A lie that Mr. Williams has shared publicly and periodically over the last decade has been exposed.

Finally, the veteran who was on the ACTUAL attacked aircraft “had had enough” of what Christian Christensen labels “WAR PORN” in “The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories”. The veteran called out Williams on FACEBOOK!

Brian Williams as a news anchor now pulls in over $10 million a year.

Williams hastily explained his putting this fake story forth as “a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women” who had served in Iraq.

Anybody want to buy a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn?

Christensen drolly observes:

Twelve years, it seems, is enough time for Williams to confuse being on a helicopter that came under fire from an RPG with being on a helicopter that did not.

Of course, to most of us who are sick to death and so much aware of a misinforming and/or omitting and/or distracting corporate media, in the big scheme of things, this lie is rather small potatoes compared to the other gargantuan, corporate media, war-mongering lies presented and, like that Energizer Bunny, STILL GOING!!!

Christensen:

What is jarring, however, is the fact that Williams’ sad attempt to inject himself into the fabric of the violence is getting more ink and airplay than the non-existence of WMD did back in the early-to-mid 2000s: a lie that provided the justification for a military action that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

From embedded journalists to ultra-militaristic news logos and music, US television news media were more than willing to throw gas on the invasion fire. “Experts” in the studio were invariably ex-generals looking to pad their pensions, while anti-war activists (who spoke for sizable portions of the US and UK populations back in 2003) were avoided like the plague. After all, what news organization wants to be tarred with the “peace” brush when flag-waiving jingoism sells so incredibly well? The one-sidedness of coverage, particularly in the US, bordered on the morally criminal.

snip

… the current focus on an inane untruth told by one celebrity news anchor has overshadowed the bigger picture about the US media and Iraq. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

snip

In the post-9/11, pre-invasion period, US citizens proved to be spectacularly misinformed about the 9/11 attacks, Iraq, Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and WMD.

When the invasion began, many in the US simply had no clue about what was going on.

snip

Then, once the bombing and street fighting became banal and lost its attractiveness to audiences and advertisers, most US media outlets simply abandoned an Iraq left to fend for itself in a vortex of violence, political instability and corruption.

And, who wants to talk about that when you can write about Williams upping his War Zone Reporter street cred?

Let’s stay with this compelling commentary of Christensen. He speculates that the number of Iraqi citizens who have died directly or indirectly from the US invasion and occupation is “enough to populate a mid-sized US city.”

He also reminds us that thousands continue to die “on a monthly basis in non-imaginary attacks” even though, to paraphrase the old adage, if the media doesn’t report it to the American public, "DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?" Or “SHOULD IT MATTER?” to way too many of us bobbling our heads with undeserved trust of the "info-tainment" that is pouring out of our tv screens 24/7.

From Christensen, one last quote:

Yet, here we are, over a decade later, still discussing celebrity fantasies. That isn’t just bad journalism, it’s an affront to all who lost their lives in a brutal and bloody deception. Williams is just sorry about the wrong thing.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Brian Williams, America's long time Head Cheerleader for War has been sidelined- caught in a lie about a helicopter ride. That was one his least deadly fibs:

Media in America has always served as cheerleaders for war, all the way back to Thomas Paine who's famous pamphlet was a most persuasive piece of propaganda,

Washington had it read to all his troops…
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

Howard Zinn:
"There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. But our culture is so war prone that we immediately jump from, “This is a good cause” to “This deserves a war.”

You need to be very, very comfortable in making that jump.

The American Revolution—independence from England—was a just cause. Why should the colonists here be occupied by and oppressed by England? But therefore, did we have to go to the Revolutionary War?

How many people died in the Revolutionary War?

Nobody ever knows exactly how many people die in wars, but it’s likely that 25,000 to 50,000 people died in this one. So let’s take the lower figure—25,000 people died out of a population of three million. That would be equivalent today to two and a half million people dying to get England off our backs.

You might consider that worth it, or you might not.

Canada is independent of England, isn’t it? I think so. Not a bad society. Canadians have good health care. They have a lot of things we don’t have. They didn’t fight a bloody revolutionary war. Why do we assume that we had to fight a bloody revolutionary war to get rid of England?

In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. But then came Lexington and Concord, and the revolution became violent, and it was run not by the farmers but by the Founding Fathers. The farmers were rather poor; the Founding Fathers were rather rich.

Who actually gained from that victory over England? It’s very important to ask about any policy, and especially about war: Who gained what? And it’s very important to notice differences among the various parts of the population. That’s one thing were not accustomed to in this country because we don’t think in class terms. We think, “Oh, we all have the same interests.” For instance, we think that we all had the same interests in independence from England. We did not have all the same interests..."

- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/zinn070309.html#.dpuf
http://www.progressive.org/zinn070309.html