You've probably already heard that intensely likeable news anchor and perpetual Guy Smiley impersonator Brian Williams has spent the last 12 years telling a whopper about his coverage of the Iraq war. Like that kid who insisted that at his old school he was able to swing AROUND the cross bar on the swingset, you just had to be there to see him do it, Williams has done the journalistic equivalent with a war anecdote.
The story went like this: In 2003, Williams was covering the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when something went wrong. In the first version of the story, he told The Nightly News that the helicopter in front of him in his entourage was shot down by a rocket-launched grenade.
Ten years later, the story was different -- he was IN the helicopter that was shot down. On Jan. 30, Williams retold the new and improved version of his date with a grenade at a tribute to a veteran. The next day this happened:
Yes, a helicopter was shot down on March 24, 2003, but Williams was about an hour away, safe and sound in a totally different helicopter, according to the guys who were actually there. Long story short (too late): Williams is suspended from the news for six salary-free months while he gets his shit together.
It turns out that we don't mind middle-aged men inserting themselves in tall tales if they're your grandpa and they're talking about fishing, but not if they're associated with the news in any way. But we as news consumers probably shouldn't get too high on our high-horses over the sudden fall of a network news anchor. Why? Because we SUCK at every part of news consumption. Getting mad at Williams in a world of Gawkers is like getting mad at a McRib in a pile of horsemeat. Your outrage is misplaced.
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Like a colon after said McRib.