Brian Williams brings mistrust to news reports

Laiken Yerby, Co-editor

News reports come on at different times every day.  It happens 24/7, but the question always remains whether what is being said is trustworthy.  News writers can’t keep up and fact check everything before presenting information to the public, which makes me believe that news cannot always be trusted.

The most recent display of false reports comes from Brian Williams, anchor of “Nightly News” on NBC. Williams was the one who inspired me to become a news junkie and to see him become a victim of delivering false stories to the public makes me extremely disappointed.

Williams’ biggest mistake was changing his story about traveling in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 when the helicopter that was in flight beside his was hit and forced down.  He and his news team were safe at all times.  Later in 2013, he changed his story and told David Letterman, late night television host, that his helicopter was the one hit.

However, all of this is false.  It turns out that Williams was an hour or so behind the helicopter that was shot down, and his helicopter safety landed in the vicinity of said helicopter.

What irks me is that he blatantly stated that he “misremembered” what happened.  To me, it seems like his fictional story makes what soldiers do less important even if he didn’t mean for it to come across that way.

This falsehood had sparked controversy whether Williams can be trusted on what he delivers to the public. According to the website Daily News, Williams was ranked 23rd for the most trusted person, but now he is ranked 835th.

As stated on the web site ThinkProgress, William Hirst, specialist in memory, said that people can easily confuse things that are imagined.  Thoughts go through the brain, and as those thoughts stay consistent, the brain begins to think it actually happened.  Williams stated on “Nightly News” that he would not have chosen to make this mistake, but something screwed up his mind that caused him to confuse one aircraft with another.

I believe that someone would blatantly remember shots being fired when suspended in a helicopter and his life is in danger.  Williams has created a bad name for himself and the trustworthiness of news reports, yet he isn’t the first.

Punditfact, a site that is known for checking networks on honesty as much as possible, found that only 22 percent of what is broadcasted on FOX is rated true or mostly true; 50 percent is rated mostly false or completely false.  CNN, however, was found 60 percent honest at all times; however, why not 100 percent?

False news reports should concern all.  If people can’t trust what should always be true, then how can we make knowledgeable decisions and form appropriate opinions of things.

There have always been conspiracies about news shows faking events for ratings, and sadly it could be true to a certain extent.