Brian Williams’ Public Rehabilitation Begins on NBC’s ‘Today’

Brian Williams: Matt Lauer 'Today' Interview
Monica Schipper/Getty Images

An appearance on NBC’s “Today” can be worth millions of dollars in free publicity to people who want to tell their story to the world. One of those people, as it turns out, is a longtime NBC employee: Brian Williams.

The news anchor, who NBC announced Thursday will be reassigned to MSNBC following an investigation of false claims he made about past reporting exploits, has taped an interview with “Today” co-host Matt Lauer that is set to air on Friday’s program. NBCUniversal placed that detail at the very end of a press release unveiling details of its new arrangement with the newsman.

The interview, NBCU said, was conducted over the last two days in New York by Lauer, and will also be shown on “NBC Nightly News” on Friday evening.

“Today” has served as a bullhorn for any number of people caught in interesting moments and situations who want to explain themselves further. Just this week,  Rachel Dolezal, a former NAACP chapter president accused of claiming to be African-American, gave Lauer an exclusive live interview, telling him she began seeing herself as black at the age of 5. Celebrities often take to “Today” to hawk new projects or respond to troubling rumors about their personal lives.

Williams will likely have to answer questions about why he made up stories — he has been suspended for six months for embellishing a story about a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq and other falsifications — and explain why he is worthy of viewers’ trust. For NBC, the show will be the first testing ground for Williams post-“NBC Nightly News” image and its first effort to help him enter public life.

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  1. Mike says:

    Brian Williams still never admitted he lied, he danced around Matt Lauer direct questions.


    The initial answer seems to be “MAYBE NOT!”

    NBC News would never accept its own kind of investigative answer from a World Leader, an Elected Official or a Corporate Giant. Why should the American Public accept Corporate and Journalistic Irresponsibility from NBC?

    It would seem that crucial words are unfamiliar to NBC News, NBCUniversal & the Comcast Corporate Communications Groups: ” … to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… .”


    ‘Unless an affirmation is used, an Oath substantially in the following form must be administered:

    (1) To a Prospective Juror. Do you solemnly swear to truthfully answer the questions you are asked about your qualifications to be a juror? So help you God.

    (2) To a Jury. Do you solemnly swear that you will consider all the evidence in this case, follow the instructions given to you, deliberate fairly and impartially and reach a fair verdict? So help you God.

    (3) To a Witness. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? So help you God.

    (4) To an Interpreter. Do you solemnly swear to justly, truly, and impartially act as an interpreter and make a true translation to the best of your ability? So help you God.

    (5) To a Bailiff to Keep Jury After Cause Submitted. Do you solemnly swear to keep the jury together until they are returned to the Court and not permit anyone to communicate with them unless you are ordered to do so by the Court? So help you God.

    (6) To a Grand Jury. Do you solemnly swear to listen to, examine, and consider all of the evidence, to follow all of the Court’s instructions, and to decide matters placed before you in accordance with the law and evidence presented? So help you God.

    (7) To a Grand Jury Witness. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and you will keep secret all of the proceedings of the grand jury conducted in your presence? So help you God.

    (8) To a Grand Jury Reporter. Do you solemnly swear you will keep secret the testimony taken and evidence considered by the grand jury except as you may be required by law to disclose? So help you God.

    (9) To a Grand Jury Bailiff. Do you solemnly swear to impartially perform the duties of your office to the best of your ability, to obey your instructions, and not to eavesdrop or communicate with the grand jurors regarding any matter being considered by them? So help you God.

    (b) Affirmation. A person must be allowed to make an affirmation instead of taking an oath, by substituting the word “affirm” for the word “swear” and substituting the phrase “under the pains and penalties of perjury” for the phrase “so help you God.”‘

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