Guardians of the Veracity

February 9, 2015 - Patricia Arquette 02/09/2015 Views: 767,767

After a report that Brian Williams filed during the Iraq War changes significantly over time, the media is quick to scrutinize the longtime news anchor's credibility. (7:49)

>> Jon: HEY, WELCOME TO THEDAILY SHOW

MY NAME IS JON STEWART.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, OH WE GOTA GOOD ONE.

OSCAR NOMINEE PATRICIAARQUETTE FROM "BOYHOOD"

ALSO WON A BAFTA LAST NIGHT.

BUT FIRST YOU KNOW,.

>> BRIAN WILLIAMS WILL NOTBE IN THE ANCHOR CHAIR THIS

EVENING, AFTER ASELF-IMPOSED SUSPENSION FROM

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, FOLLOWINGHIS ADMISSION THAT HE

MISLED THE PUBLIC ABOUT HISEXPERIENCES COVERING THE

IRAQ WAR BACK IN 2003.

>> Jon: BRI!

WHY?

(LAUGHTER)WHY, BRI?

WHY, BRI LIE?

SIGH.

(LAUGHTER)WERE YOU BRI HIGH?

CAUSE IF THEY KEEP FINDING[BLEEP] IT'S BRI BYE.

A QUICK RECAP IN CASE YOUARE UNDER 70 AND DON'T

RELIGIOUSLY TURN ON THENETWORK NEWS EVERY NIGHT AT

6:30. DEMO SLAM!

IN 2003 BRIAN WILLIAMSGAVE THIS ORIGINAL REPORT

FROM IRAQ.

>> WE ASKED THE U.S. ARMY TOTAKE US ON AN AIR MISSION

WITH THEM.

THE CHINOOK AHEAD OF USWAS ALMOST BLOWN OUT OF THE

SKY.

THAT HOLE WAS MADE BY AROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE,

OR RPG.

>> Jon: OH.

BUT IN 2013 ON LETTERMAN ITBECAME.

>> TWO OF OUR FOURHELICOPTERS WERE HIT.

BY GROUND FIRE INCLUDING THEONE I WAS IN.

>> NO KIDDING.

>> RPG AND AK-47s.

>> Jon: NO. KIDDING.

SO IN 2015 AS HE RETURNEDTHE STORY TO A NEWS FORMAT

ON HIS SHOW, HE STUCK WITHTHE MORE, WE SAY,

INTERESTING WORKSHOPVERSION.

>> THE STORY ACTUALLYSTARTED WITH A TERRIBLE

MOMENT A DOZEN YEARS BACKDURING THE INVASION OF IRAQ

WHEN THE HELICOPTER WE WERETRAVELING IN WAS FORCED DOWN

AFTER BEING HIT BY AN RPG.

>> Jon: SEE, I SEE THEPROBLEM.

WE'VE GOT US A CASE HERE OFINFOTAINMENT CONFUSION SYNDROME.

IT OCCURS WHEN THE CELEBRITYCORTEX GET ITS WIRES CROSSED

WITH THE MEDULLA ANCHOR DALA.

YOU CAN SEE WHEN IT HAPPENS.WATCH.

SEE HOW IN 2003 HE IS LOOKINGSTRAIGHT IN THE CAMERA, RIGHT?

MEDULLA ANCHORDALA REGULATING IN APPROPRIATE

DETAIL. THAT'S A NEWS STORY.

BUT WHEN HE IN 2013, NOTICEHOW HE TURNS HIS HEAD?

LOOK HIS HEAD IS TURNED, A 45DEGREE ANGLE,

ACTIVATING THE CELEBR-BELLUM.

THAT'S KNOWN AS THE BRAIN'SAPPLAUSE CENTER.

ONCE THAT ENGAGES, THERE ISNO GOING BACK.

YOU'RE IN FULL BLOWNANECDOTE MODE.

THE TRUTH OF WHAT A REPORTERIS SAYING IS ALL IN THE

DIRECTION THEIR FACE ISTURNED.

NEWS STORY, WAR STORY.

TRUST ME ON THIS.

TOTAL BULL [BLEEP].

TODAY MARKS THE 70thANNIVERSARY, OF THE END OF

WORLD WAR II.

I KNOW BECAUSE I KILLEDHITLER.

(LAUGHTER)IT'S A CLASSIC HE SAID,

HE SAID IT AGAIN ONLETTERMAN BUT WITHOUT THE

FOOTAGE AND A LOT MORE HIM.

BUT LIKE WITH MOST CASES OFMASTURBATION,

TYPICALLY BEING CAUGHT ISPUNISHMENT ENOUGH.

(LAUGHTER)SELF-LOVE CAN BE A BAD

HABIT.

PROBABLY SHOULDN'T DO IT ATYOUR WORK DESK.

BUT IT'S MORE SIN THAN CRIME,NO, WOULD YOU AGREE?

>> I'M SURE HIS COLLEAGUESWOULD AGREE.

>> WE WILL TAKE YOU THROUGHTHE EVIDENCE STEP-BY-STEP.

>> THE PILOT OF BRIANWILLIAMS' HELICOPTER WILL

JOIN US.

>> WE WILL BE HEARING FROMTWO PILOTS.

>> WE HAVE A MAP TONIGHT. TELLUS WHAT WE ARE SEEING HERE.

>> BRIAN WILLIAMS DID ANINTERVIEW WITH STARS &

STRIPES.

>> I TALKED TO A SOLDIERLAST NIGHT.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS NOWWITH OUR MEDIA EXPERTS.

>> OUR MEDIA PANEL IS HERE

>> WHAT DOES THIS MEANFOR THE INDUSTRY?

>> DID HE LIE?

>> HOW BAD IS THE DAMAGE TOHIS CREDIBILITY?

>> Jon: THE MEDIA IS ON IT!

NOW THIS MAY SEEM LIKEOVERKILL BUT FOR ME, NO,

IT'S NOT OVERKILL BECAUSEI'M HAPPY.

FINALLY SOMEONE IS BEINGHELD TO ACCOUNT FOR

MISLEADING AMERICA ABOUT THEIRAQ WAR.

(LAUGHTER)FINALLY.

NOW-- IT MIGHT NOTNECESSARILY--

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)IT MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY BE

THE FIRST PERSON YOU WOULDWANT HELD ACCOUNTABLE ON

THAT LIST.

BUT NEVER AGAIN WILL BRIANWILLIAMS MISLEAD THIS GREAT

NATION ABOUT BEING SHOT ATIN A WAR WE PROBABLY

WOULDN'T HAVE ENDED UP IN IFTHE MEDIA HAD APPLIED

THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY TOTHE ACTUAL [BLEEP] WAR.

IN FACT, WHY IS THE MEDIA SOUP IN ARMS?

>> THIS IS A HUGECREDIBILITY CRISIS.

>> CREDIBILITY AND TRUST AREWHAT WE GO OFF OF,

WHAT WE STAND FOR.

>> IF THEY CARE ABOUTCREDIBILITY-- HE SHOULD NO

LONGER BE MANAGING EDITORAND ANCHOR.

>> I'M STUNNED THAT ARE YOUNOT ASKING FOR HIM TO BE

FIRED, MEGYN.

>> REALLY?

>> SOMEONE AS -- ABSOLUTELY.

SOMEONE AS CREDIBLE AS YOU,WHO WHILE VERY ATTRACTIVE

AND ARTICULATE, AT THE CORE,YOU ARE CREDIBLE.

YOU ARE LIKE WALTERCRONKITE KIND OF CREDIBLE.

>> Jon: BUT LIKE WAY HOTTERTHAN CRONKITE, LIKE WAY

HOTTER.

LIKE, YOU'RE LIKE, YOU'RELIKE SUPER-CREDIBLE.

OH MY GOD, DID I SAY THATOUT LOUD?

DO WANT TO GO OUT TODINNER?

YOU ARE SUPER CREDIBLE.

OH MY GOD, THIS IS SUPEREMBARRASSED.

THE MEDIA IS RIGHT TO GOAFTER WILLIAMS LAKE THIS.

IMAGINE IF YOU LET LIES SLIPINTO NEWS STORIES LIKE A

HUGE PILE OF THEM THAT WASDISSEMINATED IN SAY "THE NEW

YORK TIMES" AND "MEET THEPRESS" AND SOMETIMES IN "THE

NEW YORK TIMES" JUST SO THATTHE ADMINISTRATION COULD

THEN GO ON "MEET THE PRESS"AND SAY THIS.

>> THERE'S A STORY IN "THENEW YORK TIMES" THIS MORNING

THAT, IN FACT, HE HAS BEENSEEKING TO ACQUIRE THE KINDS

OF TUBES THAT ARE NECESSARYTO BUILD A CENTRIFUGE AND

THE CENTRIFUGE IS REQUIREDTO TAKE LOW GRADE URANIUM

AND ENHANCE IT, WHICH ISWHAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE IN

ORDER TO BUILD A BOMB.

>> Jon: AND THE CRAZY THING ISTHE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ARE

THE ONES WHO PLANTED THE[BLEEP] STORY IN "THE NEW

YORK TIMES" IN THE FIRSTPLACE.

THE RUN-UP TO THE IRAQ WARWAS KIND OF BEAUTIFUL IN THE

EVIL EFFICIENCY OF ITS MEDIAMANIPULATION.

IT'S LIKE THE BUSHADMINISTRATION HIRED TEMPLE

GRANDIN TO DESIGN A MACHINETHAT KILLS THE TRUTH.

SO I LOVE THAT NOW THE MEDIAPRETENDS THAT THEY MUST GUARD

THE CROWN JEWEL OF THEIRCREDIBILITY WHEN WE ALREADY

HAVE SEEN ITS AL CAPONE'SVAULT.

NOT THAT THEY WEREN'T HARDON THEMSELVES POST CLUSTER

[BLEEP].

>> HOW DID YOU GUYS DO ON THEISSUE OF WEAPONS OF MASS

DESTRUCTION.

>> I THINK WE DID -- I THINK WEDID PRETTY DARN GOOD.

>> I THINK WE WERE PRETTYSTRONG.

>> I THINK THE QUESTIONSWERE ASKED.

>> THERE WAS THE FOG OF WAR.

>> I GUESS WE WERE CAUGHT UPIN THE POST 9/11 SENSE OF

PATRIOTISM.

>> AND THERE IS ALSO THE FOG OFCOVERING THE WAR.

>> COULD WE HAVE DONE ABETTER JOB? SURE.

REMEMBER, WE ARE A FIRSTDRAFT OF HISTORY, JOURNALISM.

>> Jon: BUT IT WASN'T EVENYOUR DRAFT.

YOU WERE JUST COPYING OFF OFCHENEY'S PAPER.

YOU WERE PLAGERIZINGHISTORY.

BUT MAYBE THIS INCIDENT WILLCAUSE REFLECTION ON YOUR

PART.

YOU WILL GO BACK NOW ANDLOOK AT OTHER INSTANCES OF

MEDIA MALFEASANCE THAT LEDOUR COUNTRY TO THE MOST

CATASTROPHIC FOREIGN POLICYDECISION IN DECADES.

>> NBC CONFIRMING IT HASINDEED LAUNCHED AN INTERNAL

INVESTIGATION INTO STORIESTHAT WILLIAMS TOLD.

>> NEW REPORTS TONIGHT CASTDOUBT ON WILLIAMS' POST

HURRICANE KATRINA REPORTING.

>> WILLIAMS REPORTED SEEINGA BODY FLOAT BY IN THE

FRENCH QUARTER BUT THEFRENCH QUARTER WAS NOT AS

SEVERELY FLOODED AT THETIME.

>> NOW THERE IS SOME QUESTIONABOUT WAS HE REALLY MUGGED

AS HE CLAIMED HE WAS WHEN HEWAS SELLING CHRISTMAS TREES

IN RED BANK, NEW JERSEY.

>> STORIES GOING AROUND THAT HESAID EVEN ABOUT RESCUING PUPPIES

FROM A FIRE, WHAT STARTED AS ONEPUPPY THAT HE RESCUED FROM A

FIRE, APPARENTLY MORPHED INTOTWO PUPPIES FROM A FIRE.

>> Jon: DAMMIT BRIANWILLIAMS, ONE PUPPY OR TWO.

DON'T YOU [BLEEP] LIE TO ME!

I WANT THE TRUTH. WE'LL BE RIGHTBACK.