Brian Williams: Performing Authenticity through Hyperbole for sake of Authority

I need to check the timeline, but it appears that Williams’s coverage of Katrina and Iraq – including the “misremembered” parts – helped him get the promotion to anchor.  Thus, this personal commodification of trauma “paid off” for him.

But how was this possible?  His exaggerations of the French Quarter during Katrina are so far off the mark that almost anyone who was there should have been able to point out the falsehoods. But that didn’t happen.  Instead, it wasn’t until Army helicopter crews spoke up that Williams was exposed.

Is this a case of selective authority, where military personnel are deeed more trustworthy than the civilian witnesses to Katrina?  Is this a case of interest, where we simply gravitate more toward stories of wat Han stories of disaster?  Or is it a sense of the placement of betrayal?  The military pilots seemed genuinely pissed to have their experiences appropriated for the sake of a career in journalism, but the hotel manager concedes that she might not have seen what all Williams saw.

Katrina – Washington Post


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