Vanity Fair is out with along piece about the problems at NBC News and with Brian Williams in particular.
On NBC new News boss Andy Lack's second day of work, he is met with a story that paints a very dim picture of the NBC Anchor.
The piece claims that Williams could not come out and say the words, "I lied," when he was called out for doing just that. The article paints BriWi as much of a lightweight when it comes to covering news.
Vanity Fair writes, "....when asked for the unvarnished truth about Williams, the two topics people at NBC News return to again and again are these: his prowess as a bureaucratic infighter and his limited interest in the kind of “heavy” news topics and investigative pieces that had long been championed by such NBC stalwarts as Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert.
“What always bothered Tim was Brian’s lack of interest in things that mattered most, that were front and center, like politics and world events,” says a person who knew both men well. “Brian has very little interest in politics. It’s not in his blood. What Brian cares about is logistics, the weather, and planes and trains and helicopters.”
“You know what interested Brian about politics?” marvels one longtime NBC correspondent, recently departed. “Brian was obsessed with whether Mitt Romney wore the Mormon underwear.”
It claims that Williams rarely wanted to leave New York to cover the news.
The entire article paints a not so very rosy picture about a news division that had lost it's way and is now just drifting aimlessly with no direction.
The article points at NBC News head Deborah Turness as a major problem. About Turness, they write, "“It was almost unfair to give Deborah this job,” says one NBC observer. “She was basically overmatched. From day one, it was difficult, even just managing the daily job. Because it’s a big job, it’s got a lot of intricate parts to it, and you know she had a rough time with it. She was not terribly accessible. People came out of meetings and said she’s overwhelmed.” One NBC insider terms Turness’s early performance “a hot mess.” Another adds, “She was trying to do so much; she was all over the place, like she had A.D.D., and that caused a lot of stress for everyone.”
It appears that Brian Williams is not blaming himself for his problems in telling the truth, no his problems at the Peacock come back to one person. “I talked to Brian about this,” says one friend, “and I’ll never forget what he said at the end. He said, ‘Chalk one up for Brokaw.’ ”
There is no doubt that this was NOT the story that Andy Lack needed on just his second day on the job. But, it is also not anything that Lack or others didn't already know.
Lack has said that he is starting out his job basically listening and getting acclimated.
After reading this story, here's hoping he doesn't take too long with either. Something needs to be done to get NBC News back on course quick.