Brian Williams Flashback: 'Every Word I Write, Before It Goes On Air, Goes Through All Kinds of Traps and Filters'

Corwin Parks | February 10, 2015
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Back on July 29, 2003, Brian Williams made an appearance on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart where he spoke about soon taking over NBC Nightly News. He discussed his political party affiliation and said he doesn't like to choose sides and that he is a registered Independent. However, in light of the recent Brian Williams scandal about his credibility, here is an ironic exchange between Williams and Stewart about the so-called “checks and balances” that every word he writes goes through before he says them on-air.

The exchanges goes as follows:

Jon Stewart:
Don’t you think, though. that that is in some respects purely protocol? Purely facade because the the truth is, however deeply held your political beliefs are, whether or not you vote, or for which party, you can't change the system of beliefs that you have. That's the part that seems surprising.

Brian Williams:
No, that's true. But, you can call them down the middle like a umpire. Now, when you see these correspondents on various Sunday shows who have an opinion Sunday morning and go back to covering the news Monday, that can be a little dicey.  I'm not going to judge anybody else in the business, but our work at, I can speak for NBC News and our newsroom, it goes though, talk about check and balances. We have an inordinate amount of editors; every word I write, before it goes on air, goes through all kinds of traps and filters and it's read by all kinds of different people who point out bias. 

Jon Stewart:
People check what you guys do?

Brian Williams:
It is hard to believe. Yup.

Jon Stewart:
We gotta get one of them.

Brian William
Yeah, we have a whole slew of people. 

So, either NBC as a whole does not check each reporter's words before airing or the NBC Nightly News show just doesn't. Either way, it seems a bit “dicey” to have a newsroom that didn't go through the supposed usual “checks and balances.”

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