Overcompensation: (psychiatry) an attempt to overcome a real or imagined defect or unwanted trait by overly exaggerating its opposite.
Today brings a prime example of the phenomenon in the person of Brian Williams, overcompensating for his image as a pampered straight arrow by joking about having a vast staff of servants, looking forward to the prospect of watching some nude male swimming, and, yes, doing meth to get going in the morning.
The Nightly News host was a phone guest on Willie Geist's new Way Too Early show on MSNBC, which airs from 5:30-6 AM as a lead-in to Morning Joe. Asked by Geist to describe his morning routine, Williams went off on a self-deprecating riff that included these gems:
- "Normally, some of the people on our valet staff, some people from the usher's office, mostly from the part of the residence that's on the public tour, not where the First Lady and I live and sleep, are in and out all night long preparing the body for the workday."
- "[German swimmer Biederman] is the guy who vowed just 48 hours ago to race Phelps without the suits, so I expected some nice highlights there. For just I moment I thought maybe we could see block and tackle swimming through the water alongside those men, but not to be."
- "I normally have prepared for me just a bit of methamphetamine if it's going to be a rough morning and I'm going to have a hard time waking up."