Williams Defends Softball Interview With Ben Affleck During Facebook Q&A

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conducted a question and answer session on Facebook following Wednesday night’s program and defended his over 4-minute-long interview with actor and activist Ben Affleck that aired on Tuesday night after a woman asked him why such an interview would air “promoting his new movie on a hard news show.”

Williams responded by equating his show to a newspaper in that “newspapers have sections, and life’s too short.” He said that he “could EASILY [emphasis his] fill the entire 30 minute slot with nothing but hard news, especially in our post 9-11 era. But there’s variety to life.”

The host of NBC’s evening newscast also took to defending Affleck himself, saying that “while he may not be our favorite: Ben is an interesting guy with an active mind and a great backstory” and fawned that he personally “happen[ed] to have loved the The Town” (a 2010 movie Affleck directed, wrote, and starred in).

Concluding his answer, Williams took to boasting that the program he presides over “is called NBC Nightly News for good reason...and I don’t think anyone can match us on our hard news coverage of tonight’s lead stories, for example. But I think we have room to explore electives.” 

Despite Williams’s comments, NBC Nightly News failed to cover numerous hard news stories lately, whether it be the 300,000 people that faced a Tuesday deadline to prove their eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies, President Obama mentioning events in Ferguson, Missouri as reason the international community might distrust the U.S. on ISIS, or any of the latest developments in the IRS scandal in both August and September (the program last covered the scandal on July 30).

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