Yes, what could be better for an already-troubled network than to be saddled with a disgraced hand-me-down from the mother ship?
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski gushed "I think that it's great for the network" that Brian Williams will be joining MSNBC as its anchor of breaking news. As dutiful employees, it's understandable that MSNBC people would greet Williams impending arrival respectfully, as did Joe Scarborough in saying--without excitement--that he was "very excited." But Mika went beyond the call of duty with her "great for this network" line.
There was a humorous aside to the segment. Despite being in his 30s, New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters still looks much like a fresh-faced intern. So it was amusing to hear him take the occasion to grouse like a grizzled veteran about the new generation of "kids" in the newsroom who offer "analysis" rather than going out and spending shoe leather to cover stories as he did back in the day.
The segment began with a clip from Williams' interview by Matt Lauer on Today.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I would like to take this opportunity to say that what has happened in the past has been identified and torn apart by me and has been fixed, has been dealt with, and going forward there are going to be different rules of the road. I know why people feel the way they do. I get this. I am responsible for this. I am sorry for what happened here. I am different as a result, and I expect to be held to a different standard.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wow. That was powerful.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Wow is right. Very powerful.
MIKA: I look forward to having him at MSNBC. I think it's going to be great for this network. I think we could use -- epecially when you go through something like that in life, and we all have had them--maybe not as publicly as Brian, but if anyone can stand here and say haven't had a moment in their life that truly changed them from the inside out, that they owned, then good luck to you. It just makes you richer, deeper, more humane, more compassionate and better at what you do.
JOE: Unfortunately, Gene, the older that we get, the more we find out that the moments that really change us and make us better are the moments that break us. And we've all been broken in one way or the other. Again, not publicly like Brian, but most people --
EUGENE ROBINSON: It's not how you fall down it's how you get up. Let me just take a moment first to congratulate Lester Holt.
JOE: How exciting.
ROBINSON: A great guy, a great newsman and who guy could not deserve it more. I am very happy for him. I don't know who can do breaking news better than Brian Williams.
JEREMY PETERS: I think this is a lesson and you were talking about getting older and learning from your mistakes. I look at the younger generation of journalists coming up now and that that this whole episode is a reminder: check yourself. Make sure that you got all your facts right, that you're not being hyperbolic. Because so many people that are coming up in journalism today don't actually report. I look at how different it was when I was coming up and I was sent out to go knock on doors after a murder or something like that. A lot of these kids today, they sit at a cubicle--and they're 24 years old--and they analyze, as if like a 24-year-old has the world view and the experience to be an analyst, and that's just not the way that we should be practicing journalism.
MIKA: Well, I'm excited to work with Brian. I can't wait.
JOE: Very, very excited.