A new poll commissioned by the Media Research Center reveals that the tales Brian Williams told – which led to his eventual suspension without pay – have severely undermined his credibility with the American people.
In a survey of 1,007 respondents:
-- 66.1 percent said Brian Williams should have been fired after he was caught in numerous lies. Williams famously lied about being in a helicopter that was shot down over Iraq and seeing a dead body float by his New Orleans hotel during Hurricane Katrina.
-- An overwhelming 71.6 percent of respondents said that despite the anchorman's apology and suspension, he should still resign.
-- In the same poll, 61.6 percent said they are less likely to trust NBC News if Brian Williams is allowed to return as anchor of NBC Nightly News.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell offered this reaction:
“This poll confirms that the American people no longer trust Brian Williams to report the news. When the American people believe by such wide margins that your lead anchor is a liar, you have no other option but to fire him if he will not do the honorable thing and resign. Any effort by NBC News to rehabilitate its tarnished brand can only begin under new leadership for its flagship nightly news program. This is no longer about Brian Williams’ reputation. This is about NBC News having any chance of being a credible source of news.”
The poll, commissioned by the Media Research Center and conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, surveyed 1,007 people from February 13 to 17. The margin of error was 3.1 percent.
In the poll, 47.6 percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly approve of the job President Obama is doing as president while 49.7 percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as president.
As to party affiliation, 32.1 percent identified as Republican, 38.0 percent identified as Democrat, and 29.9 percent identified as independent/other. Asked if the United States is going in the right direction or going on the wrong track, 30 percent said the country is headed in the right direction while 63.1 percent said the country is on the wrong track.
When asked of their opinions regarding whether they approve or disapprove of “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare,’” 43.5 percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly approved while 51.6 percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly disapproved.