According to Politico, NBC News President Deborah Turness had another public relations snafu fall into her lap this week, but this one was self-inflicted as she told a group of Hispanic lawmakers (i.e. Democrats) that illegal immigrants were “illegals” and later flopped in trying to speak in Spanish to show them that she’s committed to diversity at NBC.
According to a new Vanity Fair exposé on the troubled NBC News, the Brian Williams scandal appears far from over as additional examples of fabrications by the suspended NBC Nightly News anchor have been uncovered and it’s unknown whether Williams will return to the network. Inside Bryan Burrough’s 8,400-word plus piece, he reported that the investigation into Williams’s numerous claims “is ongoing” and “people who have spoken to Esposito say his group has compiled a number of other incidents that, taken as a whole, paint a portrait of Williams as a man who has consistently burnished his stories.”
In his story on Brian Williams at 10:55 p.m. ET Tuesday, Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine reported that the now-suspended anchor and his agent "were presented with a dossier of Williams' apparent lies," and that "Williams himself was only slowly grasping the depths of the mess he'd created."
That begs the obvious question of whether the public will ever get to know what's in that "dossier," and what impact its contents may have had on the substance of NBC's news reports during the past dozen (if not more) years. Excerpts from Sherman's report follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
The New York Post, which broke the story of David Gregory’s decline and “psychological evaluation” and fall at NBC News, reports former anchorman Tom Brokaw and others were “apoplectic” when NBC News president Deborah Turness “dropped the tactless clanger” in a New York Times interview on Sunday that “NBC News hadn’t kept up with the times in all sorts of ways, for maybe 15 years...I think the organization had gone to sleep.”
The headline over TV writer Bill Carter's story was “NBC News President Rouses the Network,” which played on those comments.
“Don't go away mad,” an old saying goes, “just go away.” That seems to be the case with David Gregory, who is receiving a grand total of $4 million to end his six-year tenure as host of the NBC News Meet the Press program.
Part of the 43-year-old anchor's contract is a “nondisparagement clause,” which specifies that he is not to speak out against the network, according to an article written by Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith of the Page Six website.
Meet the Press host David Gregory has been the focus of turmoil since the Sunday morning NBC program suffered its lowest ratings since 1992 during the past year and was the subject of a meeting with network news president Deborah Turness in March. After that gathering, NBC “doubled down” on Gregory as host of the series, along with giving him additional duties on the network's news website.
However, an article written by Paul Farhi in Sunday's edition of the Washington Post stated that during the first three months of 2012, the NBC program finished a distant third, far behind CBS's Face the Nation and This Week With George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Just four days later, Turness sent a memo to the show's staff declaring that coverage of Gregory's troubles has been “vindictive, personal and above all -- untrue.”
Adrianne Haslet-Davis is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who insists that she not be called a "victim" ("I am not defined by what happened in my life. I am a survivor, defined by how I live my life").
The Boston Herald writes that "Haslet-Davis became a symbol of Boston Strong when she made good on her vow to dance again in a front-page Herald story last year. This past month she performed a rumba on a bionic leg designed by an MIT brainiac who is himself a double amputee. The performance was at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Vancouver." On Friday, NBC News, which three weeks ago posted a story on Haslet-Davis's first post-bombing performance, deliberately and by its own admission broke a promise it had made to her as a condition for her appearance in a taped panel discussion in advance of the network's next Meet the Press program.
During a brief visit to Washington, D.C., Deborah Turness – the president of NBC News – is slated to discuss the fate of the network's Sunday morning program with host David Gregory and executive producer Rob Yarin regarding possible changes to the format of Meet the Press, which recently saw its ratings tumble to their lowest point since the third quarter of 1992.
According to Dylan Byers, a columnist at the Politico website, the gathering is “part of Turness's ongoing effort” to improve the long-running news and interview show, which ended 2013 behind both ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation.