Regarding the Brian Williams’ controversy: Who among us hasn’t exaggerated a story or embellished a tale? If you call in sick, do you “have a runny nose” or are you “perhaps coming down with the flu”? What’s the difference between “feeling chilly” and “freezing your fanny off”?

These days, journalists compete with comedians to deliver “news” to an audience oblivious to the difference. I’ve no quarrel with Jon Stewart. HBO’s Bill Maher is brilliant at poking fun at pretentious and shallow “newsmakers.” Celebrities, pompous politicians and inane “royals” are fair game. Maher on Sarah Palin’s recent speech: “If she suffered a stroke — how would we know?”

Williams’ concluding “Making a Difference” segment was criticized. Where saluting good people engaging in admirable endeavors trumps knuckleheads salivating over Powerball jackpots — or “severe weather” crackpots. Enough already with Al Roker bloviating in a snowsuit, huh?

OK, so Williams exaggerated the danger he was in during a helicopter flight in Iraq. He apologized. Has President George W. Bush apologized for his exaggerations, lies and witless White House whims that got us into Iraq in the first place? Hardly.

But here we are, once again, watching ISIS commandeering (our) military equipment and training on al-Qaida’s old monkey bars. A young Arizona woman, inexplicably seeking substance in Syria, is confirmed dead — and the next morning President Barack Obama’s seeking congressional authority to wage more war. I’m reminded of that definition of insanity — how ’bout you?

We deplore messy beheadings, yet for 13 long years we’ve lost our own heads by nobly, yet fruitlessly, trying to make sense in and of this messy pothole on the planet. As Williams takes his leave from NBC for repeating mistruths, we should take our leave from the Middle East for repeating mistakes.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner


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