Gabriel Sherman, who, as previously reported, has written a very long piece about NBC News and Brian Williams is the current edition of New York magazine, has told the Huffington Post on Monday that “Williams’ suspension could change the structure of nightly news shows going forward.”
” ‘I think the fact that Brian Williams was allowed to amass so much power … I think we need to ask ourselves this question: how did that discredited segment, where he tells this fantastical story about being blown out of the sky by an RPG in Iraq, how did that get on the air?,’ [Sherman] told host Ricky Camilleri of ‘HuffPost Live’. ‘That script was written. The segment was packaged. It was put into the lineup. Brian Williams can’t do that alone.’
Sherman continued, “’You don’t need more of a sign of somebody having unfettered power than that segment, because Brian Williams convinced all these people around him to go along with a story that did not pass the smell test,’ he said. ‘That exposes a bigger question. Going forward, NBC News should not allow the anchor to be both the anchor and the managing editor. It’s fundamentally a conflict of interest. The anchor needs an editor to keep them in check.”
Wiliams is not the first network news anchor to also have the title of managing editor of the networks’ flagship newscasts. Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw are other network anchors who also simultaneously held the managing editor post.