Brian Williams’ new colleagues at MSNBC might be less than welcoming considering some of the history the legendary anchor has with the cable network.
The tensions are so pronounced that some MSNBC staffers chanted “f— Brian Williams” at a holiday party in 2012, the New York Post reports.
On his show “Rock Center” in 2012, Williams introduced a a report from correspondent Ted Koppel by describing cable news channels like MSNBC, Fox News and CNN as “corrosive and does nothing to help compromise in this country.”
Koppel had lambasted the talking heads that feature regularly on cable news shows and said: “The people who hire those talking heads have discovered the more irascible, the more partisan, the nastier they are, the bigger an audience.”
A source told the Post: “The rank and file at MSNBC were furious at Brian. They hated it so much they were still mad about it months later at the office Christmas party. … F - - k Brian Williams … was like a rallying cry.”
Now Williams is joining the cable network after being yanked off “NBC Nightly News” for embellishing stories from his reporting on the Iraq invasion.
But the “Rock Center” report aired three years ago and one MSNBC source told the Post that “stirring it up today … sounds like the chatter of nervous competitors.”
Williams apologised again for his fibs earlier this month in an NBC statement confirming that Williams will be moving to MSNBC and that his interim replacement on “Nightly News,” Lester Holt, will take the full time job.
“I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust,” he said.
Williams said he is “grateful for the chance to return to covering the news” and that his new role at MSNBC will allow him to “focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world.”
Earlier this year, Williams admitted to embellishing a story from his 2003 Iraq coverage and was suspended for six months.
Williams recounted the story several times over the past 12 years, exaggerating his role in the incident over time. Most recently, he said he was travelling in a helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, but after a veteran involved in the event questioned his story, Williams admitted he was actually riding in another helicopter that was about 30 minutes behind the one that was hit.
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