Friday, February 13, 2015
THE SOCIAL STONING OF BRIAN WILLIAMS
Few celebrities have fallen faster, harder, and deeper than Brian Williams. Once a respected
and likable anchor carrying a $10 million dollar-a-year contract, the former pride of the
peacock network, is now little more than fodder for a social media world that's gone into a
frenzy over his lies.
I'm not a veteran or an obsessive user of Twitter, but few people have ever been destroyed
in 140 characters or less like Williams has been. The vitriol and venom being tweeted has
gone far beyond the boundaries of decency.
Sadly, this is what happens in our society today, a celebrity messes up and he's hauled out
in public to be slammed and humiliated. Stones have been replaced by tweets and there's
just no way to survive with a reputation or career in tact. Williams might as well be wearing
a scarlett 'L' on his forehead, branded a liar forever, doomed by a society that will take it's
time deciding whether or not to forgive him.
He may have been suspended by NBC for six months, but his career with the network is
over. The court of public opinion counts a lot to the executives running a news organization.
Williams betrayed our trust, the Twitterers tweet. There is no way we can ever believe
him again the Twitter nation says. He should be fired immediately and forced to endure
even more humiliation.
Williams screwed up, there's no denying that. But should any person have to go through
such a public and social thrashing as Williams has? Some act like the Williams stole their
life savings or is the reason for their unfulfilled life. They spew hate on Twitter as if he
killed their dog or stole a wife right out from under them.
Our expectations of celebrities and those who make tons of money are unrealistic. We
often want them to be perfect just because a guy like Williams makes $10 million-a-year.
Money doesn't protect anyone from making big mistakes. In many cases, it creates them.
Everyone, including Williams, is flawed. Many people including the ones who've
carefully crafted their images to be wholesome, have their demons. Remember Tiger
Woods? We thought he was perfect at one time. What was the truth? He was a serial
cheater of epic proportions.
Brian Williams, like the rest of us, is human. He made a mistake that he'll take to his
grave. But hasn't the man been embarrassed and suffered enough? Would it make
everyone feel better if they got the chance to yell, spit, and stone him on his way out
of 30 Rock?
The attacks have gone on long enough and people on Twitter should be embarrassed
spending so much time denigrating a person they don't even know. Does it make people
feel better to tweet something derogatory at the expense of another man?
Stop the hate and stop the insanity. Williams' worked hard to get to the top. He is regarded
as a good man who does a lot for his community of New Canaan, CT. He is a father, a
husband, and a best friend to his children. He screwed up and he knows it. No need to
kill him even more with your tweets.