Brian Williams was “shockingly honest” when he began performing the stations of the cross on Today show this morning, NBC News political director and Sunday Beltway show host Chuck Todd insisted today. Todd’s “proud” of how NBC News dealt with Williams’ creative moldings of the clay of truth over the years. And he pronounced Williams to be exactly what MSNBC needs to fix its big breaking-news problem (aka viewers tuning to other cable news networks).

“I think he’s been shockingly honest about the ego thing. I mean, I thought – when he talked about his ego getting the best of him – you know, that’s not easy for anybody to talk about publicly. So kudos to him,” Todd said this morning on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio program.
“I’m proud of how this network dealt with this –  took it seriously,  took issues of credibility and integrity seriously, and made Brian pay a heavy price,” Todd said. Williams, meanwhile, this morning called “torture” his five months to date of suspension without pay.

“I also am glad to work for a company that provides an opportunity to earn back trust and earn back a second chance,” Todd said. “Our leadership threaded that needle in a way that makes me comfortable working here, makes me comfortable.”

Williams’ “unique gift and talent” on TV is covering live events, Todd said. “This is something that MSNBC needs — a strong person who can sort of deftly handle covering a live event as it’s unfolding.

“Let’s see if he can earn back the credibility and trust with the viewers to make this marriage work.”