“Anybody who is enjoying the destruction of this man — you got to look at yourself. And there’s a lot of people… happy his career is going down the drain. That disturbs me,” Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly told Jimmy Kimmel as late-night show hosts plowed through Brian Williams news last night.
“He made a mistake. Is it a character flaw? I don’t know. If it is, he’s going to lose his job. If another one comes out, that he exaggerated a story that he reported, he’s going to lose his job,” O’Reilly speculated.
Last night marked many late night show’s first broadcast since NBC News announced it was investigating Williams over his embellishments about his trip on a Chinook helicopter in the early days of the Iraq War, as well as allegations he’d made up parts of other news reports; Williams has stepped down temporarily as anchor of NBC Nightly News while the investigation is ongoing.
Like Jon Stewart earlier last night, and former ABC and CBS media expert Jeff Greenfield earlier in the day, O’Reilly speculated Williams succumbed to Vivid Personality Syndrome, while building his brand as the face of NBC News.
“When you come on a late night show…you don’t want to be a dweeb. You want to have something interesting to say,” O’Reilly explained to Kimmel. “What happens is, a journalist will say ‘I was there’ and then a story, to make it more dramatic and interesting, will emerge. He embellished the story. If it was just one time, he’ll get by.”
He reiterated he did not like “this destroying people for sport business” and pronounced “the Internet is a sewer.”