Two River Torn Over Brian Williams

first_imgThere’s no doubt everyone knows a lot of the details, everyone feels a connection, but there are differing opinions about whether NBCs Brian Williams should be suspended without pay from his news anchor position, if an unofficial survey in the Two River area yesterday is any indication.Williams grew up in Middletown Township and attended Mater Dei Prep High School and Brookdale Community College. He volunteered at the Middletown Old Village Fire Department.“I think Brian’s 22 years as a reporter have been filled with remarkable, smart broadcasting,” said Susan Daly Porter of Monmouth Beach. “He made a mistake in embellishing his reporting. I don’t think he ever intentionally lied. More importantly, I think he’s a really great guy who has, ironically, done more for the vets than any other news man. I for one, loved hearing him and will miss him every night.”Mary Ellen Morelli of Lincroft, said she was “disappointed and I don’t get all the people cutting him slack.” “My Mom loved him,” she continued. “He was Catholic, local and I guess we held him to a higher standard. But that story about being in the helicopter, I give him credit for being in a war zone, but he had to have known he overstated his involvement. Those soldiers should not have been put in that position to have to tell the story.”John Meyer, who grew up in Port Monmouth, and is in town for the Mater Dei rally, attended high school with Williams.“Well, I guess a six-month suspension is better than Brian Williams getting fired. I support my schoolmate. I’ll start watching NBC News again when he is back,” said Meyer, who now lives in Wekiva Springs, Florida.Carl Calendar, who was Williams Literature Professor at Brookdale, said “Brian was one of my favorite all time students. He came to class in a jacket and tie and was incredibly interested in politics worldwide.”“What a shame he strayed a bit from the truth,” he said.Joan Wicklund, Highlands, said, “I’ve always liked and admired him.”A retired elementary school teacher and former member of the Henry Hudson Board of Education, “he’s admitted to falsifying one incident, I’m not sure there are more. I just wish him well and hope that there’s a good explanation. We still live in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty.”Helen Kenny, a dentist Officer Manager in West Long Branch says that “since he admitted he didn’t tell the story right, then he’s guilty of that. But I don’t think he has to be punished so badly. He’s admitted it, that’s half the battle. And he’s humiliated himself enough by admitting it. That’s a lot of punishment for someone of his stature and standing in the media. I think it’s terrible that he’s the scapegoat here. We have lots of people who lie in the government, lots of political leaders who lie, why aren’t they impeached? Why aren’t they punished for the lies they tell? I think it’s terrible what everybody is doing to Williams.”Former State Senator S. Thomas Gagliano thinks NBC’s decision is a good one. “It was inevitable because there may be other issues. I think that the six months off the air could end up being much longer. The reality is a television journalist has to be honest, and if there is one who admits that he hasn’t been, then he doesn’t qualify any longer to tell the news honestly.”Teenagers are willing to cut Williams a break more so than their older counterparts. MAST High school senior David Valentino of Holmdel believes the entire matter “is blown out of proportion. It’s not so terrible when you look at the whole picture. Williams is a journalist who carries himself well, has a good reputation. He did something wrong and admitted it was dishonest. I think he should have had more a slap on the wrist rather than a six month penalty.” Valentino also thinks Williams will be back on the air after six months because “it’ll die and people will then remember him for what he is, not a single incident.”Senior high school student Madelyn Sorrentino of Eatontown also thinks the penalty was a little extreme. “It should have been something less, that he lied is reprehensible but this is affecting his whole career. Six months is a long time, he came out and admitted it and that restored some of his credibility.”last_img

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