The leak-a-minute frenzy that has ignited speculation about whether an announcement on Brian Williams–either returning to NBC News, or exiting the building permanently–may be more a message to Williams’ lawyer: give up, or it will get worse.
Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer writes “at this point, Brian Williams knows he’s dead. He’s simply negotiating the terms of his burial.”
The leaks coming from NBC News weren’t intended for Brian Williams as much as they were for his lawyer, Robert Barnett, who officiates at both hirings and firings as power players make their entrances and departures at media jobs in Washington and New York. The message appears to have been, ‘It’s up to you, Bob, how much more injury we do to your client’s reputation. Be a smart counselor and take the money we’ll offer in a couple weeks; we have no interest in Brian’s rehab.’
Barnett, who is married to CBS News correspondent Rita Braver, also represented NBC’s Ann Curry when she was unceremoniously removed from “Today.”