Brian Williams Is About As Trustworthy As the ‘Duck Dynasty’ Guy

By Brian Flood 

Trustworthiness is, arguably, the most important quality for a TV news anchor.

According to the Celebrity DBI by The Marketing Arm, Brian Williams has fallen from No. 23 to No. 835 on the list of the most trusted people in the country, dropping 812 spots since last Wednesday.

“We haven’t seen a drop like this since Tiger Woods,” said The Marketing Arm New York managing director Robert Familetti tells TVNewser.


The research places Williams about as trust worthy as “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson and fashion-challenged NBA star Russell Westbrook. Can you imagine this guy reading you the news?

Before the on-going scandal involving the managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” Williams’ trustworthiness was considered on par with Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and Robin Roberts. Now? Not so much.

The Celebrity DBI is an independent index that quantifies and qualifies consumer perceptions of celebrities. The results are used by brands, agencies, professional teams, leagues and marketers to determine if a celebrity is brand relevant. The list is updated at various times, depending on a celebrity making news or or the list becoming “outdated.”

HanksWilliamsAccording to the research, Tom Hanks is atop the list of most trusted celebrities. The actor attended a New York Rangers hockey game with Williams last Wednesday night, as the story of Williams’s embellishments took off. Kate Middleton, Dr. Lisa Masterson, Morgan Freeman and Chesley Sullenberger round out the Top 5.

So who are the most trustworthy newsers? Roberts comes in at No. 11, Ann Curry is No. 32, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is No. 62, ABC’s Diane Sawyer is No. 127, Tom Brokaw lands at No. 139, CNN’s Anderson Cooper is No. 179 and Dan Rather is all the way down at No. 924.

Williams dominated his evening news competitors prior to the scandal, with “CBS Evening News” host Scott Pelley ranking No. 791. ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir did not make the list, but he was recently added to the database and is expected to crack the next edition.