David Westin: NBC Will Have to Say ‘We Believe in Brian, But…’

By Mark Joyella 

Former ABC News president David Westin says NBC News can keep anchor Brian Williams, but to do so, they’ll need “to find a way to send two messages.” First, he says in a video for Big Think, is “you have to reinforce that you still believe in him, that you still value him, that you value all of his years of service and the wonderful journalism that he’s done.”

The catch, Westin says, is to also send the second message–that nobody’s above the truth. “They have to find some way of planting a very big flag saying ‘we believe in Brian, but we really take this terribly seriously.'”

In an extended interview, Westin adds “as soon as the journalist becomes the story you’re in trouble,” he says. “I don’t know when we decided that reporters have to be war heroes. Reporters don’t fight wars, they report on wars.”