WTVF chief investigative reporter Phil Williams is being called a “bad, bad man” by HBO host John Oliver for his reporting skills.
Williams was featured in a lengthy segment on Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight for his reporting on Franklin, Tenn. mayoral candidate Gabrielle Hanson, who apparently has a tenuous relationship with the truth.
Oliver pointed out that Williams, who reports for the Nashville CBS affiliate, investigated Hanson’s claim on social media that a group known as the Executive Women’s Club were her friends and that they endorsed her for mayor. Williams interviewed one woman in the picture who had no idea who Hanson was and suggested Hanson should make some real friends.
Oliver also said Williams’ reporting had called into question Hanson’s claims that she predicted the Covenant School shooting and also told a cop about it while he was on duty. Williams tracked down the cop, checked his bodycam footage and found no evidence to support her claim.
He didn’t stop there. Oliver showed Williams confronting Hanson for associating herself with men who described themselves as “literal Nazi’s” and found pictures of her husband wearing a stars and stripes speedo at the 2008 Chicago Pride Parade after she claimed “basic morality” when she tried to block a local pride celebration.
Oliver repeated a line in William’s station biography said by a local political strategist, “If the press calls, call your PR person. If Phil Williams calls, call your lawyer because you’re in trouble.”