Disgraced MSNBC anchor Brian Williams took a jab at President Donald Trump and his wildly popular Thursday press conference, claiming that Trump’s candid attacks on the media were damaging to the institution as a whole. In doing so, Williams appeared to admit that the media doesn’t always report facts.
During Thursday’s episode of MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour,” where Williams ended up after getting suspended from NBC for fabricating tall tales about his time covering the Iraq War, his panelists went on the offensive against Trump’s anti-media tendencies.
Said Heidi Przybyla, a political reporter for USA Today: “The press provided basically the most essential task that the Founders intended for us to do, which was, we outed a public official, who was lying to the public, about the nature of his contacts about what many would define as a foreign power.”
He then went on to accuse Trump of having a “semi-meltdown” in response to “the most basic function of a free press in society” and held up the termination of former national security advisor Michael Flynn as an indication that the media reports were actually accurate.
Later, Williams claimed that the office of the president could somehow warp journalists’ ability to separate fact from fiction.
“Because when you reduce the media enough in prestige, they – when they do report facts, those facts are diminished,” he complained. What is Trump supposed to do when they DON’T report facts, and instead peddle divisive rhetoric that is designed to keep viewers angry and misinformed?
At yesterday’s press conference, which has proven especially popular among Trump supporters, the president suggested that many mainstream media outlets have a tenuous relationship with the facts because their editors and producers are instead beholden to “the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system.”
“The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it. We have to find out what’s going on because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control,” Trump said.