It has been an interesting week in the world of journalism. Watching a person that seems affable, trustworthy and to me, is always entertaining on the late night shows take a fall from grace. And while I don’t watch the news I have read a few articles online with varying degrees of speculation on Brian Williams story.
I’ve seen everything from he is devastated (well of course, he got busted stretching the story!), to he will return, he won’t return and another that had a theory as to why he felt compelled to stretch the truth. The theory included the competitiveness of reporters to get and create the best story, the pressure from the network to stay on top—and this article gave him an out and said he may have felt pressured into it.
It’s also entertaining to me to watch all the other news programs and hosts talk about how you just don’t do this because this is our trade to be trustworthy. Ahem…I have something stuck in my throat.
Media spins the stories. This isn’t news! If you relied on the news for your information you wouldn’t know to what degree it is valid because it always has a spin on it. Whether to boost ratings, to present information that is more dare I say propaganda, or to incite action by viewers. The news that’s presented via networks isn’t just the facts and I doubt it has been during my lifetime.
So why then the uproar? It shouldn’t be a newsflash to us that a few stories were embellished. Ballsy perhaps, to say you helicopter was shot at when it wasn’t but not hard for me to believe. And for whatever reason he did it, the embarrassment at this point is because he got caught. Always sucks doesn’t it?
Let’s bring this issue to the home front. If you’re a female working in the corporate world or an entrepreneur running your own company, do you ever misremember things? Do you stretch the truth to gain an advantage? Do you ever add a little flavor to the message to motivate employees, vendors, prospects or clients to take the action you want them to?
I was in professional sales in the corporate world for many years. One of the things I heard early on that proved to be so true is, “People think they can lie to salespeople and still get to heaven.” I saw it happen over and over again. In my book it’s just rude, if you’re not really interested in the product or service—just tell the person so they don’t waste their time following up with you and you don’t waste your time and frustration attempting to make a persistent salesperson go away. It’s so much easier!
How about at home? If you have young kids, you’ve probably misremembered the facts in an effort to bribe them to do what you want them to do. Do you ever stretch the truth to your significant other, siblings, parents or friends?
How many of your daily actions, words and messages are based in truth and authenticity?
There’s a lesson in the Brian Williams saga…think about what would happen if people found out the truth behind what you say and do. If you don’t like what you see, this is a great time to make adjustments and turn over a new chapter in your book.