The Left Defends Brian Williams

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It didn’t take long.

The electrons in the Stars and Stripes story about Brian Williams’s magical helicopter ride in Iraq had barely stop zinging about the internet tubes when the first defense was mounted by the left.


williams defense

The story is interesting and old news. Memory does change over time. This is the experiment:

The day following the explosion of the Challenger, in January, 1986, Neisser, then a professor of cognitive psychology at Emory, and his assistant, Nicole Harsch, handed out a questionnaire about the event to the hundred and six students in their ten o’clock psychology 101 class, “Personality Development.” Where were the students when they heard the news? Whom were they with? What were they doing? The professor and his assistant carefully filed the responses away.

In the fall of 1988, two and a half years later, the questionnaire was given a second time to the same students. It was then that R. T. recalled, with absolute confidence, her dorm-room experience. But when Neisser and Harsch compared the two sets of answers, they found barely any similarities. According to R. T.’s first recounting, she’d been in her religion class when she heard some students begin to talk about an explosion. She didn’t know any details of what had happened, “except that it had exploded and the schoolteacher’s students had all been watching, which I thought was sad.” After class, she went to her room, where she watched the news on TV, by herself, and learned more about the tragedy.

Note: not a single person forgot the Challenger exploded. They forgot the details surrounding the incident. I can tell you that getting shot at is a traumatic experience and while you might forget details surrounding the event you remember being shot. (I’ll bore you with a story. In a previous incarnation I was an Army IG investigator… this was a good fit for me because I’m not a people person… and I went out with a sergeant major who had two Purple Hearts to investigate a National Guard NCO who was alleged to be wearing unauthorized decorations, one of which was the Purple Heart. His first question was “when were you wounded.” Our subject said he couldn’t remember. The sergeant major responded — here I’m making the specifics up — “January 15, 1966 at 2:15 in the afternoon” and then he gave the second date/time he was wounded. He said you never forget when you are shot.)


None of this applies to Brian Williams. For instance, this is the description of the first report filed by Williams on the non-incident:
williams story

So it isn’t Williams’s memory that is at issue. It is the story.

But this is illustrative of the herd reaction of the left. There is no crime a person on the left can commit and not receive unqualified support from other lefties. As Sean Davis, of The Federalist, notes:



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