Conflate, Confuse or Abuse?

by Roger Pynn

Confession:  I’ve been a big Brian Williams fan.  Notice:  no longer.

I’m big on forgiveness, and didn’t understand other newsies who appeared at first to be patting him on the back for “apologizing.”  Seems to me that what he needs to do is own up far more than to mangle terminology.

Here’s exactly what he said:

“I would not have chosen to make this mistake.  I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”


Williams’ use of the word “conflate” in regard to a story he has told and retold about an experience while covering the war in Iraq and claiming he was in a helicopter that was shot down is more than a stretch.  The truth is he was in another airplane.  He was never in the plane that was fired upon.

If you’ve been shot down in any kind of aircraft, I’d suggest it is a memory etched forever.

If you haven’t, it is a nightmare, a dream or a fantasy.  Telling it over and over again is far more than what he called it.  I’d say he has abused the privilege of telling stories in your living room every night.

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