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Brian Williams teaches our kids a great lesson

Wow. We’ve now lost Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and NBC’s Brian Williams. That’s two “fake news” anchors in a week.

Well … Brian only delivered that one fake bit of news. But leave it to celebrities to come up with the perfect word or phrase to explain it. Just as I was getting my head around Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” (they broke up), I get thrown Brian Williams’ explanation that he “conflated.” (He lied.)

This is a tremendous lesson for our kids. So gather ’round children. Before you become constiflated, I want you to consider this evolution of a lie …

Brian lies about being in a U.S. military helicopter forced down by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003, when he was actually in another helicopter. And once his lie is out there, he’s got to stick with it. So the lying continues.

And as it is with lies, since the facts aren’t straight, soldiers involved in the incident call his claims into question, it makes headlines, and suddenly the public begins to doubt Brian and his truthfulness. And he’s forced to admit he was in another chopper that landed safely.

So now there’s disappointment. His friends, fans and colleagues are all now doubting his credibility and a public apology is in order. And while he goes on TV and says he’s sorry, he doesn’t admit that he lied and the apology underwhelms the masses.

So now – due to a big lie and a weak admission to conflating his memories, he’s being mocked on other networks and on social media. And so, understandably embarrassed and too much a part of the news, he takes himself off the air for a few days.

Unfortunately, some of his stories and his integrity are now being called into question. NBC conducts an internal investigation, he’s then suspended six months without pay, literally costing him millions of dollars. And leaving his career with the network and his future as a journalist in question.

So, kids, was it worth it? Was this one lie worth losing his credibility, his job, millions of dollars, and his journalistic reputation? Because wasn’t Brian Williams a tremendous and respected journalist without ever having been shot down by an RPG in a helicopter?

For whatever reason, a man with a great job, already covering a compelling story about a dangerous mission, chose to embellish the story by putting himself in the middle of it. Was it to be part of a bigger, more memorable story? Well then … mission accomplished.

I think the most important thing you kids need to know in this life is that one lie is enough to question all truths. Lies, white lies, half-truths, lies of convenience – any type of lie forces people to doubt you. And without someone’s trust, you have nothing.

And if anyone tells you otherwise, well ... they’re just flat out conflating.

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