NBC's Brian Williams got suspended without pay for 6 months for fabricating details of a story that happened to him while covering the Iraq War in 1993. CTV's Brian Williams is doing just fine, but likely tired of hearing his name framed in such a negative fashion.
The Canadian Brian Williams had been active on the TV scene before the U.S. Brian Williams came along. Americans who could get the CBC remember Williams as the primary studio anchor for CBC Olympics coverage from 1984-2006. Since joining CTV in 2006, Williams has also anchored the Olympics coverage in 2010 and 2012.
Williams has also been an on-site host for the CFL on TSN as well as the CFL on CBC. We don't see much of Williams on CFL coverage lately, though ESPN2 ran a Brian Williams interview of Sports Illustrated's Peter King when the writer was in Regina last summer.
The two Brian Williams got together during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, since CTV and NBC were covering the games. The two met on-air on the CTV set (see picture above).
If the NBC Brian Williams had been in Canada, he wouldn't have been covering the Iraq War to such a degree since Canada didn't send troops to Iraq. The allegations also extend to the Hurricane Katrina coverage.
As a journalist, I am not crazy about the way Williams handled those stories, even when we thought they were true. Journalists are supposed to be part of the story. Though to be fair, Williams isn't the only U.S. journalist who got too involved in this sudden need to be embedded with the troops during the Iraq War.
My model of a national news anchor would include Peter Jennings. Canadian yes, but also someone who witnessed a lot but knew how to handle himself in and out of the job.
We'll leave you now with the words of NBC's Brian Williams as he thanked Canada and Vancouver after covering the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Thank you, Canada: For being such good hosts. For your unfailing courtesy. For your (mostly) beautiful weather. For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television. For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents. For your unique TV commercials — for companies like Tim Hortons — which made us laugh and cry. For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.
For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games — you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do. For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display. For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days — which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting. For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.
For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy. For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary. For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one. For always saying nice things about the United States…when you know we're listening. For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.
For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society. Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.
photo credit: CTV