For people in the “news” business, like Brian Williams, reality is fungible. Reality is whatever they say it is. While they purport to report the facts, these “facts” are merely their take on the events they see. They are paid to bring a viewer or listener into the story. That story, in and of itself, may be big or small, but the flourishes that bring it to life are those of the narrator. That Brian Williams, whose job it is to do just that, misreported his own life is wholly understandable. It is an occupational hazard. After a life time in news-reporting, his purpose and role is to embellish on simple facts and events and create a story. That he should do that with his own personal story should not be a surprise. It is not ethical, but it is an understandable mistake and fault in a world of make-believe.
When he made these “mistakes” on his own life events, he was merely in “reporter-mode”. He was on a narrative roll, and he just “heightened” the story a bit for the necessary effect to bring the story home. A lie, a fabrication, yes, but a forgivable moment of habit. He is in the business of story-telling. News consists of very little fact.
Reporting the news is theater. In the 24hour news cycle, everything becomes mundane. All stories, even murder and mayhem, must be punched up! A 30 minute newscast is as structured and created as a one-act play. A producer and writers create a beginning, middle and end that then the “actors” such as Brian enact.
An event happens. It is simple and true. But the very second, someone begins to tell you about it, it increasingly becomes fiction and theater the longer the tale is told. It is embellishment and surmise. Brian just fell into reporter mode. Cut him a little slack. He just lost sight, for a moment, of the difference between fact and fiction. But that blurred border is exactly where he lives everyday. He lives in lifeastheater.
We call it the Evening News.