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At what point does embellishment become plain ole, bold-faced lying? I mean, everybody lies about something or other and everybody embellishes a story at one time or another during the course of their lives but, at what point do we draw the line? When we do stop calling something a “little white lie” and just call it a lie?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month or so, you know that during one of his many news stories over the past twelve years or so, Brian Williams placed himself in harm’s way while reporting on violence abroad. Truth be told, he darn near placed himself on the battlefield!! Okay, that was clearly an embellishment (that word again), but there is a definite point to be made. If Mr. Williams had simply told his exaggerated story to his closest friends during one of their guess-whose-story-tops-your-story sessions then, no big deal. I mean, he would be the undisputed champion of his inner circle, but that’s about it. No harm, no foul.

However, to get on National Television and tell his story as part of an actual news report as well as to go on late night television programs and repeat the story becomes so much more than simply stretching the truth of a story between friends/frenemies! Going on National Television and telling his story as if a news-worthy fact is, plainly stated, a complete lie. Brian Williams was not embellishing a story to impress his inner circle. He was lying to the American public.

This is unacceptable on so many levels that I cannot even cover them all. As such, this action cannot be tolerated…no matter how likeable the perpetrator is!!

This becomes even more insane when you consider what happened with Dan Rather, who left CBS after some 43 years following his questioning the record of then President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. It should be noted that Mr. Rather’s news story was, by all accounts, accurate. The question then must be asked: should Brian Williams’ lie be handled less stringently than Rather’s truth? Should telling a lie on National Television for the sake of personal pride be held to a lesser standard than reporting news in an accurate fashion?

Telling the truth vs Setting the record straight? Which is more important? Should Brian Williams receive a six month penance while Dan Rather’s contract was not renewed?

I think not!

And what of the others in the media who routinely lie to the American public, feeding them hatred and vitriol in the guise of ‘fair and balanced’ coverage? Should they not be removed as well? Or has lying become the new truth?

Can anybody hear me?