LETTER: Williams, O’Reilly and News Conflating 

Very disappointed that a former newsman, Gene Cox, would make the mistake of lumping Brian Williams into the same category as Bill O’Reilly and referring to them both as reporters.

Cox apparently equated the two so that he could take a cheap shot at Fox News Channel over its perceived lenience in allowing O’Reilly to keep his job after allegations of similar exaggerations. As even a casual observer of NBC and Fox News Channel would know, Williams was a news anchor and reporter, while O’Reilly is a commentator.

Rightly or wrongly, viewers expect a higher degree of credibility from a news anchor and reporter than they do from someone simply giving his opinion about current events. Accordingly, when they make up stories, Dan Rather and Williams are terminated or placed on leave, and rightfully so. Commentators who exaggerate, pad their résumés, or simply make things up are generally not sanctioned — otherwise, MSNBC would be forced to replace its lineup seasonally.

David Shuford
Richmond

I, for one, would like specifics about Bill O’Reilly. Are you aware how low journalists are in the polls as far as honesty and integrity? I know journalists decide what they want the public to believe, i.e., lying by admission or omission, but bless your heart for admitting to stealing — and proudly it seems. Thank you for your honesty! Journalists are a dime a dozen and known to distort the facts but when it comes to our elected officials, lying and misleading to win and then hiding and avoiding the truth is unacceptable. Your pass on Hillary was an interesting one.

Vivian Whitaker
Richmond

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