Brian Williams | Gay Marriage | News

Brian Williams: "Marriage is Under Attack"

Jeremy at Good As You caught this bit from Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News picking up a few right-wing talking points.

Jeremy notes: "...even if the gays are not the specific destructive force to which Williams or his writer are referring in this intro, the hyperbolic idea that this institution is being "attacked" is one that is most often associated with anti-gay marriage campaigns. So at best, this was bad news writing; at worst, it's a prominent journalist and news outlet taking some irresponsible rhetorical bait."

Glenn Greenwald also picked up on Good As You's tip on Salon, and notes: "None of this is to say that Williams is concealing some sort of right-wing ideology. But would it ever be possible to compile enough evidence to force an abandonment of that most scared, petulant and patently false Article of Faith among our right-wing warriors and their media allies -- namely, that our establishment press is a "liberal media" that is hostile to conservatives?"

Video: Is this NBC News or 'The 700 Club'?! [good as you]

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Comments

  1. Ok Brian, time for you to step up and make a difference. I thought you were pretty funny on SNL, but even if you don't do the writing for this newscast you are the face of homophobia!

    We need somegay to talk to him one on one!

    Ok NYC gays time to get the network moving. Someone has to know him and must talk to him about societal homophobia

    My $.02

    Drew

    Posted by: Drew | Nov 20, 2007 10:59:16 AM


  2. Hey Brian--Marriage Isnt Under Attack. Gay people who want to get married are under attack. Thanks for nothing for adding fuel to the fire from your national bully pulpit.

    Posted by: patrick | Nov 20, 2007 11:04:56 AM


  3. ya ok the divorce rate is higher than ever that proberaly what they mean i think thasts a being a git over sensitive

    Posted by: JL | Nov 20, 2007 11:14:56 AM


  4. ya ok the divorce rate is higher than ever that proberaly what they mean i think thasts a being a git over sensitive

    Posted by: JL | Nov 20, 2007 11:16:54 AM


  5. "in an era where 'marriage is under attack'" was the statement.

    it's not an untrue statement, to be honest. right now, we are living in an era where "marriage is under attack". it's a perfectly acceptable description of this time-frame since so many people actually feel this way. 20 years from now we would refer to this as the "straight marriage under attack years."

    BUT whereas i'm normally not very sensitive to these kinds of flubs (still thought the Snickers commercials were damn funny), i DO have to lean on the side of my gay brothers on this one...

    it was NOT worded correctly, the sentence should have been restructured so as to be flatly unbiased - and yes, i have to say i would prefer a general unbiased statement than something like: "At an era where some seriously fucked up morons think their shoddy scam of a sexless marriage is under attack..."

    (actually, that might have worked better...)

    in any case, i have to agree, it came out really really wrong. an apology is in order here.

    Posted by: James P. | Nov 20, 2007 11:25:42 AM


  6. Does anyone have Williams or Jeff Zucker's email address?

    Posted by: Scott A | Nov 20, 2007 11:33:03 AM


  7. Who or what exactly is attacking marriage?

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 20, 2007 11:33:18 AM


  8. I have not seen reports of any real movement to DISMANTLE marriage, so can someone please explain how marriage is "under attack"?

    Posted by: Gregg | Nov 20, 2007 11:44:16 AM


  9. Who really cares that Marriage is under attack? This society has taken something inherently civil and made it religious. It's the Gay elite that caused this backlash by wanting something only privileged white folks want anyway. The straights are doing a good enough job of killing off marriage and elite gays want to emulate this?

    Posted by: DC ARNOLD | Nov 20, 2007 11:52:40 AM


  10. What does that even mean "Marriage is under attack"? Is it even a jab at gay marriage? The mention is so vague, how can you tell?

    Posted by: what? | Nov 20, 2007 11:53:53 AM


  11. comments like his encourage gay bashing...Brian Williams!! You have blood on your hands...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Nov 20, 2007 11:55:41 AM


  12. In that NBC and Brian Williams are usually batting 1000% in the liberal camp, the statement is rather odd. Their ratings are slipping and this might be an attempt to woo the fundies.

    Posted by: Jack Scribe | Nov 20, 2007 11:58:04 AM


  13. Please does anyone really believe in the news system in the states? all lies and adverts***....BUt yes I understand his stupidity.. i say this to Brian W....go F*ck Yo*Rself and all those religious hipocrites freaks....WE ARE SAVING THE MARRIAGE INSTITUTION WHICH THEY HAVE RUIN...

    Posted by: Bosie | Nov 20, 2007 12:22:10 PM


  14. NBC Nightly News and Brian Williams can be emailed at nightly@nbc.com

    Posted by: phil | Nov 20, 2007 12:26:11 PM


  15. Not acceptable! Plus he tries to insult Andy Samberg when hosting SNL by calling him gay. And this guy is a network anchor?

    Posted by: Brain | Nov 20, 2007 12:42:17 PM


  16. Marriage is under attack from within! From all of the straight people who get divorced! I read recently that 50% of all marriages (I assume that this statistic assumes heterosexual marriage) ends in divorce. This is clearly an institution that is under attack from within. In any event, Mr. Williams used language that was not felicitous, perhaps, for what he was hoping to say. In any event, it shows how sensitive the subject is. And completely unrelated, I wouldn't celebrate being married to that man (Prince Phillip) for sixty years.

    Posted by: David | Nov 20, 2007 12:43:20 PM


  17. Marriage is under attack from within! From all of the straight people who get divorced! I read recently that 50% of all marriages (I assume that this statistic assumes heterosexual marriage) ends in divorce. This is clearly an institution that is under attack from within. In any event, Mr. Williams used language that was not felicitous, perhaps, for what he was hoping to say. In any event, it shows how sensitive the subject is. And completely unrelated, I wouldn't celebrate being married to that man (Prince Phillip) for sixty years.

    Posted by: David | Nov 20, 2007 12:43:53 PM


  18. I'm visiting family in Connecticut, where Brian Williams lives, and yesterday my dad was telling me that the Catholic Church here can always depend on Brian Williams to donate time and money for its causes. Since the church in these parts is ultra-conservative, I wouldn't be too quick to buy the line about Williams' liberalism.

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 20, 2007 1:11:27 PM


  19. Memo to Brian Williams: Competent Journalism is Under Attack! News at 11!

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Nov 20, 2007 1:12:30 PM


  20. Guess he has had too many beers at those NASCAR races and is showing how he really feels, or, he has seen that no one is watching his lame news show.

    And, just how is marriage under attack, when not everyone can get married? And, those who can have found it to a good for one thing, taxes.

    Posted by: Sebastain | Nov 20, 2007 1:35:57 PM


  21. I'm not sure if it was simply inexcusably sloppy journalism (if you're going to say something's under attack, shouldn't you specify who the attacker is?) or the type of cagey, not very subtle phrase coding that should be beneath him. (And which we will hear plenty of this election season.)

    As for:
    "It's the Gay elite that caused this backlash by wanting something only privileged white folks want anyway."
    Bull! If you look at the gay people who want to get married (civil marriage, by the way--that's what we're fighting for) they're certainly not all privileged, white, or elite. Everyone should have the equal right to choose whether they want to participate in civil marriage, or not. Simple as that.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 20, 2007 2:39:18 PM


  22. I have hated the Crooked Nose ever since he pushed Tom Brokaw out of the anchor's chair but (I can't believe I'm about to say this) I don't think what he was saying was against gay marriage per se. It was more against people getting divorced more and less people staying married for longer because the following sentence is about Queenie's 60th anniversary. Maybe I'm naive but that's what I thought.

    Posted by: junior | Nov 20, 2007 3:27:33 PM


  23. I don't think this was a jab at gay marriage at all... I think it was obviously poor news writing and a very lazy way to try to make this story about British Royals somehow relevant to the American people.

    Posted by: Patrick | Nov 20, 2007 3:55:15 PM


  24. Brian Williams dropped out of college in order to participate in an internship in the administration of Jimmy Carter. I'd say his liberal credentials are pretty solid even if he does pitch in to help the Catholic Church from time to time (he grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic high school and a Catholic University). I'd say that was poor news writing.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 20, 2007 7:30:43 PM


  25. DC Arnold,

    I think you have it backwards. This society took something inherently religious and made it civil.

    Marriage belongs in religion, not in government.

    The government shouldn't sponsor marriage at all.

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 20, 2007 7:45:43 PM


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