Beyond the Bricks 2/11
by Taylor Derrisaw | published Feb. 16th, 2015
Brian Williams Suspended for Six Months After Self-Removal
Amid a mass of controversy surrounding multiple allegations of irresponsible and false coverage, Brian Williams, one of NBC News’ prime anchors, has been suspended from the air for six months without pay, according to Reuters.
The news came after Williams imposed a self-suspension on February 7 while under pressure from rising allegations that he lied about a story that said we had come under fire in a helicopter while in Iraq in 2003, according to the Wall Street Journal. Williams released a memo to fellow staff commenting, “In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of news, due to my actions.”
Crew members who were on the helicopter which Williams reported he was on dispute his claim of ever being on the aircraft. Williams countered by saying he had forgotten which helicopter it was due to “the fog of memory.”
On February 11, NBC News made the decision to suspend Williams for six months without pay. According to Reuters, NBC Universal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke commented, “By his actions, Williams has jeopardized the trustmillions of Americans place in NBC. His actions are inexcusable. This suspension is severe and appropriate.”
At this time, it is unclear whether or not Williams will continue to work as an anchor for NBC in the future.
Alabama Stays Steadfast on Refusing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
As of 2015, 37 states allow same-sex marriages with three awaiting a Supreme Court decision, according to Freedom to Marry. Despite the recent gains made in the movement, some states refuse to let same-sex couples wed.
Alabama in particular is slow to allow same sex-marriages. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that the state must allow same-sex marriages, up to 44 of Alabama’s 67 counties are refusing to issue marriage licenses, according to USA Today.
USA Today also states that the main opposition came from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who promptly told other judges not to issue licenses. This has left some judges, such as Judge Al Booth, confused. Booth commented to USA Today, “I have the man who runs this state’s court system telling me not to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, [and] I have the federal judiciary telling me I will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”
Although many judges are refusing to issue licenses, many same-sex couples are marrying in the latest state to push for equal marriage rights.
Harper Lee Saddened by Claims of Being Pressured Into Releasing Novel
Harper Lee, the American author famous for her novel about segregated Alabama, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has made a statement saying she was releasing another novel this summer set around the same characters.
After the announcement, controversy arose as to whether or not Lee was pressured into releasing the novel by her lawyer, Tonja Carter.
Carter, according to BBC News, found the manuscript for the new novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” while she was sorting out many of Lee’s possessions, believing it to be a copy of her previous work.
Many fans of Lee believe Carter was exploiting her and pressuring her to release the novel, a move which Carter says makes Lee “extremely hurt.” Carter commented, “Lee is a very strong, independent and wise woman who should be enjoying the discovery of her long-lost novel,” according to BBC News.
The novel is set to publish later this year, with 2 million copies printed.