What Brian Williams Needs

Brian Williams needs a little Marsha in his life. When Marsha came to live inside my head, I, Susan, had a much easier time in many ways. I needed her to write, think and do what I could not. Need to see things in a more simple way? Marsha does that for me. Need to have an opinion that steps across that line-that-cannot-be-crossed? Marsha is my gal. Need to be somewhere I am not supposed to be? (Take special notice of this one, Brian.) Marsha can be anywhere my imagination takes me.

Magical World of Marsha
Magical World of Marsha

Having a fictional doppelganger gives me, Susan, disclaimer rights. Who said people shouldn’t go to Venice? That was clearly Marsha. Who had a hard time living in the former Soviet Union? Marsha, again. Who goes on cruises with the utmost glee? Since Susan does not travel like that, that has to be Marsha.

Everyone needs a bit of elbow room with the truth. Most of us get away with it, because – unlike Brian Williams – we don’t live in front of millions of people. Perhaps he forgot that the world is his fishbowl. I can misspeak, and so can Marsha. But Brian’s misrememberings will be broadcast and re-broadcast, and because he doesn’t have a Marsha, there’s just no explaining it.

There’s a sliding scale between news and ‘news‘. It’s been forming over the last 20 30  40 years. On the one side, there is Jon Stewart. He does ‘news’ and we love the entertainment of it all. On the other side is Scott Pelley, whose focus is so single-mindedly on the news that I had to look up him on Google. We may admire Scott Pelley, but we don’t remember his name. We remember Brian Williams’ name, who, according to me, is about 2/3 the way toward Jon Stewart. That would make him much more than half entertainment, and just a bit of real news. He’s mostly a ‘news‘ guy. And so he needs a Marsha, to wiggle away from always having to pretend truth.

Not Marsha, actually. But he could have a Stanley. Stanley could fly along on secret missions anywhere and have wild opinions about what went on. If anyone wanted to talk to Brian Williams about it, he’d just have to say, “That Stanley is a character, alright.”