Lester Holt has been my favorite news reader for years. He used to have a tick of the head reminiscent of Elgin Baylor, but I don’t notice it these days.
He has done the weekend morning show on NBC for years. He chats. He says funny things. He is not a talking head.
He does the weekend nightly news. He is precise, not a hot-shot, coherent. If I watched network news, he would be my first choice.
Brian Williams is an affable fellow. He has a good sense of humor. But now he looks like a man with a seriously problem in making things up. That is what the government does, not news readers. He would have been a great Presidential press secretary.
Like all network news anchors, he reads the government’s press releases, as filtered by the news writing team. He is like some high school kid who gets caught smoking a cigarette in the bathroom, while the principal is running a drug ring.
He may return. He may not. The problem for me is this. I occasionally see Holt for a few minutes on Saturday morning. I never watch the evening news.
They will have to produce a new intro for the news. If the voice says, “with Brian Williams,” it will sound silly — rather like the kid who got caught smoking the cigarette. He has been suspended for a week. But if it says, “with Lester Holt,” it will sound permanent.
It’s not that this is a scandal. It’s that it looks silly. The network news readers are not supposed to look silly. They must have gravitas.
I have needed a gravitas injection for years.