Brian Williams is less trusted than most TV reporters, and very few think his recent apology goes far enough
NBC Nightly News has been thrown into chaos by the emergence of allegations that the show's main star and anchor, Brian Williams, lied about the events of a 2003 helicopter ride in Iraq. Williams had claimed that the helicopter he was in had been hit by a rocket propelled grenade, forcing it to land, but this story was slammed by an article in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. Williams has now taken time off from NBC News and executives are understood to be seriously considering dropping him from the show.
YouGov's latest research shows that only a third of Americans think that Brian Williams is even somewhat trustworthy, while 40% say that he is at least somewhat untrustworthy. Williams is less trusted than TV reporters as a whole, with 47% of the American public saying that TV reporters are very or somewhat trustworthy, though 42% do say that TV reporters are very or somewhat untrustworthy. Democrats (61%) are more likely than Republicans (48%) to trust TV reporters in general.
72% of Americans have heard about the recent allegations that Brian Williams lied about coming under fire in Iraq in 2003.
Overall, 30% of Americans think that Brian Williams should resign from NBC Nightly News if it emerges that he did, in fact, lie about what happened in Iraq. 27% think that he should give a full apology and explanation on his show, while 12% think he should be suspended without pay for a month or more. 14% think that his recent apology was good enough.
Republicans (47%) are much more likely than Democrats (17%) to say that Brian Williams should resign for lies about the helicopter flight in Iraq. 32% of independents also think that Brian Williams should resign if the allegations are proven.