I think most good people were surprised by the extraordinary delay in accountability for Brian Williams, between the time he was exposed as a liar, and his eventual suspension from his position as anchor for NBC Nightly News.
Well, here is the answer. Another, influential, radical, second-wave feminist at the helm. Or, actually, two women!
William’s immediate boss is Deborah Turness. She is 48 and the President of NBC News, where among other news programs, she is responsible for Williams’ “NBC Nightly News” show. She is another influential, “liberated” feminist from Britain.
Turness was born and raised in Hertfordshire, which is an hour north of London. She proudly claims to be somewhat of a firebrand, from early on, as she relates the story of her being thrown out of the convent school for girls when she was 13, for kissing boys in the courtyard.
Having graduated from college with a degree in English and French, Ms. Turness took a postgraduate course in journalism in France.
Turness began her “career” in journalism in 1988 when she was hired by ITN News in London. ITN is the arch rival of the BBC, and the news division of ITV News. Her first job was as a freelance producer in Paris.
Ms. Turness met and married to Damien Steward, 58, while they were both employed with ITN News. He remained a reporter while she continued to climb the corporate “career” ladder.
In 2007, there were rumors that Ms. Turness, who was now an editor with ITV News, was having an affair with John Toker, 66. He was a former television producer for ITN News.
But by 2007, he had left to become the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office’s Director of Communication for Security and Intelligence. They were perfectly suited for each other as the rumors would prove to be true.
But, Toker in particular, was well suited for this type of illicit activity as he was, in 2004, the notorious negotiator between a member of Parliament, David Blunkett, and his mistress, Mrs. Kimberly Quinn during the final stages of their three-year affair.
Mrs. Quinn was the publisher of The Spectator Magazine, and her husband Stephen, was the publisher of Vogue. As a result of the adulterous affair with Blunkett, Mrs. Quinn gave birth to Blunkett’s illegitimate child in 2002.
After a court battle, Mrs. Quinn retreated back to America and Blunkett finally resigned from Parliament in 2004 after it was discovered that he had also fast-tracked a visa for Mrs. Quinn’s nanny.
Despite the 2007 rumors of an affair, in 2008, according to the Electoral Roll records, Ms. Deborah M. Turness and Mr. Damien V. Steward were still living together as husband and wife (along with their housekeepers Fatima and John Fernandes), in their flat in West Kensington, when Ms. Turness became pregnant with Toker’s child.
There is no indication whether she and Mr. Steward were divorced at the time but if it hadn’t already occurred by June, when Ms. Turness got pregnant, I’m sure it happened soon after. Turness’ and Mr. Toker’s illegitimate child, Fleur, was born in March of 2009.
By 2010, also according to the Electoral Rolls, John Toker, was now living at Ms. Turness’ same West Kensington address (along with the Fernandes and oddly, Mr. Steward, whom I’m sure had vacated the house by then). Toker was still employed as the Cabinet Office’s director of counter-terrorism communications.
As photos of Mr. Toker were difficult to find, an interview with him follows.
It was obvious that Ms. Turness’ “career” continued to advance through her personal connections, when in May of 2011, she was the only journalist invited to the Buckingham Palace state banquet for Barack Obama. Ms. Turness and Mr. Toker were finally married on August 26, 2011. In 2012, another daughter was born to them.
During this same time frame, NBC in NYC, was losing ground in the ratings game and was looking for new blood to save its fading reputation, and viewership.
Turness, who was home on maternity leave from ITV News, after the birth of her second child, received a call from an NBC head hunter who asked her to critique NBC News programs. Apparently her critiques were well received, as she was offered the Presidency of NBC News in May 2013. She readily accepted. Turness would be the first female president of a news division in the United States.
Turness, her husband (who was now retired), and their two daughters, 10 months and 4 years old, (and more than likely with a fast-tracked visa for the Fernandes’) moved to New York during the summer of 2013. They settled in Bronxville, NY.
Mr. Toker would become a stay-at-home-dad for his very little children and Ms. Turness would begin her new job with NBC in August 2013.
It would be shown that Turness was hired by another radical feminist, Pat Fili-Krushel, 60, who is also the mother of two children.
Ms. Fili-Kushel was the “Chairwoman” of NBCUniversal News Group and NBCUniversal Comcast. Both women, as radical feminists, have placed their children’s upbringing behind their pursuit of their “careers.”
No one, even a woman with loads of money, can replace a child’s mother at home. These woman behave towards their children as though they are just another piece of property with which to impress people with at a business conference.
Turness’ managerial style, according to business associates, was unusual but, in keeping with the radical feminist premise that anything related to the time-tested rules established by men is bad and should be abandoned, she is an expert.
This chronic effort to “reinvent the wheel” by “ripping up the rule book” is a constantly repeated theme among influential feminist “career” women. Anything that the men had successfully done before them, was viewed with contempt.
The British paper, The Guardian, quotes a colleague as saying that Turness is a “bit of an unguided missile. Her enthusiasm could get the better of her”, while another says: “She’s not everybody’s cup of tea. She’s very radical and out there and questions stuff and sometimes you will bring in an exclusive and she’ll ask where are we taking it next.”
An NBC colleague said, “She’s got a real strong anarchic streak and can never accept things the way they are (in typical radical feminist style). If you are in a meeting with Deborah, she will throw out 10 ideas and nine will be absolutely crazy but one will be genius.” (Sounds like she’s fishing for an answer she doesn’t have.)
At one point, Turness actually considered hiring comedian Jon Stewart as the replacement for “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, before she choose Chuck Todd. Huh?
Despite her efforts at NBC, by October 2014, the Nielsen numbers, for the very first time in five years, showed that “NBC Nightly News”, had lost, in all demographics, to ABC’s “World News with David Muir. And despite this information Turness signed a $10 million, 5 year contract with Williams, two months later, in December 2014. Duh?
NBC’s one remaining lead show, NBC Nightly News, was losing traction. And, it was becoming obvious to insiders that Ms. Turness was having no effect on NBC’s sliding ratings, so much so that journalists were musing as to whether she would be let go.
Then, just a few months later, on February 4, 2015, with just one hour of notice to Ms. Turness, Brian Williams dropped a bomb on Turness when he publicly acknowledged on his “NBC Nightly News” program, that he had lied about his experiences while reporting during the Iraq war.
Under pressure, not from Turness, but from the soldiers who were with him in Iraq, Williams finally admitted that he had indeed lied for years, about the circumstances surrounding the Army’s Chinook helicopter, on which he was riding. Despite his having claimed his helicopter crashed landed under heavy fire, it had not.
His downfall began on Thursday, January 29th, at a NY Rangers Hockey game when he publicly retold the lie again, during a break in the game to honor retired Sgt. Major Tim Terpak, who was with Williams during the incident in Iraq.
Williams then repeated the same lie during his broadcast on Friday evening, January 30th, which included a film clip of the standing ovation Terpak received at the game.
The response from the soldiers, who knew the truth about the incident in Iraq, immediately began to flood William’s Nightly News Facebook page. Some accused him of lying about the event in order to steal the valor from others. As it would be shown, Williams was never on the helicopter that crashed landed. He was in the one that was behind it. The one that landed safely.
Lance Reynolds, who was the flight engineer on the Chinook that was hit, wrote on NBC’s Facebook page, “Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft. I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened.”
Reynolds went on to tell Stars and Stripes Newspaper that, “It was something personal for us that was kind of life-changing for me. I know how lucky I was to survive it. It felt like a personal experience that someone else wanted to participate in and didn’t deserve to participate in.”
Chris Simeone, the pilot of William’s helicopter, wrote on NBC’s Facebook page, “Such a liar! I was the Pilot in Command of the CH-47 flying Brian Williams into Iraq during the invasion. He was on my aircraft and we were NOT shot down … As far as Brian Williams, he’s a fake.”
Rich Krell, who co-piloted the Chinook helicopter Williams was flying in that day concurred, saying that the chopper in front of their helicopter was hit by a grenade and crash landed, not William’s helecopter.
The flight engineer on the helicopter that carried the NBC News crew, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, told Stars and Stripes newspaper that, “No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft.”
Sgt. Miller’s complaints to Stars and Stripes prompted Williams to issue his first apology on Wednesday afternoon (February 4th) on the “NBC Nightly News” Facebook page.
Despite the fact that Turness was aware of the controversy since Saturday (January 31st), Associated Press reported that NBC “refused to comment Saturday on when or whether Williams would return and who would decide his future.” Duh?
Even the flaming liberal, and radical feminist, columnist Maureen Dowd, from the New York Times, wrote on Saturday, “NBC executives were warned a year ago that Brian Williams was constantly inflating his biography.” And, who was Williams boss during this entire time frame? Yes, Turness.
Dowd went on to write, “THIS was a bomb that had been ticking for a while. But the caustic media big shots who once roamed the land were gone, and ‘there was no one around to pull his chain when he got too over-the-top,’ as one NBC News reporter put it.”
After apologizing on Facebook on Wednesday, Williams would repeat his apology on his TV show that night. After placing himself on a three-day hiatus, claiming he had become a distraction, he was finally suspended for 6 months, without pay, at 8 pm on Tuesday, February 10th; nearly two weeks after the scandal began.
As for the “fishing for answers” Ms. Turness, it took her until Friday (February 6th) of that first week to even discuss the scandal with her staff. A source said, “Turness told the group that she’s spending ‘100 percent of her time, day and night, to sort this out.’ ” So, I guess that no one should be surprised that it took her two weeks to come to grips with the scandal since the answer, and the solution, for her at least, was so illusive.
In that internal memo to her staff on February 6th, she announced an investigation into William’s tall tales. In it she wrote. “As you would expect, we have a team (typical feminist form of “leadership”) dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are.” (Still fishing for answers when she should have fired him post-haste and taken the lumps.)
The memo went on to address the Iraq lies told by Williams when Turness wrote, “It became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.”
What? How could she say that with a straight face? How could a woman, who had committed adultery, and bore an illegitimate child, in good conscience, stand in judgement of Brian Williams, when his sin was venial, as compared to hers, which was mortal?
Oh! Of course. I forgot. She is another influential radical, second-wave feminist who has substituted the ideology of feminism for the tenets of her Christian faith, and they can do no wrong and all men suck!
Update: After multiple debacles, which Turness proved unable to rectify, she was finally sent packing in February 2017. She returned to Europe with a diminished position and has faded off the NBC radar screen.