More grim news for Brian Williams: Plurality of Americans say he should lose his job

Finding comes as Williams is on self-imposed leave following misleading statements on Iraq incident

By Luke Brinker
Published February 10, 2015 2:00PM (EST)
Brian Williams                          (Reuters/Phil Mccarten)
Brian Williams (Reuters/Phil Mccarten)

Announcing over the weekend that he would suspend himself from "NBC Nightly News" for "the next several days," Brian Williams vowed to "continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us." A new poll indicates that Williams has his work cut out for him in accomplishing that task.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday, 40 percent of Americans think Williams should resign following the revelation that he misled the public for years with a harrowing account of being aboard a helicopter that came under fire during the invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, 35 percent say Williams should keep his job, and 25 percent aren't sure.

The poll underscores that questions surrounding Williams' credibility could have ramifications for more than just the veteran anchor's career. Fully 40 percent respondents said that they're now less likely to trust NBC's reporting, against eight percent who say they're more likely to do so and 45 percent for whom the controversy makes no difference.

Since the military newspaper Stars and Stripes first exposed Williams' Iraq embellishments last week, the journalist has also come under scrutiny for claims he's made about his reporting during Hurricane Katrina and Israel's 2006 war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

This week, the embattled newsman cancelled his scheduled Thursday appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show," the program on which Williams  once offered a gripping tale of having his aircraft fired upon in Iraq.

Luke Brinker

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