Poll: Slight Majority Would Give Brian Williams a Second Chance

CNN has become so invested in the Brian Williams story that it commissioned a poll*, in conjunction with ORC International, asking more than 1,000 Americans if they think the NBC Nightly News anchor should return to his chair after his six month suspension is up.

The results were seriously divided, but a majority — 52% — said NBC should allow Williams to return to his job. 40% said they should not and just 8% said they had no opinion on the matter, “perhaps reflecting the widespread coverage of Williams’ February 4 apology (for exaggerating his involvement in a 2003 Iraq War mission) and the media’s subsequent scrutiny of other stories he has told,” CNN’s Brian Stelter, who first reported the results, surmised.

There was also a slight gender discrepancy in the results, with 55% of women willing to welcome Williams back on the air but only 49% of men saying the same. Politically, the divide was even greater, with 58% of Democrats and just 45% of Republicans on the positive side of the question.

Overall, the people surveyed by CNN/ORC were far more forgiving of Williams than the more than 14,000 Mediaite readers who answered the question, “Should NBC fire Brian Williams?” in the days after he first recanted his helicopter story. Over 70% of you said yes.

*Stelter clarified to Mediaite that the poll was not “commissioned” by CNN to specifically address Williams, but rather the question about Williams was added to the network’s regular political poll conducted February 12-15.

[Photo via screengrab]

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