Oh My Stars

beliefnet astrology matthew currie brian williamsSome transgressions are worse than others, and sometimes that’s determined by the profession of the transgressor in question. If a politician cheats on his wife it’s bad, but if a preacher does it, it’s terrible. If an actor cheats on his taxes it’s bad, but if a politician does it it’s particularly bad.

Brian Williams is a news man who lied about a news story… specifically, one involving himself. In all fairness, he may not have actually “lied,” strictly speaking. He claims to have been in a Chinook helicopter over Iraq in 2003 that got hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. This is, of course, a great story for a news reporter to tell. Unfortunately, years later, he admitted that it was another helicopter in the same convoy they got hit, and not his.

Although this is not the same as completely making up a news story (“UFO Lands On White House Lawn, Demands Nachos”) or perpetuating invented details to make a real news story even more exciting (“you aren’t allowed into many London neighborhoods unless you’re Muslim”), this still looks pretty bad. There’s already enough mistrust in this world without people that we should (theoretically) be able to trust, isn’t there?

Astrologically, what can we see that’s making all this trouble for Brian? Although we don’t have a time of birth for Brian Williams (May 5 1959, Ridgewood NJ), we know that transiting Saturn is passing over his Jupiter. Saturn is, of course, the planet that is most likely to crush the things we are enthusiastic about, whether they are real or fictional. Jupiter is the planet most obviously associated with “fame and fortune.” Furthermore, in March 2003 transiting Uranus was square that Jupiter, which is (perhaps) a recipe for “applying too much imagination to make your story more interesting.”

The truth is that in the last several years, Brian Williams has become much more of a “celebrity” than a “news man.” He makes regular appearances on late-night talk shows and other entertainment-oriented programs. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, except that this is probably now what he is more widely known before than for his day job, which is to give us the facts.

There is a psychological phenomenon called “confabulation” that appears to be at work here. One can get involved in recalling a story and honestly mis-remember the details. Ronald Reagan spent World War II in Culver City California, yet he told Israeli prime minister Yitzak Shamir in 1983 that he was actually., physically there when a Nazi concentration camp was liberated. Hey, it makes for a good story, amirite?

Brian is now stepping away from the anchor desk at NBC Nightly News “for a few days” while the heat settles down. There is currently an internal investigation going on at NBC to check the veracity of other reports Brian Williams has made. Hopefully, this one particular lapse is the only thing that turns up.

Personally, I hope he comes out of this all right. I kinda like the guy, personally. And hey, who hasn’t gotten a couple of the facts scrambled around when retelling a particularly good story?

Now, let me tell you the perfectly reasonable story about why I was dancing around on the table at the bar last Saturday night. It was to save a life, I swear!

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