Disgraced Brian Williams takes himself off the air; ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’

Brian Williams, the NBC “Nightly News” anchor who lately has become more the subject of the news rather than the reporter of it, announced that he will step aside from the news desk “for the next several days” to allow the smoke of controversy to clear.

The full statement reads:

In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.

As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.

The controversy centered on Williams began last week when “Stars and Stripes” reported that a statement the newsman had widely circulated that he was a passenger in a downed Chinook helicopter that had been shot down during the 2003 invasion of Iraq was false.

Since then, other reports by Williams have been called into question, including one that he’d contracted dysentery and saw dead bodies floating outside his New Orleans hotel room while covering Hurricane Katrina.

Williams issued a half-hearted apology last week that created more problems than it solved.

He’s scheduled to appear on CBS’s “Late Show” with David Letterman Thursday where he may address the issue more fully, Fox News reported.

Twitter users greeted the announcement with a mixture of scorn and ridicule — and the ultimate showbiz putoff: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Late night TV host Conan O’Brien got into the act with this one:

And then there’s this, my favorite from Investor’s Business Daily columnist Andrew Malcolm, which received its own share of responses:

I’m almost feeling sorry for the guy — almost.

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