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Revisionist History podcast with Malcolm Gladwell | E4/S3: Free Brian Williams (Transcript)

Free Brian Williams with Malcolm Gladwell

Episode 4| Season 3| Revisionist History
Length: 37 mins | Released: June 7, 2018

Malcolm Gladwell: On the evening of March 26, 2013, Brian Williams appeared on Late Night With David Letterman.

David Letterman: We’re Very happy to have this man with us. He is the Emmy and Peabody anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News. Ladies Gentlemen, here he is, our good friend Brian Williams. Mr. Williams, come on in.

Malcolm Gladwell: Brian Williams looks like a TV anchor. He has one of those rectangular super handsome made for television heads, maybe two sizes larger than normal, like he inflates it with a bicycle pump before he goes on camera. And he’s charming, very charming.

David Letterman: Congratulations. 20 years at NBC News.

Malcolm Gladwell: Williams sits down next to Letterman and the two of them chit chat and tell jokes. There had been some big kerfuffle about the Today Show involving Matt Lauer, and Letterman tries and fails to bait Williams into saying something juicy about it.

David Letterman: Now, if I’m on to something, blink twice.

Malcolm Gladwell: Then Letterman asks the question that will destroy Brian Williams’s career.

David Letterman: Tell me, and if I knew this, I forgot it and if I forgot it, I’m ashamed, something happened 10 years ago in Iraq. Tell people what that occurrence was.

Brian Williams: I brought a photo which arrived in my e-mail two mornings ago of where I was tonight, a decade ago.

David Letterman: This very day?

Brian Williams: This very day.

Malcolm Gladwell: My name is Malcolm Gladwell. You’re listening to Revisionist History, my podcast about things forgotten and misunderstood.

This episode is part two of my exploration of memory and our naive ideas about what memory is worth. If you haven’t heard the previous episode, you should listen to it first. It’s the story of an early morning raid on a Nazi hideout in Munich, a raid that involved a world-classed harmonica player and a dashingly handsome undercover spy. The lesson of that story is that only a fool accepts the evidence of his own memory as gospel. The lesson of this story is: We’re all fools.

To see the full transcript, go here.

Transcripts for the entire Season 1–3 podcasts of Revisionist History are available here.

Simon Says is an automated transcription service. We assist people and companies, such as those in the media, to swiftly transcribe audio and video files so they can find that meaningful dialogue. We are not associated with Revisionist History or Panoply Media; we are just big fans. And we highly recommend you listen to the podcast if you can. We have provided the transcript below as a supplement. Enjoy!