Jon Stewart says Brian Williams had 'infotainment confusion syndrome'

Jon Stewart says Brian Williams had 'infotainment confusion syndrome'
Jon Stewart attempts to explain Brian Williams' untruthful Iraq War stories on "The Daily Show." (Comedy Central)

It seems like everybody in media, from the cable news chatterers to the morning radio crews is talking about Brian Williams and the controversy that has erupted around an erroneous story Williams has been delivering about his time reporting in Iraq in 2003.

While there are many reasons floating around about why Williams did what he did -- claimed that the Chinook helicopter he was riding in took RPG fire when it did not -- only Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" has hit on what seems to be the most plausible-sounding reason.


It's what he called "infotainment confusion syndrome."

As Stewart explained, "It occurs when the celebrity cortex gets its wires crossed with the 'medulla anchor-dala.'"

As he demonstrated with video, Williams delivered an accurate report on the helicopter on NBC News back in 2003, facing the camera and reporting the news.

But when he told an embellished version of the story on "Late Show With David Letterman" in 2013, his head was turned 45-degrees, which, according to Stewart, activates the "celeb-rellum."

"That's known as the brain's applause center," Stewart explained. "Once that engages, there's no going back. You're in full-blown anecdote mode. The truth of what a reporter is saying is all in the direction their face is turned."

Williams is a frequent guest on "The Daily Show" and appears friendly with Stewart. Despite the discussion of Williams' lies at the top of the show, Stewart ultimately came to the embattled anchorman's defense, especially in light of the apparent glee rival news people seem to have taken in picking apart Williams' untruths.

"Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War," he said, with a healthy dose of sarcasm, implying that those news people who are clucking their tongues at Williams once helped cheerlead the country into the war without proper journalistic skepticism.

"Never again will Brian Williams mislead this great nation about being shot at in a war we probably wouldn't have ended up in if the media had applied this level of scrutiny to the actual ... war."

NBC News has reportedly opened an internal investigation into Williams' reporting and the anchorman voluntarily put himself on a leave of absence from the "NBC Nightly News."

The full segment can be viewed here.

Twitter: @patrickkevinday