Getting mad at Brian Williams is kind of missing the point.

People seem pretty upset that NBC news anchor Brian Williams "mid-remembered" being in a RPG attack while covering the war in Iraq.

A few thoughts come to mind.

First, people mis-remember stuff all the time. Memories are constructs, not recordings to be played back. Bad on Williams as a journalist if he has been going around feeling this story for years without actually verifying it, but it is not necessarily a deliberate lie.

Second, and more importantly, if people want to get outraged about stories from the Iraq war that are not actually true, this is the one they are going to pick? How about the lies that got us into the war in the first place, and kept us there for years, at the cost of thousands of lives and billions of dollars?

It's like people need this kind of stuff to be personalized in order to process it. When the story is that one guy told some tales to make himself look better, that is something about which we can all work up some righteous indignation. When the story is that we let ourselves get marched into a pointless war via a vast and tangled collection of large and small lies, half-truths, misdirections, that is altogether more complicated and uncomfortable.

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