Brian Williams Isn’t the Only Self-Aggrandizing Journalist

Reporters Are Always Trying to Top Each Other with Boasts at the Bar. There Are Temptations to Carry That Over into the Newsroom.


Back in my newspaper reporter days we had a name for reporters who exaggerated details in a story: We called them “pipe artists,” and the stories they produced were “pipeski.” I think the phrase was derived from pipe dreams, which in turn is a reference to opium-induced fantasies. Whatever its origin, I discovered when I moved on to TV, no one used–or even knew–the expression.

Too bad: Broadcasting really needs a term for Brian Williams and his Choppergate misadventure. Who knew he was a pipe artist? And now that we …

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