Tag Archives: Brian Williams

Brian William’s Foreboding Farewell Message: “They’ve Decided To Burn It All Down With Us Inside”

After 28 years as an anchor with NBC networks, Brian Williams called it quits on Thursday during his MSNBC show The 11th Hour. While his final episode was filled with old colleagues and recurring guests celebrating his career and paying him lip service, his final message was filled with warning.

“My biggest worry is for my country,” Williams said. “I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m an institutionalist. I believe in this place. And in my love of my country I yield to no one, but the darkness on the edge of town has spread to roads and highways and neighborhoods.”

“Grown men and women who swore an oath to our constitution, elected by our constituents, possessing the kinds of college degrees I can only dream of have decided to join the mob and become something they are not, hoping we somehow forget who they were,” Williams continued. “They’ve decided to burn it all down with us inside. That should scare you to no end as much as it scares an aging volunteer fireman.”

While Williams made it clear he has no immediate plans post-MSNBC, he did leave the door open for a possible return to television at some point. He said, “I will probably find it impossible to be silent and stay away from you and lights and cameras after I experiment with relaxation and find out what I’ve missed and what’s out there.”

Williams’s career as a journalist has been tumultuous towards the end. While anchor for NBC’s flagship Nightly News, he was suspended and ultimately reassigned for exaggerating a harrowing helicopter ride in Iraq. Despite the professional setback, he is one of the more beloved anchors of the past 20 years. The mash-up raps of his from The Tonight Show have garnered tens of millions clicks online.

“As a proud New Jersey native, this is where I get to say, regrets, I’ve had a few, too few to mention,” Williams said in his final minutes on the show. “What a ride it’s been. Where else, how else was a kid like me going to meet presidents and kings and the occasional rock star?”

Full Transcript Below:

Well, look at the time. I’ll try to keep this brief. After 28 years of peacock logos on much of what I own, it is my choice now to jump without a net into the great unknown. As I do for the first time in my 62 years, my biggest worry is for my country.

The truth is, I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m an institutionalist. I believe in this place. And in my love of my country, I yield to no one.

But the darkness on the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways and neighborhoods. It is now at the local bar, and the bowling alley, the school board, and the grocery store. And it must be acknowledged and answered for.

Grown men and women who swore an oath to our Constitution, elected by their constituents, possessing the kinds of college degrees I could only dream of, have decided to join the mob and become something they are not while hoping we somehow forget who they were.

They’ve decided to burn it all down with us inside. That should scare you to no end as much as it scares an aging volunteer fireman.

To my coworkers, my love and thanks…

As a proud New Jersey native, this is where I get to say, “regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

What a ride it’s been. Where else, how else was a kid like me going to meet presidents and kings and the occasional rock star? These lovely testimonials that I can never truly repay make me hyper-aware that it has been and remains a wonderful life. It’s as if I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning in Bedford Falls.

The reality is though, I will wake up tomorrow in the America of the year 2021, a nation unrecognizable to those who came before us and fought to protect it, which is what you must do now. My colleagues will take it from here.

I will probably find it impossible to be silent and stay away from you and lights and cameras after I experiment with relaxation and find out what I’ve missed and what’s out there.

Every weeknight for decades now, I’ve said some version of the same thing. Thank you for being here with us. Us, meaning the people who produced this broadcast for you. And you, well, without you, there’s no us.

I’ll show myself out. Until we meet again, that is our broadcast for this Thursday night.