Brian Williams should ask Mary Hayashi. The
Brain Tumor Defense almost never works.
ALAMEDA COUNTY | NBC’s suspended news anchor Brian Williams suggested he “misremembered” disputed events in Afghanistan because of a brain tumor, according to a lengthy expose of the network’s downtrodden news division in the current issue of Vanity Fair.
It begs the question: Why sully the reputation of brain tumors by using them as excuses for poor decision-making? East Bay politicos might recall another instance when the brain tumor defense was used—to equally poor results.
In early 2012, the attorney for former Hayward Assemblymember Mary Hayashi said a previously undisclosed brain tumor contributed to her infamous shoplifting arrest at Neiman Marcus in October 2011. Hayashi later plead no contest to misdemeanor charges, received a fine and one-year probation for shoplifting three articles of clothing worth $2,450.
Similar to Hayashi’s consistent aversion to specifically speaking to the charges against her, Williams literally could not voice the words, “I lied,” said a source in the Vanity Fair article.
“We could not force his mouth to form the words ‘I lied.’ He couldn’t explain what had happened. [He said,] ‘Did something happen to [my] head? Maybe I had a brain tumor, or something in my head?’ He just didn’t know. We just didn’t know. We had no clear sense what had happened. We got the best [apology] we could get,” according to the article.
Hayashi’s case was no different and her inability to apology or even induce sympathy from voters led directly to a pair of brutal and ultimately disastrous campaigns—first for Alameda County supervisor in 2012 and the State Senate last year.
Hayashi’s experience proves employing the brain tumor defense only works if, unfortunately, the person actually has a brain tumor.