All the problems at NBC News aren’t just coincidence. They’re symptoms.

NBC remains a leading news organization. Its biggest news star, Lester Holt, has real credibility and reporting chops (after all, he managed to get President Trump to admit that he fired FBI Director James B. Comey because of the Russia investigation). Its national security reporter Pete Williams is highly respected, as are many of its other journalists.

But the network’s credibility is on the line. To critics it would seem that network leadership isn’t taking that seriously enough, believing perhaps that the public is mostly unaware, and that advertisers don’t mind.

But a news organization’s reputation builds — or fades — over time. Does NBC really want to be seen as a place where stars are protected too vigorously, and where ratings and profits reign supreme?

Given NBC’s prominence, its foibles hurt not only the network itself, its own journalists, and its viewers.

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