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If there’s any silver lining in the shameful Brian Williams lying-exaggeration-misrembering saga, its’ this: Lester Holt.

Holt, the 55-year-old newsman who happens to be African-American, is getting his shot on the big stage – the NBC Nightly News anchor desk that Williams has been suspended – without pay – from for six months after revelations that Williams offered false statements about his experience reporting in Iraq in 2003.

NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a memo that Williams “misrepresented” events that occurred while he was covering the war.

“It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues,” Turness said. “This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.”

The military newspaper Stars and Stripes published a story saying Williams was incorrect when he said a helicopter in which he and his team were traveling during the invasion of Iraq was hit by rocket propelled grenades. The story was based on eyewitness accounts.

Williams has since apologized on air for his error in judgment but there is speculation in some media circles that Williams cannot survive this storm and may never return to the anchor desk.

Enter Lester Holt.

In an era where President Barack Obama is the nation’s first Black president, where Eric Holder served as the first African-American U.S. Attorney General, and where some still insist we live in a post-racial society, anchor desks in prime time at the major networks -NBC, CBS and ABC – have been void of black men on a regular basis.

The anchor chair, frankly, has been the one coveted spot that is off limits – on a permanent basis – for a black man. You have to go all the way back to Max Robinson, who became in 1978, the first Black man to anchor a network television broadcast in prime time.

COMMENTARY: Lester Holt Deserves To Replace Brian Williams…Permanently  was originally published on

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