Viral video

Anchorman angst: 10-month-old is terrified of Brian Williams

March 3, 2014 at 6:52 PM ET

Video: A 10-month-old tot seems to have a peculiar phobia: In a video gone viral, he breaks into tears every time the NBC anchor appears on TV.

Some babies are scared of clowns or Santa. Ten-month-old Jude has a different phobia, of the evening news variety. When Jude sees NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on the television, he wails.

Jude’s father, Jordan McGuire, captured his son’s fear and the resulting You Tube video has gone viral. Jude innocently plays with his toys as his father, who is off camera, watches NBC Nightly News.

“You watching the news without Brian Williams? Uh oh, there he is,” McGuire says.

And, Jude howls.

“Jude, what’s wrong? You don’t like Brian Williams?” McGuire asks. (Dad must really like Williams; he keeps watching the news despite Jude’s loud protest).  

It becomes clear the kid’s reaction isn’t a fluke. Every time Jude sees or hears Williams, he bursts into tears. President Barack Obama comes on and Jude is fine. NBC reporter Chuck Todd? No problem. A news report of a hurricane? Nothing.

But when Williams speaks, the waterworks start. 

Mom Erin says they first learned of Jude's phobia about a week ago. Jude was playing with his toys and chasing the cat when suddenly he broke into tears. Fearing that he was hurt, Erin picked him up and he calmed down. At the same time the next day, the same thing happened again — Jude was content until 6:30 when Nightly News started.  

“We finally put two and two together and figured it HAD to be Mr. Williams,” Erin writes in an email.

While Jude likes most people he meets and doesn’t seem affected by other men on TV, his parents suspect that Williams’ serious tone and large presence on the TV frighten Jude.

For his part, Brian Williams is skeptical of this whole thing, he told Seth Myers: "As a father of two, first of all, he's being goaded by the dad," the anchor said on Late Night with Seth Myers, before sharing a delightful story about a golden retriever who comes running to the TV anytime he hears the Nightly News theme and Williams' voice. "He is a fantastic viewer, none of this complaining."

Well, give Jude some time and maybe he'll come around. Until then, definitely don't show him this. (Jimmy Fallon slow jams the news... with Brian Williams.) 

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