The Daily Nightly from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

About this blog

The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

If it's Tuesday

It must be Washington. The broadcast will originate tonight from our studios on Capitol Hill, as will our coverage later in the evening (beginning at 9 p.m ET) of what has always been known in journalism shorthand as "the SOTU." Today was also the day for the traditional background briefing lunch at the White House, where the President and his senior staff host the anchors and commentators of the broadcast and cable networks. Needless to say, our ABC colleague Elizabeth Vargas was inundated by questions from all of us, including the President, about the well-being of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, both of whom were in the air en route to the United States at the time when we sat down for lunch.

Today's gathering adheres to some long-understood rules of Washington journalism... common to both print and broadcast. And yes, the Democrats have a similar gathering on the Hill to present the other side (full disclosure: because it conflicted with our afternoon editorial meeting and the planning of tonight's broadcast, I could not attend the latter but a colleague did). The understanding is that we are let in on the thinking behind the speech (including the President's mood and demeanor) and the political effort going forward. The information is embargoed for the start of the speech, and there may be no direct quotes. Thus endeth today's journalism tutorial.

To the broadcast tonight: We will of course have a speech preview and a report on the victory on the Hill today that the Alito confirmation vote represented for the Administration.

Prominently on the broadcast tonight, we'll take a look back at the extraordinary life that ended today: Coretta Scott King. For those of us who watched her via the televised images of the 1960s, she always seemed the picture of dignity and a tower of strength. We may never see another American like her. She was so emblematic of her times. While she never asked for the public role she was forced to take on in life, she did it with grace and moral force, just like her late husband. It is hard to believe she survived him by 38 years. We will remember her tonight.

We have health news, a look back at the career of "The Chairman" Alan Greenspan (put it this way... American college freshmen have known no other Fed Chairman in their lives on earth!) who is known to many of us as Andrea Mitchell's devoted husband who just HAPPENS to have had a hand in the monetary policy of an entire generation.

There's no good way to segue into the following, but once we promise on the air that we will "keep you posted" on an ongoing story, it's a promise we are duty-bound not to break. Having said that, Rex the Military Dog was on Capitol Hill today, and we'll close the broadcast with that. Think of it as sections of a newspaper. At least I do.

We hope you'll join us for tonight's broadcast from Washington, and Tim Russert and I hope you'll join us for our coverage of the SOTU Address tonight... as they say: on your local NBC Station.

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COMMENTS

Whith the changes taken place over the past few years; we find ourselves asking whats next? Only the President can tell us or some say. The press do a great job of asking questions that give us more of a headline then a glimse at what is to come up next on the timeline. A quesion i would ask the President is what does he think is the answer to our number one problem we human race faces today? Allow him topick the problem. Does he care about the chores people have to carry out around the house? Does he really care for the americans.

Justice Alito ascends to the Supreme Court and Coretta Scott King dies. Brian Williams appropriately mentioned both events, but I think we should go one step further and contemplate the sea change they represent in the values of our society.

Brian-As a relatively green reporter in the Midwest, it seems curious that the national networks don't focus more tonight on Iran and the looming and longlasting threat that the mullahs would have armed with a nuclear weapon. Even if it's 10 years from now, they will soon pass the "point of no return" in Israel's words, and then we're in for decades of Cold War-esque fear, and probably loss of life.

In addition, why isn't more pressure exerted through investigative reporting on what can be done about reducing the overall national deficit. Raising the debt ceiling will have devastating long term effects on the strength of the dollar, which controls much of the world economy. I know it's a smaller percentage of GDP than in the 80's, but that's not much of a benchmark. There are long term issues that the American public will only pay attention to if forced to by a media willing to repeat these stories.
Not a rant directed at you, who I greatly admire. Just thoughts on issues that are of grave concern to my generation.

Jonathan

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