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.

Back on the job

Today's news could easily fill up twice the time we are allotted for the broadcast.  There is the rather amazing testimony from the stand in the Moussaoui case: his assertion that he would have flown the fifth plane into the White House on 9/11... and who his co-pilot would have been. Pete Williams will report from the court. Pete described Moussaoui's demeanor in court today as "docile" -- and speculated that he was wearing a "stun belt" -- a device U.S. marshals sometimes use to control defendants (through the use of electric shock, or just the implied threat of it) who are given to violent outbursts in court.

Then there are the various moving parts on the topic of immigration -- the protests in California and the talks on Capitol Hill. On the plus side, our own Chip Reid told us earlier today that the scene at the Senate negotiations matched what many would define as the ideal for such a thing: lawmakers sitting across from one another with sleeves rolled up, negotiating compromises on a major issue. Tonight we'll look at the chances for real results.

And then there's Iraq -- today's page one story in The New York Times, since confirmed by NBC News, on the underpinnings of the war and the involvement and machinations of the United Nations. Today's story from the war zone has to do with accusations against U.S. troops following an incident at a mosque. James Hattori will report from Baghdad, Andrea Mitchell from Washington.

Elsewhere in the broadcast tonight, we'll have some exclusive reporting on national security, and health news that involves the intersection of nature and science. And on the topic of immigration, in addition to the news of the day from California and Capitol Hill, we'll kick off a week-long series of reports.

With thanks to Campbell Brown for so ably sitting in last week, tonight will find me back in the chair after a much-needed break with my family. I followed the news as much as I could from our family listening post to the south, and I must say I'm glad I was not here for the debate over war coverage in Iraq. I would only remind everyone that our colleague at ABC News, Bob Woodruff, is engaged in a personal and titanic struggle to fully recover from the wounds he received while trying to cover the "good news" in Iraq. That was exactly the mission he was on when his world was put on hold. Many of the journalists killed while covering this war were doing the exact same thing. The brave men and women who have volunteered for duty in our own NBC News Bureau in Baghdad put their own lives on the line each day. They will tell you -- as we have experienced for ourselves in Iraq -- that we'd like very much to beam home more stories of positive developments (especially the achievements of U.S. soldiers there, who I find are so mightily impressive when seen on the job) were it not for the palpable risk to life and limb that comes with each and every moment and movement on the streets. Yesterday's exchange on this topic among members of the roundtable on Meet the Press was particularly good, as was Tim's interview with Secretary of State Rice. (Click for MTP transcript.)

One final note on this topic: for those who missed it, Richard Engel's "reporter's notebook" story from last Friday's Nightly News was a gripping first-person video diary account of what life has been like during his years on post in Baghdad. We're always proud of Richard's work and in awe of his courage, but this broke new ground in terms of its honesty and emotion. It's great to be back in this newsroom, and we hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.

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I am very disappointed in the way you report the news about the Louisiana congressman, who was taped accepting bribes of $100,000, and the raiding of his office because he refused to release material that had been subpoened to the courts.
If this had been a Republican congressman, you would have given all kinds of details, including the picture of the exchange of the bribe money, and gone into great explanation of the corruption of the Republican party. Because it is a Democrat you shield him from his wrongdoing and major on the FBI and their seizing of the materials needed to do the investigating. It is so disgusting the way you constantly interview Democrats and NEVER use anyone from the Republican viewpoint. No wonder we watch FOX news majority of the time and do not believe much of what you report. It is sickening.

The "stun belt" is referred to in a Washington Post article in addition to the MSNBC video -

Mr. Perry,

Clint from Dallas, Tx, basically answered your question. Anecdotal evidence is defined as using one fact to attempt to prove a trend. (For example: it rained today, therefore it will rain tomorrow.) Mr. Williams is assumed to be a trained, professional journalist. Being the anchor for NBC Nightly News, Mr. Williams is assumed to be one of the best. Clearly his blog leads one to wonder if those assumptions are justified when Mr. Williams uses illogical and unfair reasoning in his news analysis.

Nothing like more non sequiturs from broadcast journalists. No one doubts the bravery of the journalists venturing into Iraq to cover developments there, but no one in a Philosophy 101 class would accept the logic that because some journalists are regretfully being killed or wounded in the line of work, or because it's just too plain dangerous for journalists there to find any, no positive developments are taking place in Iraq. The plain fact is that the American people are woefully lacking in full coverage of the progress in Iraq, and this is amply demonstrated in prima facie fashion by the surprise expressed by so many returning Iraq veterans at the disproportionately negative view Americans have with progress there. It's the same damn problem with Americans' view of the economy. It's objectively, irrefutably true that the U.S. economy is doing great right now and has been for many months, and yet polls continually show Americans believe the economy is doing poorly. This is inexcusable, and the problem lies almost squarely at the feet of the outlets charged with providing Americans an accurate representation of the state of things. Whether it's political bias or journalistic bias--that is, a tendency toward the "the more emotional, the better," philosophy of news reporting--I don't know, but it's certainly there, and whining about the administration's finally criticizing the media for it won't change that. Old media is flailing when it should be looking in the mirror.


What do you mean when you say "stick to the facts?" What part of the posting do you consider anecdotal? Are you suggesting the injuries sustained by Bob Woodruff are not factual in some way?

Brian, there is positive news out there, I have heard so many soldiers that are so upset that the good news gets out there, like CHRIS MATTHEWS said who wants to hear the good news, its the bad news that reporters want to report on, and I do not hear ENGEL interview many soldiers and officers, and even ordinary IRAQ citizens, it is comman knowledge that most of the reporters are against this war and BUSH and you know that is true. But everyone does say WOODRUff was out on the ground not like most reporters who report from balcaonies and in the green zone, yes there are some of us who do want to hear about all the people who do want us there and are so thankful to our american soldiers, you never have the people who are out there and love these soldiers and beleive it or not are so thankful to PRESIDENT BUSH, why do you not show that, I have seen it on other networks, NBC is the worst on the reporting , but as I read your blog, I see they are mostly anti Bush people, I quit watching NBC a lont time ago, Sorry but LAURA INGRAHAM really let david gregory have it, and she put him finally in his place, he is so partisan and obnoxious, and he does report only one way, GOTCHA!!!!!!!!!! REPORTING!!!!!, IT IS NO SECRET HE HATES BUSH AS DO MOST ON NBC, NO I AM NOT A FAR RIGHT, USE TO BE A DEMOCRAT, BUT THEY HAVE NO MESSAGE ANYMORE BUT JUST GET BUSH one thing I noticed, most of your emails are from blue states, GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!!!1

Glad you are back with us...necktie and all.
What a coincidence that the war problems were blamed on the media...while you were absent! Your comments should set them straight. Your sense of humor came out in the 'yawning' comment. Keep us informed and tell it like it is.

I think Mr. Williams has hit the nail on the head: Mr. Williams is part of the debate when he and his colleagues should be reporting the news. Anecdotal evidence is not proof of danger in Iraq. Mr. Williams, please stick to the facts.

I'm a social worker in NC. BEFORE the Medicare Part D reform many of my clients who have Medicare were able to get their drugs through the drug companies for FREE. These clients are people who worked much of their young life and suffer more serious mental illness now that they are older.They make just over the limit to qualify for special assistance. They are going from paying $15-$30 a month for their medications to paying $254- $350 a month for their medications.

How do you expect someone who makes $1,200.00 a month or $14,400 a year to pay these costs? These citizens pay their own rent and utilities (which have skyrocketed due to gas prices) feed themselves, only to look forward to the dreaded "dounut hole" when their cost go up to $500 +.

Why are we punishing these older, responsible citizens who worked instead of going on disability when they were younger?

Why isn’t anyone talking about this? May 15th is right around the corner and these people are scared to death!

wow.. it's good to see you again.i wish you had a good break As you mentioned i really felt sorry for Bob woodruff and any other journalist outthere... they stake their securities for informing us of the reality of the war..
i really appreciate those efforts.
and finally..I'm going to miss Campbell,too!!

On Immigration: I am not being rude here, but just want to know what were the “illegal immigrants” thinking when they entered The US, WITHOUT its permission? Did they believe that they could somehow cheat the system and get away with it? Did they not realize that someday they or their children might have to pay for it? And what about the people “ American Citizens” who hired them- what were they thinking? Why did they not realize that it was the duty of every citizen to protect the country, and abide by the law? The law in this case I believe would allow hiring only citizens, residents or legal aliens. Therefore, it looks like Americans are trading “The Law of the Land” for “cheap labor”! Most of the “illegal immigrants” I believe do not speak the English language, and in an English speaking country, will this not bring down the quality of life? Bottom line: Both immigrants and Americans have equal share of responsibility- immigrants should enter/continue to live there on legal basis only (if they truly believe in American values and becoming Americans themselves) and the Americans should hire only legal immigrants! Else, “The star spangled banner” would soon read “ the land of the illegal immigrants and the home of the non-English speaking”!

Campbell Brown is a wonderful journalist and, as always, was most welcomed into my home during your, as you say, "much needed break".

What brings me here tonight, other than "welcome back!", is your comment about the war coverage debate. In my opinion you couldn't be more right about Bob Woodruff's attempt to show the "good news", and unfortunately, where it got him.

I'm thankful for all of the journalists who try their best to report the news, whether it's good, bad, popular, or not. That certainly includes you, so, once again, thank you for all you do!

Briam its good to see you back up on the screen. Hope you had time to decompress a little. Wish I could myself but in world there is no break. Please do what you can to illuminate the daily, life threatning, challenges that our journalist face. Tthe story recorders are good stories themselves.

Brian: a question--do you write this blog yourself, or do you have some help because of the time constaints on you? I'm just's well done, and informative and interesting

it's nice you're back in all. campbell was great. i loved her doing the show. i felt like i was getting personal special attention. tell campbell i said thank you very very much.

Heya Mr. Williams! Welcome back!

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