The Daily Nightly from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

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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.

SEA CHANGE OR POND RIPPLE?

Have Democratic primary voters set off a sea change with last night's results in the Nutmeg State? Is this good for their party or bad for their party? Is Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman really going to run... against a Democrat? In all likelihood, we will begin with last night's election results in Connecticut and elsewhere... and where this might mean the nation is politically. As more than one of our producers pointed out in our afternoon editorial meeting, the coverage of Ned Lamont, the new Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut, has often taken on a dilettante-esque "gadfly" air... the modifier "Greenwich millionaire..." is so often attached to his name during introductory mentions. Is that fair? Will it begin to die down? Is that appellation used in equal amounts when describing other major political figures in the United States who happen to be individuals of great wealth? These were some of the questions raised in today's discussion of the coverage, and they are useful as an exercise and when deciding on our choice of words. Tim Russert will join us to talk about the "morning-after" impact for the Democratic Party -- and how the Republicans have been reacting today.

Now the ground war begins in Lebanon. With a new man at the helm of the fight, the Israeli armed forces begin their apparent advance as new explosions are tonight being heard, and as the humanitarian crisis in South Lebanon gets worse (say nothing of the ongoing situation in Gaza) and Martin Fletcher will have our report from a dangerous place. Pete Williams will report on the "missing" Egyptian college students and Lisa Myers will follow-up on BP. We also have a health segment tonight, as well as a warning for parents of easily-tempted teenagers.

NO GOOD DEED
Frequent readers know how we feel around here about the class of interns we had in our newsroom this summer. They were, as past years' interns have been, highly motivated, smart... and unpaid. Because so much was said about this particular group of young people, I asked them all to write essays about their experience. As with past years, we all took a photo together. Unlike past years, this year's photo was posted in this blog. It drew a few comments about the lack of "diversity" in the group... something we all immediately noticed for the first time when they gathered together as a group in our conference room. All I can say is: our News managers select our unpaid summer interns based on the strength of their resumes. They are interviewed by telephone prior to their selection. In previous years, our interns have better reflected American society. I believe that we are better served when those we work with... reflect those we serve. I have always said that diversity makes us better, and it takes work.  Therefore, I have spoken to Steve Capus, the President of NBC News, and going forward, racial diversity will now also be a factor in our unpaid summer internship program, because our newsrooms have to better reflect our society.

I am going to take a few days off to take a break with my family. In my absence, please show Campbell Brown the loyalty you show me each night by tuning in and paying close attention. I'll be watching (I may even post from afar) and will look for you when I return. In the meantime, I hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.

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COMMENTS

I'd like to back off my statement the GOP never does the fighting - past Senators and Representatives have - Bob Dole certainly served his country, and I know many more have, as well.

The current crop, however, not only are a bunch of chicken hawk draft dodgers, some of them are amassing huge fortunes from this war. Everyone in Congress (the Senate, at least) is a millionaire, and none of the sacrifices anything as they mouth stupid and insulting platitudes as reasons to destroy Iraq and countless American soldiers.

(There's a good reason Rove never mentions Prescott Bush - didn't the Senate want to try him for collaborating with the Nazi's?)

Regarding the "missing" Egyptian college students--I fnd it amusing how they were supposed to be going to college in Montana, but instead 2 turned up in New Jersey and 1 in Minnesota, and we still haven't a clue where the rest are. Reason being I wonder if Egyptian schools could be as bad at teaching geography as American ones are--remember the recent survey where young people weren't able to locate Louisiana and Mississippi on a map? Maybe those Egyptians couldn't find Montana.

Now for some bad news and some better news on how Katrina is living on in Americans' memories. The bad news first, which is from an editorial in yesterday's Times-Picayune. When Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson attempted to get the House to pass a resolution commemorating Katrina's anniversary, members balked, and the Senate didn't even consider such a commemoration.

I've previously said 8/29 is a date that should be treated with the same sort of solemnity as 9/11--a date marking a horrendous American tragedy that should never be forgotten. Those evil members of Congress who apparently deem Katrina's anniversary so trivial it need not be commemorated are committing grievous emotional abuse against the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and the rest of the states of the storm zone. Those loathesome examples of human debris on Capitol Hill ought to hang their heads in shame for acting as if all the agony, deaths, and devastation endured by Louisiana and her neighbors matters not a whit.

As the editorial says, "It is not in the nature of South Louisianians to mope about hard times. We find a way to celebrate life in the worst of times. We still need comfort, though. We could use a kind word, a message from Washington that our nation is with us in spirit...It would have been nice to hear those words of sympathy and remembrance." By neglecting to provide such sentiments at this critical time, Congress has written yet another chapter in the story of the relationship from hell between Washington and Louisiana.

Now for the better news, which is also out of yesterday's Times-Picayune. Despite the best efforts of the drive-by media, which has shifted its focus to the Mideast, and inside-the-beltway types such as the scumbags described above, most Americans don't have Katrina fatigue, and still possess a deep reservoir of empathy and a willingness to help.

This is from a study by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation. 70% of respondents said people affected by Katrina still had not gotten the help they need. As for New Orleans, 52% said there is still "major work" to be done to get her up and running. 56% said the federal government hasn't done enough to help state and local governments.

Louisiana Rep. Bobby Jindal says the results jibe with the massive outpourings of help from average Americans after the storm. He added it also points to a "disconnect" between those generous sentiments and an attitude in Washington and the national media that Katrina is yesterday's news. Jindal said, "What I worry about is it could become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If Congress and the national media and the administration think Americans aren't interested, they will move on to something else."

The bad news I discussed earlier--about the lack of any Congressional commemoration of Katrina--is symptomatic of this inside-the-beltway attitude Jindal is talking about. It's time for the drive-by media to start paying attention to what real average Americans think--people who care about and love New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast and about Katrina survivors, not elites who feel Katrina is old news and it's time to move on.

Wow Brian,

I applaud you for your attentiveness and assertiveness in response to the lack of diversity in NBC Universal's summer internship program. Upon reading your blog tonight, Ghandhi's proverb "be the change you want to see in the world" comes to mind.

Good seeing you on Jon Stewart last night, it's been awhile since you visited the set; always refreshing to see you not at your "best behavior". I almost hoped you'd say "jackass" on the air again but hearing you say "we'll throw down right here and now" was almost just as good.

Enjoy your vacation; look forward to your return!

Brian,

Regarding the viewer email you read on the air this evening ... first of all, you are a VERY snappy dresser; and second, almost every time you report about a very controversial story where sides are likely to be taken, you get hundreds (and, in some cases, thousands) of responses via this blog from those on both sides of the issue, accusing you and NBC Nightly News of taking one side or the other -- and not the side they feel you should be taking. I believe that this shows that your reporting of the situation is right down the middle, so keep up the good work ... and wear those suits/ties with confidence -- you always look very professional and well put together :-)

I hope you have a wonderful vacation. I always look forward to visiting with Campbell -- she is quite a snappy dresser, as well ... :-)

Brian I have to say this and I hope you print it because it's from the heart. Your are who you are and don't change for anyone. As for your clothes you dress GQ. I'm making this comment because of the email you got that I think was wrong. I like Charlie Gibson but he's no Brian Williams. Your number one.
Your like family and we support family. Now on to my thoughts of Lieberman/Lamont. What a win for Lamont who deserved it. I read that Karl Rove/Bush will give support to their friend Joe in his bid as an Independent. I wonder what the Dems/Republicans/Independent voters think about that support first Tom DeLay now the White House. That kiss was for real. So much is going on around the world and this is the first time an American President isn't a leader. Oh I read Jet and Powell again say the lie he told at the UN about WMD was the worse thing his ever done. Brian keep up the great work and I'll keep watching everyday at 6:30 pm California time.


On July 14th the following letter was published in the Hartford Courant. I wrote it. Joe's situation is self-inflicted, and in his hubris he has put his own self interest ahead of his constituents and his party...again.

The Hartford Courant
July 14, 2006

It's His Party

The dog days of summer here in Connecticut have arrived and apparently Senator Joe Lieberman is feeling the heat. Otherwise, what would possess him to form his own party - "Connecticut for Lieberman" when he has been a member of the Democratic Party since college (Page 1, July 11, 2006, "Senator Would Form Party)?

I know the rules of the Senate are a bit lax and Joe has been there almost 20 years. Want to take a leave and run for higher office? OK, we'll keep your seat warm and send the paycheck. Want to rent a residence in New Hampshire for primary reasons? Sure. Obviously Joe has put himself and his own interests ahead of the Connecticut voters he was elected to represent.

The going has gotten a bit tough in this campaign with a young challenger and Joe is putting up another safety net for his own preservation. Now Joe is really channeling Lowell Weicker - or is it Lesley Gore?

Joan Chapman, Cheshire, CT.
Note: Cheshire went for Lamont with a 57% turnout.

You mention the “morning-after” impact Sen. Lieberman’s loss has on the Democrat party—how ‘bout the “morning-after” impact the primary loss of long-time Rep. Cynthia McKinney will have on the Democrat party. She was just as vocal an anti-war candidate as Lamont was—yet McKinney lost. The Cynthia McKinney impact should’ve been discussed along with the Lieberman impact. Lieberman supported the war and McKinney opposed it; both Democrats and both lost. If as Tim Russert suggests the Lieberman loss is a preview of the November elections if Democrats don’t toe the anti-war stance, why wasn’t the argument made that by being so anti-war, as McKinney is, may lead to losses also? But the only Aug. 9 NBC nightly news story on Tuesday’s election was the Lieberman one—but the McKinney defeat was just as important. Was the Lieberman story only shown to suggest a Republican defeat in November? The McKinney defeat suggests being anti-war can lead to defeat also but that would dismiss Russert’s argument.

The Republican Right are going to do everything they can to try and spin this in a way that will depict Dems as being weak and divided, or whatever. However, as a moderate Democrat, I can safely assure you that the time for worrying about what the Republican right thinks about the Democrats is over.

For the past six years, we have seen nothing from the Republican party but reckless spending, an arrogant disregard for the laws of our country, and political tactics that make Tonya Harding look like Audrey Hepburn. The kiss-up, moth-to-the-flame strategy of Joe Lieberman and other prominent Democratic leaders is over. The reason it's over is that it doesn't work. It only emboldens the corruption, violence and corporate culture that we're seeing right now.

Democratic voters are going to make sure that our elected officials do the right thing, even if it means cleaning house. Do we care what Republicans think? Not on your life.

Brian,
You are absolutely right about your unpaid news staff. You should always choose diversity over excellence. That way you can start to redefine excellence too!
Remember: It's not how good you are that counts anymore, it's what you look like.

I am very sorry for Sen. Lieberman, although I am a Southerner from Alabama, I really admire the Senator. I voted for the Gore/Lieberman ticket in 2000. Sadly that kissed he received from Bush was the kiss of death and maybe Bush did it on purpose?! Academically Mr.Bush may not be a brillant man {he maintained a C average while at Yale and he only got in because he was considered a legacy....affirmative action} however he and his cronies are quite clever. So clever that they have confused this country with Russia. What do I mean? This country was founded on the belief of freedom of speech, according to the late great Patrick Henry it was the patriotic thing to do. Yet every since this convoluted war, the Republicans have stated that to be aginst this war is un patriotic?! If you are against this war you are against the troops?! The Democrats have allowed the Republicans to redefine them, they got in line, shaking in their boots voted for the war and now they are sorry. Some have tried to say that the intelligence reports was flawed. The only of them who has the stomach to admit it was a mistake is Sen.John Edwards. By voting for Lamont maybe the people of Connecticut are sending a message across the nation to all incumbents. If so it was heard loud and clear and they better listen, because Mr.Bush is not. I truly believe he does not care, he knows he is in there until January 2009. Unless something drastic happens our troops are over there until the next president maps out out a plan to bring them home. By then maybe Chaney will have gotten all of the oil leases he can shoot down! Lamont is one person and he alone will not make that much difference. In my opinion Sen.Lieberman was wrong to side with Bush over the feelings of the citizens of his state. I also believe he got a raw deal, he has been a very good Senator and represented his state and America with class. I believe him to be an honorable man, however I think it would be in the best interset of the state of Connecticut and the Democratic Party for him to step aside. In order for America to see the Democratic party as someone they can trust with the running of this country, they need to see a united party, on the same page, fighting for what is best for America, not fighting among themselves.

There is no reason to keep beating a dead horse Or the GOP . They died 6 years ago and if one has to be assured or it proven to , just look at the mess and debet we are in now. The Decider as he likes to be called has made a mockery out of this country. Lots of talk but no action. Brian keep on asking the questions the GOP do not want or dont know the answer to when this happens they point fingers and sling mud

Funny how noone has ever labeled George W. Bush as the multi-millionaire scion of a family of Yankee bluebloods - which he is (note that Karl Rove never talks about W's grandfather, Senator Prescott Bush from Connecticut). They prefer that the voters think of him as a humble Texas rancher, which is a bunch of hooey.

Senator Lieberman is showing where his true loyalties lie (with himself!), in his attempt to run as an independent. He has also demonstrated that he is yet another shameless policitian, addicted to power and not listening to their constituents. Such "representatives" deserve a one-way ticket out of Washington.

The writer from Mountain View CA said it perfectly. The GOP leadership talks tough but never picks up a rifle to man a post since thats a job for some blue collar kid. I think the average voter is slow on the uptake but is finally realizing that Bush talks a good game but can't deliver on his promises. The Iraq war is a disaster but no GOP member dare say so. The economy is OK but its not great like the Clinton years. Then there are the Bush deficits which will never go away as long as he is in command. Don't think so? When is the last time a GOP President balanced the budget? George W Bush is going down in history as a failed president who could easily have been impeached for taking the country to a war without sufficient provocation and preparedness. He will not be impeached because he is buffered by a GOP-dominated Congress that looks the other way. Just goes to show you that impeachment is only used to satisfy a political goal as was the case with Clinton. I'm just hoping the Dems can take back the House this fall and stop Bush from his reckless ways for the last 2 years of this disastrous administration.

Brian, have a great vacation! We will miss you, love Campbell and hope that all of you get the vacation time you need!

As for Lieberman.... both parties are being run by their extremes, and the "middle" is being unrepresented. At some point, this will fail and a more centrist approach will prevail again, but I suspect we're about 2 elections away from that happening. Lieberman is a caualty of 2 things: his own failure to run an effective campaign (he caught on to the danger of losing way too late) and the frustration many feel about the policies of this administration. It certainly makes November suddenly look a lot more interesting!

Politicians take note: The voters do not like the direction we are heading, and change is coming this November.

If you are an incumbent GOP member in a district that's not heavily GOP, you'll be getting an early retirement courtesy of the voters.

Throw the bums out!

The message from the primary in CT is clear and simple: Politics as usual must end…....

It is very very interesting to listen to the reaction from the GOP on the fallout of the CT primary results, where Lamont beat Lieberman. For those in the GOP who claim that Lamont's win represents that the Dem's aren't a big tent party….I say, be careful about throwing stones in a glass house. In fact, it may be both political parties who are hypocritical and both who don't have room for dissenters from the main party platform. Where as the Dem's seem to have purged Lieberman for being "Pro War" and "Pro Bush", the GOP just booted Congressman Joe Schwarz in a primary because he was "Pro-Choice" and "Pro Social Spending".

It seems both political parties don't have room for any who has a different view than that of the base. Joe Lieberman lost because he hails from a blue state, and didn’t play to the needs of those people who elected him to office - "all politics is local" and that should always be remembered first and foremost! During his speech last night, Lieberman cried afoul that we need more consensus building, however, it is clear that the past 6yrs of one-party (the GOP) rule has been anything but consensus building, and in fact outright capitulation by the "loyal opposition".

I am a true all American moderate, however, the "third way" doesn't seem to be working - in fact neither political party seems to offer any solutions, but only more of the same. So perhaps we need a Joe Lieberman to set the momentum, and illustrate that there is "another way", but more importantly, "politics as usual" needs to end - steadfast loyalty to party dogma needs to end - and the politicians we the people elect need to in fact do the peoples business instead of jockeying for more political points that will further secure their power.

It shouldn't be disloyal to disagree with party dogma, a record proves one's loyalty…..it should be disloyal to continue politics as usual. Let's hope the primary win by Lamont is the catalyst for real people powered citizen politicians they claim he is!!!!

Brian,

People/candidates are being labelled or characterized in compelling ways as an old art form used in new ways in political science.

I believe there are many voters who consider themselves conservative who feel betrayed by this administration when it comes to deficit spending, the appropriate use of force, corporate accountability and other issues.

The argument that you are unpatriotic to question the current policies is wearing thin on many who have worked hard and play by the rules.

Many are tired of being treated paternally by their elected officials as if the inside the beltway crowd knows what is best for the rest of us.

Keep asking the hard questions!

What are the Republicans going to say about Lieberman? That he was the greatest thing since Zell Miller. And that it proves that the Democrats can't find a unified position.

In fact, it shows the Democrats ARE finding a unified voice - if you're pro-Bush and pro-war, there is no place for you in the Democratic party. The GOP hates America - all their policies screw the middle class and poor for the benefit of the rich. They yammer ceaselessly about our heroic war against terrorism, yet NONE of their children go to fight, just like none of them fought in our heroic struggle against communism in SE Asia. Democrats put their money (what we have left) where their mouths are - something that never happens in the GOP.

They'll say plenty. It'll amount to squat.

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