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.

Meeting the press

Our day began with President Bush's appearance in a rare venue for a news conference: the Indian Treaty Room of the Old (Eisenhower) Executive Office Building. As a former White House intern who used to regularly conduct tours, I remember only some of the details of that room: its elaborate inlaid floor, and the desk drawer, which bears the signatures of American vice presidents going back many administrations. If memory serves, it was formerly the official office of the vice president, before the modern era when they moved to the West Wing. The end-of-year news conference was an interesting session, regardless of the setting. While the President put off some questions due to his upcoming strategy speech on Iraq, he answered plenty of them, and we have a lot of material to go over tonight. Kelly O'Donnell will have our report from the White House. Jim Miklaszewski will have a follow-up on the story about enlarging the military, and Tim Russert will look at the politics of all that is going on.

The weather is in the news tonight, as we need not tell you if you live in Denver. We will soon look at the videotape from our NBC station there, KUSA. This storm has already caused big problems with the Denver airport (the huge United hub) where any disruption is felt across the national grid. They are expecting 3 1/2 feet of snow just outside Boulder from this storm. It's a huge low pressure system, and so it's moving counter-clockwise over the Rockies -- and it looks strange to see weather moving from East to West across any part of the country.

Another weather-related story took a sad, grim turn this afternoon: the search effort for those two climbers atop Mount Hood has been called off -- we are awaiting the official statement. A lot of Americans have been watching this drama unfold for many days, and feel somehow invested in the search, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those families.

Dawn Fratangelo has what might be the most interesting piece in tonight's broadcast for millions of people. It's about the generation that while raising children is also caring for elderly parents. There was a lot of nodding going on in the editorial meeting this afternoon when Dawn ran through her reporting for us -- this is something a lot of us are living.

This afternoon in a Midtown Manhattan department store, I saw a famous rock star and his wife Christmas shopping. So did a lot of other people. From a distance, I watched as many of their fellow shoppers slowly removed their cell phones from their pockets and purses -- and proceeded to take pictures of the couple, some from six feet away. Some faked phone calls, others were unabashed about it. It struck me while watching it all unfold that privacy, especially for the prominent in our society, is over. The invention of the cell phone camera, coupled with Web sites that solicit real-time celebrity sightings in cities like New York and Los Angeles, make for a terribly claustrophobic atmosphere -- in this case, for a couple trying to buy a Christmas gift. Sorry, no names or locations... I'm trying to give them a little privacy.

Off we go to put this all together for tonight. We hope you will join us for our Wednesday night broadcast.

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The fame versus privacy issue is a complex one. As individuals, their privacy should be respected -- just as anyone else's. Yet they did choose their vocation and, one can assume, the lifestyle that goes along with it. Also, they were in a public location.

These days celebrities can't win. Either they risk being harrassed and photographed when they venture out, or they're criticized for bringing along bodyguards or requesting private, after-hours access to places.

Then there's the argument (a cold one, I feel) that because we've shelled out money for their albums and concerts, they somehow owe us.

I can only hope that they are learning how to cope. Maybe camera phone technology isn't a completely negative thing for celebrities. In the past, they might have had many more interruptions for autographs whereas now someone can get a "piece" of them from a distance. Our culture is simply too fascinated with fame.

Your point about privacy going out with the last millennium is a good one, especially with regards to all this newfangled technology. Perhaps decorum, self-respect, letter writing, and good grammar skills could also be added to the extinct/endangered list.

How very, very sad for the families and friends of the climbers on Mount Hood. My heart is with them during their time of grief.

Did anyone taking those pictures of the celebrity couple at least have the grace and the manners to acknowledge the couple by speaking to them and wishing them a Happy Holiday? I hope no surprises were spoiled by pictures of the couple and their gifts being posted on the internet or in the newspapers. (No one will ever have to worry about my invading their privacy unless I have their permission -- and it won't be while using a cell phone, since I don't have one -- I believe that having a cell phone would be an invasion of my privacy.) :-)

As I was watching the news last night there was a video clip of military officers deplaning in Iraq. It seemed that the insignia on the plane read "Spirit of Strom Thurmond" If I did see this could someone please look into the reason we would commission an aircraft with that name. Considering that pne senator had to give up his leadership popsition for supporting the precepts of Strom Thurmond. What does it say to our troops when his name is used on a symbol of our efforts to bring equality to the world?

During the 80's my grandmother (Mom's mother) was no longer able to live by herself and had to move in with us. This turned out to be very stressful for all of us--and I sometimes wonder if the added stress, on top of Mom's having smoked for many years, contributed to her hasty demise from lung cancer.

I think I will scream if I hear the President of the United States say one more time (like he did today) that illegal immigrants are "doing jobs Americans won't do."

The President just doesn't get it. The public clearly rejected his "succeed or die" scenario regaring Iraq in the last election, but here he is still babbling about "victory" and fantasizing that everyone in Iraq who takes up arms against us is a terrorist.

It looks like we will be mired in Iraq, spending at a rate of $2 billion a week, until this man leaves office. What a shame.

Single-family living sounds all well and good until your elderly parents have to move in with you because a nursing home costs 50K or more. Our homes just aren’t cut out for such extended-family living. Open-and-flowing living areas (without dividing walls) are an unforgivable fault that allows activities in one area of the home to disrupt all other areas. Homes need to be functionally laid out so that privacy is maintained when families are forced together. Whether it is because of economics, a disaster, or having your older children move back after a divorce, we need to plan for such happenings. All bedrooms need to be a more equal size and provided with wardrobe rooms. Hallways need to be wider, elevators added, bathrooms need to be segregated into separate ADA-shower rooms and half baths, and living areas definitely need to be divided which is also more energy efficient and damage tolerant! In the end, I’d rather spend my money on a better home than on some fancy sports car.

In the Prez press conference Bush said that he learned that Cheney was going to testify at Libby's trial that very morning by reading the paper. This is reminiscent of when Cheney shot his friend - no one is communicating with the prez.

Doesn't the WH have people in contact with other departments and cabinet offices? I understand screening messages but when the number two man in the government makes headlines and being mentioned in the Daily Nightly the day before the prez read it in the paper people aren't doing their jobs.

I wonder how isolated is the prez and if he really does have all the information needed to make correct decisions?


As another former White House Intern, I, too, spent a fair amount of time in the EEOB.

I think that the Vice President's "Official" Office is on the second floor of that building, while the Indian Treaty Room is on the fourth floor.

Eisenhower (the namesake of the building)famously used to hold press conferences in that room because the acoustics were so poor.

At Bush's press conference today, he made the statement:
"I'm not going to make predictions about what 2007 will look like in Iraq except that it's going to require difficult choices and additional sacrifices because the enemy is merciless and violent," ...

Do you suppose Kelly O'Donnell could have asked him exactly what personal sacrifices either Bush or anyone in his extended family has made since the start of the Iraq war??? It seems that if anything, they have made money on their investments in defense contractor stock. Mr. Bush, what sacrifice are *YOU* willing to make???

Talk about the death of privacy, look at your own news program. How many times have we seen the grieving who didn't want to be photographed on your program? Spare us the I'm protecting their privacy thing. You used this celebrity couple for your purposes just as the picture takers used them. I like your program, but call a spade a spade.

He doth protest too much.

Again about privacy - these are more "open" times, we're a generation which is in constant view be it by other people, security cameras and even networking websites such as TagWorld, Myspace and Bebo.

There are two ways of looking at it: the celebs could have sent someone to buy the presents for them (I'm guessing) or go themselves for a bit of PR. Sometimes they're in public not just to buy gifts, you never know...

It was refreshing to see the immigration segment, showing a multi-cultural community can work, I just wish there were more places like that. I was in Ontario, Canada last summer and saw a similar picture.

My late grandad was a huge fan of train sets, it seems there's a quiet rennaisance for them here too. Maybe in you're next poll you should ask people, "What would you give the President for Christmas?"

Merry Christmas NBC/MSNBC News and Happy Hogmanay!! (Hogmanay is the name of New Year Celebrations we have in Bonnie Scotland.. after all "Auld Lang Syne" is Scottish).

Privacy is a 20th century concept. I would prefer that it had survived, but it didn't.

Is there some reason that the nightly email has suddenly stopped arriving? This always seems to happen around a holiday...

Seems like we might be getting the tail end of that storm tomorrow .. might have to stock up on hot chocolate :)

How about loss of privacy at work with employers who take pictures of employees at internal events and post those pictures to everyone through employee newsletters or same employers who announce birthdays of employees internally thinking both are morale boosters even though undertaken without consent...

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