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.

THE AFTERMATH

At the time of my post at this very same hour yesterday, there was a lot we didn't know -- and as far as we knew, control of the Senate was quite possibly in the balance.  While we now have more information, the latter technically remains true.  I'm happy to report that based on all the available information from official sources and others, Senator Johnson has passed through the darkest hours.  As I said on the air last night -- and this bears repeating -- our thoughts and prayers are with this public servant and his family as they face this challenge and enter into this fight.  While I just looked up at the TV and saw two people manipulating a plastic brain with a hinged top (to illustrate what happened to Senator Johnson) we're all trying to make clear that all of our coverage, at its root, is about a man in big medical trouble who may emerge from this a very lucky man indeed.

We also have an important health story tonight that represents the best possible news in the field of breast cancer in a long, long time.  Robert Bazell will have that for us.  There's a big military story, having to do with the guard and reserves and service in Iraq.  We'll update the search for the climbers in Oregon (now the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division -- Bob Dole's old outfit -- is flying in to lend their expertise) with Correspondent George Lewis (and the weather there is worsening rapidly)...and we may yet commission a thing or two not on this list.  The top of the broadcast -- story order -- is absolutely anyone's guess at this point. We're about to sit down, gather around and prioritize and choose a lead story from among several viable candidates.

FROM THE PODIUM
I note that Tony Snow has publicly apologized to my friend and colleague David Gregory, our Chief White House Correspondent.  As I told David earlier this week, it has been tough (just as I imagine its been tough on him) to sit at home and watch various cable types leveling completely unfair accusations at David, a guy I admire and whose work I trust.  Perhaps Tony's classy act today will go a long way toward silencing that noise, and prompting others -- and by my count there are several others -- to consider doing the same.

TO THE NEWSROOM AND BEYOND
Now we will make sense of the day's budget of stories. We hope you will join us for our Thursday night broadcast. For those viewers in New York: you'd be well advised to stay off the streets of the City tonight.  We're having our annual Nightly News holiday gathering, at an undisclosed location.  We'll have an after-action report in this space tomorrow.  See you tonight.

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COMMENTS

Three thoughts today. First of all huge kudos to David Gregory for hanging in there and doing his job! He is the voice of the masses and we need him. I too missed Tony Snow's apology, would love to see and/or hear what words were crafted for this one.
Secondly, the man who is responsible for the wreaths at Arlington deserves a huge thank you from all of us for helping honor those who have given so much. Even those of us who oppose the current war know how much respect and gratitude we owe to those men and women who rest in that sacred place. Last, and most dear to my heart, the good news about the dramatic reduction in new cases of breast cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2002. They caught it very early, it was small, I will hit the five year mark next February, the first woman in my family to have been diagnosed. When I first met with my surgeon after diagnosis as she was laying out my options for surgery and treatment, the first thing she asked me was if I was on HRT and how long I had been on it. I was and had been for 5 years. She told me to quit immediately, that she felt there was a direct correlation between HRT and the occurance of breast cancer, not that it CAUSED it, but certainly contributed since I proved to be estrogen positive. Her words came months before the big report and study were published. I quit, and was fortunate not to have endured the side effects of full blown menopause. It is wonderful to hear such positive news in this area. All I can say to women, or anyone who loves a woman, is keep doing the mammograms, they do save lives. I'm living proof, one year it was not there, the next it was, mine was caught early. Brian, families like yours who have lost dear ones to this disease are always in my thoughts and prayers.

I missed the apology that Tony Snow gave to David Gregory. I would have loved to have seen that, as I believe that Tony Snow owes a lot of press apologies. David asks the hard questions and he gets sneers out of the president and "I Don't Know from the Snowjob. Some of us feel you are asking the questions we would ask, so hang in there David, keep asking the questions, because you will be there long after this adminstration is gone. We count on you.
All our prayers are with the Johnson family because he is first and foremost a human being, someone's husband, brother and son.

My praises to David Gregory for holding strong to his point of view and just doing his job. Even if his question was phrased in a partisan manner, the press secretary could have responded in any number of ways, no one’s “putting words in his mouth” and this talk about David Gregory monopolizing the press conferences and how the disagreement between him and Tony Snow went on for “a solid six minutes, seven minutes” while the other reporters just sat around – give me a break, it takes two to tango.
But then you have to consider the source of most of the criticism, are their words even worth a grain of salt?

While all our prayers and thoughts go out to the Senator and his family for a speedy recovery, I am reminded of the fact that the Congress has access to the finest medical services available in this great nation--access and without having to pay for those medical services--medical services that a very large percentage of this great nation have neither access to nor the ability to pay for. That is a stunning failure of the "do nothing Congress" which has failed to show the backbone and the guts needed to craft a meaninful national health plan. Oh-- they'll gladly send our youth off to fight wars to protect us from imaginary threats of WMD-- but why do they fail to have even the limited foresight to recognize the very real threat of illness? Without question it comes down to the almighty dollar. I have to continually remind myself that while this great nation the aspires to project the highest democratic ideals the world has ever seen, it is first, foremost and fundamentally a capitalist nation--where the dollar rules.

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