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.

Records breaking all around us

Tomorrow's predicted high in New York's Central Park is 68 degrees. We broke a record here today, and will set a new record with each day forward, for the latest arrival of snow... ANY snow... this winter. We've yet to have a flake, and it's the latest-arriving winter in history. And for every New York story, there's another region reporting strange happenings -- from Denver (they're getting hit AGAIN) to New England (bare grass ski slopes in some places) to the American South, where twisters rolled through three states so far today, January 5th. Tonight we'll have a look at what might be going on here.

Also tonight, we'll look at what happened on day two of the Democrats in control in Washington, plus the Bush White House changes its management of the Iraq war and security situation. There are also changes being announced in how Homeland Security money is distributed.

And we have a disturbing story from New Orleans today. Put simply: There were more Americans killed there this week than in Iraq. And to end on an up note, as we try to around here each Friday night, Kevin Tibbles will have our "Making a Difference" report tonight, on an extraordinary woman in Chicago.

MAX ENCOUNTER OF THE FINEST KIND
One of the great things about working in 30 Rock is that you never know who you're going to see. One day it will be President Clinton walking through the lobby, and on another day it will be Sen. Clinton. When SNL is in season, it's not uncommon to share an elevator with the likes of Jessica Simpson or Alec Baldwin or Neil Young.

Having said that: A funny thing happened today while getting lunch. I saw Max Weinberg in the NBC commissary this afternoon. I've known Max as a fellow NBCer for years, but for some reason (perhaps owing to the long line to pay for our food) today I chose to come clean about my past. I finally told him just how much of my high school and early college years I devoted to following Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band all over the Jersey Shore. There was one bar in particular: Trade Winds in Sea Bright, N.J., eight miles from my house and right on the ocean. My "associates" and I (OK, two or three guys from my firehouse crammed into Lt. Mike Spratford's rusted, tragic and mostly-blue Ford Econoline van) would spend all of Friday and Saturday nights there, with the exception of an impromptu and harrowing side trip further south along the shore to Jimmy Byrne's Sea Girt Inn. We basically spent our paychecks in two nights. As an excellent customer over the years, I got to know the bouncer at Trade Winds, and while we enjoyed a tasty beverage or two, he would often tip me off to any rumors of an E Street Band appearance. More often than not, such events would happen after closing time. Bruce would come in unannounced, grab the microphone, plug his guitar into an amp and stand on a table. Clarence Clemons (a substantial man) would bring his substantial saxophone and stand on a substantial table alongside Bruce. And Max would use whatever drums the house band had (that was usually a group called "Fresh," whose set list I'm quite sure we could all still recite from memory, and who were best known for their rendition of "Hold Back The Night") and somehow those drums sounded better in Max's hands. It was always late, it was never enough, but it was heaven.

And there's a postscript to this story: It turns out my friend Max is indeed every bit as romantic about those old days as I am. He just called my office and, after some reflection, assured me that those were, in fact, great days. He confirmed my belief that the Jersey Shore from 1975-79 was a great place to grow up listening to great music. Max also remembers Fresh as a great house band, and he added that he met his wife at the Stone Pony while playing with another house band called Kahoots... a band I saw many times. While it's a small world, it's also mostly gone. Trade Winds long ago met the wrecking ball, and is now condominiums. Max has lost track of most of those local musicians, but he still keeps in touch with that Bruce guy. And he assured me that if he ever hears of a Jersey Shore blowout, just like old times, he'll let me know.

Thanks for not minding tonight's stroll down memory lane. I hope for a few of you out there who might hail from the same place, it means just as much.

Back to business: I see that CNN has switched to severe weather coverage mode due to more than one suspected tornado in the south this afternoon. Now it's off to the newsroom to start putting this all together. We hope you will join us for our Friday night broadcast to end the week. Have a great weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday for what promises to be another eventful week.

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COMMENTS

hi Brian --

you missed the Big Story here. No previous administration ever politicized its scientist employees and those dependent on federal grants in the thuggish and intimidating way the Bush administration has -- on every political hot button issue from weather to stem cell research to drugs.

you said "call up a NOAA expert" and you got a guy trained by the Bush administration to say "El Nin~o, El Nin~o, El Nin~o."

The real story -- and I'd be deeply appreciative if NBC News would demonstrate its depth and integrity by investigating it -- is the Bush administration's corrupt influence on American science. Use the FOIA to furp up some memos about government scientists acting as spokespersons about global warming. Have fun with it. Then go on from there to the way the White House is politicizing other areas of American science.

What's at stake, of course, is American leadership in fundamental scientific research. The Bush administration will leave a legacy of America as the Korrupt Klown of world science.

hum... global warming deniers lash back I see. Environmentalism as a religion sure sounds better than “the religion of the all mighty dollar" don't ya think... "THIS generation needs to decide which it values more, short-term profit or the long-term habitability of the planet (Carl Sagan)."

For those who would choose the latter, I just saw the MSNBC report that '06 was the warmest in US history and then followed the link to the British study that '07 will likely be even worse. I guess what really surprised me is the estimate that global temperatures could rise 2.5 to 10 (TEN) degrees by the end of the century. I also noted that the El Nino events shown in the chart are becoming much more frequent and how they said temperatures were increasing three times faster over the last 30 years. I think we all know what even a five-degree temperature change would bring and how the absence of ice in the artic would cascade such warming even more. This is no longer a game. Something has got to change. Marking and moving away from low-lying coastal areas seemed like a wise precaution last week but an absolute necessity this week. Our climate crisis may put our species more at risk than the threat of thermonuclear war. Time to dust off and update the five-part, 1999, MSNBC Terminal Planet series I think. Just the name of that thing was a call to arms.

So Brians runs for cover after airing a divergent view on the Global Warming. Yes it is warming but there is to much invested in WHAT is at work.

Is it man induced, is it normal cyclical sun heating, is it heat from inside the earth welling up every few thousands years....but so far it is easier to blame on Man, sort of like religions invention. We need something to explain what we do not understand. And the evil industry and greed is the usual scapegoat by all on the left. In fact some are now simply classifying "Environmentalist" as a religion since it has now entered the realm or a "belief based" system rather than a "fact based" system.

The same as the left has a lot invested in the US losing the war. After all when you look at most of the left sites they say outloud that they can not allow Bush or the US to win this war and need the medias help on it. If the US won we would be trouble for the left around the world...oops.

Lets debate the subject and expose what is really happening. Take a look at Lomborgs book for some real facts. Anytime someone as dishonest as Gore says the science is decided, you can bet that its far from true. I especially like how liberals "feel" that we cause global warming. Facts are more important than "feel" when it comes to global warming. The world scientific community really trying to predict the future by using computer models is ludicrous when the variables are not well understood.

Every time a storm comes you scream global warming. Most of you have no clue that "most scientists" are cherry picking data and completely ingoring contrary data. With frases like "could be" "may effect". Get a clue, man does not cause GW. If you think it does PROVE IT!!!!!

Where is your spine Brian? Are you afraid of a couple of tin hats? Are you going to reverse and do supplemental stories everytime some lib idiot whines about it? Tell you what, why doesn't NBC just do two Nightly News, one for the sane and one the moonbats can watch while they sit in peanut butter and bemoan the doom over the horizon.

P.S. I AM A GLOBAL WARMING DENIER, and I look forward to the day that I am "taken" to the Hague

To all of you who know responded to this and know nothing about the weather: While it has been very warm in most of the US the artic, northern Canada, most of the Indian sub-continent, Siberia and much of the southern hemisphere are experiencing record cold. In fact the average world-side temparature is normal this winter. Global Warming has become like a religion to many of you - with absolutely no room for debate.

Be hopeful that we have have global warming and not the other way around, people. We are still coming out of an ice age and we SHOULD be warming up with or without human habitation - just remember, it won't last.

What frustrates me the most about the global warming scare is CO2 is incapable of causing any significant warming, but thats what everyone cites as the cause. We could increase CO2 ppm 10 fold with no real noticeable effect. In order for CO2 to "trap" heat in the atmosphere, it has to move unsaturated electrons up one orbital in its electron field. There is only one problem, there aren't any to move. CO2 is 98% saturated (yes, 98%), please, pick up a science book. If humans are causing GW, it sure isn't from CO2.

Does anyone out there know what the main contributor to GW even is???? Ding ding ding - hopefully someone said water vapor. It is magnitudes higher in GW characteristics. And, I'm sure this will infuriate a lot of you, electric cars would have much more impact on raising temperatures than combustion engines. Yep, I said it. And backing that up with facts would be a thesis upon itself. Any skeptics can find 100s of sources as to why this is fact and not speculation.

On the flip side, I agree 100% that we are polluting the earth = bad. That is were our tax money is best spent, not fighting a dead cause like CO2. I live as green as I possibly can, I don't drive an SUV, I recycle, etc. In 10,000 years, we could potentially kill the planet (not the 100 years that doomsayers proclaim). The sky will not fall, not in our generation or many to come.

Brian looks like you've earned a spot next to President Bush in the Hague as a global warming denier. I wonder if you'll get a letter from Senators Rockefeller & Snow. Have you ever stopped at an Exxon station? Something like that can completely discredit you in some circles.

NBC should find a better source at NOAA.

Whether General Electric likes it or not, a warming trend is underway and corporate and human activities contribute to it. Your NOAA source on Friday illogically explained that the warming trends have nothing to do with global warming! On Saturday ABC News had a NOAA source who offered a more logical and thorough explanation - that general warming trends exacerbate El Nino.

Global warming trends cannot be dismissed. Corporations and the media cannot overlook the discomforting fact of a changed world with fewer species. With luck, more individuals will pay attention to weather trends, ignore the soothing words from corporate and take actions to reduce energy use in their daily lives.


Enjoyed your Jersey Shore memories. I spent my college summers (75-79) as a chambermaid in Wildwood Crest. We would party all night (the bars were open till 5 a.m.), sleep a few hours and drag ourselves to work. More than once I napped in the very bed I was supposed to be making. Never was lucky enough to catch Bruce (except later at an arena) but I sure do remember all the great live music; it seemed every bar had at least two bands on each night.

Hey Brian... I would have to ....mostly...agree with you about "the Shore!:... You see, I was a lifeguard there in the 1973-1975 time frame..Good old Haven Beach and Hollywood beach...we had some GREAT times ...an old classic beach-bar watering hole...the RipTide...not to mention Jimmy Byrnes of SeaGirt of course...and lets not forget...THe Royal Manor.. out in Wall Township!.. I went on to make LtCdr in the US Navy....spent time in Panama( where I still do some "consulting " work".) ..Vietnam...the Med...etc... but I do have to agree with you...I think the "hey day" of the Jersey shore was in the mid-70's!.. Gosh..those bikini clad gals were fine, too!...All the best....D J WOlsson....

Brian Williams,
You have lost all credibility in my eyes. You are by no means an expert nor an authority on anything. You just report the news. Who do you think you are to blame the weather on El Nino AND get the most ridiculous expert to say the warm weather is blamed on El Nino?! Man's ramant use of fossil fuels in the private and industrial sector is causing global warming and thus causing these abnormal weather patterns. These weather patterns are only confirming the effects of global warming. Globally, we can stop being part of the problem and be a part of the solution. Brian you are obviously on the side of Corporate America and Big Oil companies. I do not trust you.

It is irresponsible to deny that global warming is contributing to our weird weather. What ever happened to reporting both sides of the story?

Hello----I am an enviornmental scientist in Boulder, Colorado and was disturbed by the Friday night broadcast with regard to El Nino being the sole reason for this winters warm weather. We have done a considerable amount of modeling looking at ice core data going back tens of thousands of years to reconstruct climates and to compare climatological trends and patterns. Never, have we seen "man induced global warming." For millions of years, natural causes have been the case, but not during the last 100 years.

There are many great web sites that discuss these issues and I would recommend going to them.

globalwarming.org; Real Climate.org; Bestskiweather.com ; http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/ ; http://gcrio.ciesin.org/

and many others. This will help elighten your viewers a little more about what is really going on.

Regards--

Dr. JL


To Roger R. Hill,

I like your suggestion that this is something on top of global warming and El Nino. In fact, last year they discovered that "smog" contributes to warmer winter temperatures than they originally speculated. The sun typically breaks down smog but not as much in winter. Thus, it greatly intensifies the effects of other greenhouse gasses: 30% jumps to mind but I could be (and probably am) wrong.

We also need to take into consideration recent speculation that climate models (which did not predict noticeable effects for many more decades) might have been gravely underestimating the potential of global warming. Climate scientists may be reluctant to point to any one event and say yes… that is global warming, but observational evidence seem to be getting too hard to ignore. In 1998, they were still arguing that it was hot because the sun was near its solar maximum. Unlike then, we are currently at the bottom of the solar cycle with a peak expected in 2010/11.

As I watch U.S. automakers pushing still more muscle cars as their key to success, I can’t help but wonder how stupid we’ve become. Given how bad things are, such cars are more a sign of arrogance than they are of success.

I'm a longtime fan of Brian Williams, and I've come to expect better from him than we saw Friday night regarding El Nino and climate change. To dismiss the freakish January weather as the result of El Nino and specifically NOT global warming, as Williams did with assistance of a NOAA weather expert, was shoddy work. Al Gore linked global warming to the enhancement of El Nino publically as early as 1997 (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-67739216.html) and NOAA's own web site provides a more comprensive answer regarding the possible link between the two phenomena (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html#Q4). Such an important topic deserves better journalistic investigation than you evidenced on Friday night.

A faithful watcher,

Thanks for the wonderful story, Brian ... I love it when you tell stories ... we should have "Storytime With Brian" more often :-) .

I very recently spent part of my 45th birthday taking a stroll down memory lane with some dear old friends (this was the last birthday I plan to admit to having, or to celebrate with such gusto -- I will always remain open-minded when it comes to gifts and cake, however). We were agreeing that, really, the music that was being made and played while we were in high school and college was just the best ... the Boss being among the artists at the top of our lists. I have slowly been replacing all my old cassettes and 8-track tapes with CD's (yes, I kept my stereo that plays those 8-tracks, and it still works great). Thanks to my sweet and generous Dad -- er, uh, I mean, "Santa", I now have a 200-disc CD player in which to store and play them all (I am currently working on getting my engineer's degree so that I can understand how to work the thing -- it's sometimes just soooo frustrating to be electronically challenged in today's world).

I'll admit to spending my fair share of time during my college years in establishments well known for "tasty beverages" and great music by some fantastic show bands (though, as a diabetic, I was limited to White Wine Spritzers with twists of lime most of the time, so my job as Designated Driver was well earned). All our old haunts have disappeared, as well; I guess maybe that's for the best, or we might all still be there, partying and dancing the night away ....

Keep the stories coming, Brian -- they're always fun to read !!

I too was troubled by your Nightly News story on the warm weather and the unequivocal assertion by the NOAA spokesman that this weather was absolutely not attributable to global warming. I would hope that top newspeople would immediately be suspicious of so unqualified a statement. Why did the NBC story simply accept that assertion? Did you look for alternative views? Talk with other scientists? Why weren't others included? NOAA is a government agency that has had some considerable controversey in recent years regarding suppressing scientists who believe the evidence for global warming is compelling. I expect that you would seek out more views. Very disappointing reporting, NBC. You might want to take a look at how your competition handles this story. For instance, ABC New published a very balanced story on the same topic (http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2775291&page=1) where they point out that 'But El Nino, like everything in earth's climate, is influenced one way or another by manmade global warming.' This makes sense intuitively. We've had numerous El Nino's since weather records began being collected, but the current weather patterns fall outside those of other El Nino years. A much more reasonable perspective is that El Nino may be contributing to this unusual winter -- but it is unlikely that it is the only cause. And, it is at least plausible that El Nino's are themselves being influenced by global weather trends (as hurricanes seem to be). You owe your viewers a follow-up story that is more critical and thoughtful and includes perspectives other than NOAA.

"In a story on CNN, one of his family members said she believes that his killing might have been racially motivated."

Olivia, congratulations on a fine post, as always; however, the above quote is starting to be so cliche. Since Johnny Cochran started it, the race card always gets played eventually. Since it usually results in OJ type findings, I believe it serves only to alienate most educated, ethical people (of any race) who want to get to the truth.

I came here to write a response because I thought I was the only one who was outraged that NBC trotted out the Bush White House's line that there is no global warming until I saw all the messages above. So I am not alone.
Don't you have an obligation to present counterpoint meterologists who are saying something is going dramatically wrong? I can understand presenting the view point that it is "just" El Nino, but where is the other side? You need to give some time to the scientists who say the world is heating rapidly. If they are right, in ten to 20 years, the terriorism threat will look minor in comparison.

During the early 1970s, I was living in Asbury Park, NJ, working at Steinback's Department Store. I lived in one of those old, old apartment/hotels on a street at a right angle to, and within walking distance of, the Boardwalk. It was a wonderful chapter in my life!

Thanks for Martin Savidge's first-rate, thought-provoking report last night on the violent crime wave in New Orleans. I got that sinking feeling yesterday when I read the Times-Picayune headline about violent crime bringing New Orleans to her bloodied knees.

Extremely telling, not to mention distressing, were not only the fact that New Orleans' murder rate is 30% higher than that of any other city in the nation, but also the fact that more Americans were murdered in New Orleans (14) in the last week, than died in Iraq (8).

Aside from the blood that is shed, which tears families and friendships apart, this violent crime has a deleterious psychological impact on people either considering returning to New Orleans, or trying to decide whether or not to stay there.

The Bush Adminstration should forget its plan for a "surge" in Iraq--how about a "surge" in New Orleans? Reason being, while drug dealing and witnesses who, fearing retaliation, won't come forward are part of the problem, there are several Katrina-related issues (per Martin Savidge's background report) that only a massive infusion of assistance and perhaps manpower could help. They are her still undermanned police force, overwhelmed criminal courts system, damaged, empty neighborhoods where criminals can easily hide, social services curtailed or non-existent, and money for crime-fighting diverted to rebuilding.

Something meaningful needs to be done about this growing crime wave. If New Orleans officials request help from the federal government, the Bush Administration should give it to them. Otherwise, this could turn out to threaten her very survival.

And here's another intriguing crime story out of Louisiana which NBC Nightly should take a look at: the newly-elected mayor of Westlake, in southwestern Louisiana, Gerald Washington, was recently found dead after having been shot in the chest. Officials in that community have ruled his death a suicide. However, this is a mystery because: 1.) Westlake is a majority-white community and Washington would have been the first black mayor, 2.) He had provided no signs that he'd been contemplating suicide (e.g. getting his affairs in order, saying goodbye, leaving a note, etc.), and 3.) His family and others who know him don't believe that he'd killed himself--they suspect that he'd been murdered. In a story on CNN, one of his family members said she believes that his killing might have been racially motivated.

Colorado gets all the snow, but in northern Lousiana, it's been raining every 3 days! We alternate between 50's and sunny, and 70's and rainy.

Dear NBC News,

Your NASA weather expert last night stated that the freakish winter weather was not due to climate change- but it is doe to El Nino! That's like saying cars don't cause pollution- internal combustion engines do! All the leading scientists (including NASA) have been saying for years that computer models show that climate change exaggerates El Nino! Denial is not just a river in the mid east! Let's get educated and not let special interests control reality!

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