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.

BACK IN THE BIG EASY

We'll originate the broadcast from the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans tonight. Ann Curry and Martin Savidge are here with me and both will offer reports on the status of this place: Martin on the overall picture and Ann on the children of this city. During our afternoon conference call, which I joined by speaker cell phone while sitting on a sewer drain along the side of the road (watching as two sizable rats emerged from beneath the foundation of the house across the street), we tried to rank today's news budget in some kind of discernible order: there is the weather, which continues to carry some urgency in the Eastern United States, there is a new Associated Press story (a piece of enterprise reporting on their part) about post-Katrina spending in this area, there's a breast cancer story of interest, and the sordid and sad story involving NASA in a strange way. Additionally, Mitt Romney has pre-announced (the political equivalent of pre-boarding) and we at NBC are in the news today, with the departure of the only leader of this company many of us have ever known during our tenure. Our CEO Bob Wright has handed the baton to Jeff Zucker, who has been a friend since I first arrived at NBC. Our new CEO is the first to come from a news division background. We'll note this transition tonight as well.

LONG NIGHT IN NEW ORLEANS
At 2 o'clock this morning, I was in the kitchen of Engine 29 in New Orleans. The truth is, I was happy there. I was a volunteer fireman long enough for it to have seeped into my blood, and we met some great guys who I plan to visit when we come back for return trips.

070206_nola_hmed_4pstandard We talked about our common experiences in the fire academy, practicing search and rescue, and exciting topics (to us, at least) like positive and negative ventilation and using breathing apparatus. I won't even get into the operation of the pump panel or the proper use of a fog nozzle on a booster line. As you may be able to tell, it was actually tough to leave them as dawn arrived, but it was great to be able to drive through the streets with a deputy chief, in the cab I was never allowed to sit in as an ordinary firefighter. As we will attempt to point out in the story we shot last night for air in tonight's broadcast, these firefighters have been serving, quietly and with great bravery and distinction, while living in trailers. I am in awe of all of them.

We hope you will watch Nightly News from New Orleans tonight. We'll see you back in New York tomorrow night.

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COMMENTS

Dear Mr. Williams,
Thank you for your continued attention to the plight of so many of my fellow New Orleanians. It was hard leaving our families and the city we love and even harder seeing the struggles she's still facing. Your work keeps us connected...and hopeful that New Orleans wont be forgotten.
Also to all the NOFD, NOPD, NOHD (EMS), Coast Gaurd and all the countless first responders from around the country that came to help after the storm: having worked at Charity and I-10 THANK YOU. Things would have been worse without y'all.

Thank you Mr. Williams and NBC for continuing coverage on the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It makes me wonder as others are also doing, what can we really do to help? I gave away a lot of money immediately after the storms but feel, after hearing reports of fraud and mis-directed funds, that I'd really rather send the guys at firehouse #29 something directly. Who knows? Maybe they can start a fund for a new station.

Thank you Brian and NBC for keeping our story alive. I do not wish this hell on anyone, even those who are experiencing "Katrina fatigue." We are a white middle class couple with a 9 year old child. We have seen many of my childs friends move from this area and it is very heart breaking. I wonder often why we stay. We can't leave, after all, this is our HOME!

God Bless!

Thank you Brian and NBC for keeping our story in America's living rooms, whether they want to hear it or not. I do not wish this hell on anyone, even the people around the USA who are experiencing "Katrina fatigue." If they only knew what it was and still is like living in this area. This is our home and always will be. We are a middle class white couple with a 9 year old child. People who have not been down here do not have a clue about what we continue to deal with. My child continues to have nightmares, afraid the next "Katrina" will be coming soon and she will be seperated from us. Many of her friends and classmates have left the area, some she has not seen since the storm. I wonder why I am still here. It is hard to explain, but like I said, this is HOME!

God Bless!

A. Burns

Brian et al.,
You made me cry tonight. Your poignant reporting brought home the harsh realities of the people we should be caring about, and highlighted the cruel juxtapostion of regional need versus the recently released proposed military budget for next year. Billions for Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet we can't support the reconstruction of a fire station in the Big Easy. Why am I left feeling like I need to run for President? Or flee to Canada? Despite the frustration, I appreciate your putting it in our face .. or perhaps rubbing our nose in it. Our politicians - and the country as a whole - needed it.

Thank you Brian Williams and NBC for not forgetting and, perhaps more important,not letting us forget that thousands of our fellow Americans in the Gulf region are still suffering from the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Keep reminding us and maybe one day our own Government will hear you.

Dear Mr Williams,
This is an17 month long thank you for your commitment of NBC's vast media power to reporting the ongoing naration to the world about the true life poost-Katrina Life here in New Orleans! When it seems most of my country considers the Katrina story over, NBC continues to reinforce/remind the world that life here is no where near back to normal. Your truthful stories about New Orleans bring an odd flow of mixed ears...tears of pride in your acurate depiction of those here struggling to make a life in desimated neighborhoods...and tears of the reality we here try not to dwell on ..namely the Katrina-ripped fabric of our lives...lost family, friends and the cherished life we had held so dear.
From my three month evacuation that went through 4 states, you and NBC gave me the real picture. Forn that I Thank you. As a sight-impaired artist living and painting here in Mid-City, I thank you for the stories of those who mske me humbled by what they live day to day. I cry at many stories your network broadcasts. Pride and sorrow for what has been acjeved and what still needs to be done 17 months anti-bellum Katrina.

From the reports by Ann Curry and Martin Savidge to your steadfast commitment to returning Nightly News to New Orleans,I can only say Thank you!

Merci Mon Amis!!!!

H. Eric Hartman

To you

I was watching your report about the fire department of New Orleans and how there is no funding available to help them. It takes a lot to make me jump out of a chair but you managed to do so when you said there was no funding. I’ve been telling anyone who would listen about the Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) program http://www.firegrantsupport.com/afg/. This grant program has been around for several years and even includes training to help communities learn how to prepare the grant application. In addition to the AFG there are any number of foundations available to help and let’s not even mention that their State and Federal representatives could and still can put in member items specific to their needs. I would be more than happy to conduct an in-depth analysis of possible funding on behalf of the New Orleans Fire Department and provide the information to you and them. So that you know just how serious I am about this I’m willing to do this anonymously and for free with no mention of my business. I just need a contact person to work with at the fire department. Again, I sincerely hope someone at NBC will contact me. I’m a former teenage welfare mother who rose to become Assistant Welfare Commissioner for the State of New York. A transformation like that could never have happened without a tremendous amount of help from countless numbers of people. I’ve been trying to pay that help back for many, many years. This is one more way.

Thank you Brian Williams and NBC for continuing to broadcast the New Orleans recovery efforts. Many displaced New Orleans natives, such as myself, depend on these types of reports to know what is happening in our city. Although I am unable to physically return to my hometown, you bring home to my living room with stories of hope such as your broadcast tonight. Thank you for remembering us.

The first thing I thought of during tonight's broadcast was....did anyone, anyone at all, think about all those dispatchers/telecommunicators that went through the storm with no relief or break from it all? The firefighters and law enforcement officers are heroes, yes, but the true first responders in any situation, are typically the 911 operators/dispatchers who take those calls. In many stories I have read about Katrina, many dispatchers did not even get up for days and there were no teams coming in from elsewhere for relief, until TERT teams started coming in. NO one even gave thought to ask for help for the dispatchers. In one case, I read a dispatcher did not move from her chair for 3 days and an ambulance had to be called for her. Same was true for 9/11, dispatchers/telecommunicators are the most unsung and misunderstood in Public Safety. You only hear an occassional positive story, but many negative. Please take a moment to thank all those who served through Katrina. God Bless the dispatchers!

Congratulations to NBC. That was a great program, and I love seeing Ann Curry with Brian's team. Maybe she should move up and join the real news people at the nightly news!

Thanks, Brian Williams and NBC, for your continued coverage of the plight of the New Orleans area. Listening to the entire broadcast I found myself thinking cynically. Re: The report of the weather issues in Chicago, New York, etc. I'm sure it is horrible to deal with. As people asked about us in the below sea level area, "Why would anyone want to live there??" Because, regardless of the weather and other risks, it's home!!

What ever happened to all of the money that was raised right after Katrina hit? There were concerts and fund raisers put on but no mention of where that money went to.

I just hope that money was used to help some of the victims of Katrina.

Brian Williams' broad cast today "Back in the Big Easy" was among the best he has ever done. The nation must pay attention to the struggle of the people of New Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemine, and Brian and NBC have brought this tradegy to the nation by broadcast such as this one. The several stories in todays broadcast have only scratched the surface of this nation's greatest natural disaster.

Dear Mr. Williams:

Thank you for your terrific reports on our city. We have appreciated your stories.

I would like to suggest a story that needs attention, should an investigative report be in order. Our criminal justice department is in shambles as we all know, but in the effort to corral crime, innocent persons are being charged, tried, and terrorized into pleading guilty by some of the police districts and District Attorney Jordan's office. This is because of the pressure in Lakeview (looting has been a big problem) due to the politicians and upper income level residency in that neighborhood. The arrests and trials are made public, but the public is being mislead. I am preparing a complaint to the ACLU as I witnessed my son charged with a felony looting, although he was not arrested. The entire appalling matter was so mishandled and manipulated, that citizens must be aware that our constituional rights are meaningless in New Orleans. I would never have believed that this could have happened to anyone, until I saw it happen to my son. God knows how many people have been imprisoned unjustly since Katrina.

Being from the Detroit metro area I have a problem with city leaders declaring their city to be chocolate. New Orleans deserves to be in the position it is in just as Detroit does. Try electing city officials who care more about saving the city than keeping it chocolate. I'm not crying about New Orleans or Detroit.

Having relatives in this fire department, sorry to see this was not a real in depth report of what is truly going on in the department, and how many of these honorable firefighters are working and living.

Bless the dedicated NOFD and their families. How about it, New York FD, can you give them some support? Even if just encouragement? We (the country) were there for you.

Thanks for remembering the forgotten. I live in Lake Charles, LA which was hit by "Rita". Other than Cameron, which was totally wiped off the map, we have recovered. When I travel to NO, I feel as if I am in a third world country. I just want to scream out, "Does anybody realize what's going on down here?". So NBC, thanks for hearing my scream.

I have a good friend who is a volunteer firefighter and fire instructor in CA; I suspect he'd have loved being in that kitchen too :) Firefighters are pretty amazing people, so I hope you can present some stories on "the life of" soon.

Having just survived 61 hours of below zero temps (our local station counted), I'd be happy to hear a story about someplace warm :) -18 is not a fun experience, although hot chocolate did make it bearable :)

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