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.

The Friday factor

In our interconnected world, we cannot expect what some are calling a "hostage crisis" involving Iran and the U.K. to enter its eighth day and not affect the global oil market. Tonight the domestic consumer impact will be among our top stories.  We'll also update today's findings on pet food, the allegations about Rudy Giuliani, and an examination of the mega-business strategy being pursued by Starbucks. We'll hear from the CEO.

DON'T LOOK NOW (ACTUALLY, PLEASE DO...)
The other story I'd call to your attention is a collaborative effort to bring us up to date on the startling situation in Russia. Veteran Correspondent Jim Maceda along with Nightly News producer Clare Duffy (who has lived there, studied the culture and speaks the language) have returned from Russia with some great reporting on Putin's rule, the economy and more. Jim has already filed a vlog in this space and there is a huge package of Web material that will be at Nightly.MSNBC.com when we hit air. Our operating theory is that Russia has been off the American radar -- and while we've been looking elsewhere and fighting dual wars, Putin has consolidated power and transformed many aspects of the country. Tonight we're airing a fascinating and important piece of work.

THE REACTION
The e-mails that this network has received since the segment last night with Anne Thompson have been overwhelming. Talk about touching a nerve. You will see more of Anne tonight, and here's a hint: Friday nights are reserved for our Making a Difference segment.

THE GOODBYE
We'll also take a moment tonight to mark the retirement of a veteran. Jim Cummins is one of the people our viewers think of as part of the "faces of NBC News." He's the definition of a field correspondent -- he has covered every story more than once, and has been the central man in our Dallas bureau for as long as I can remember. As I said on our inter-office conference call this morning, he has taught a slew of rookies around here, both in terms of direct mentoring and indirect osmosis. He has been a staple and unshakable presence on network television news, and we will always consider ourselves members of Jim's home team.

THE LINKS
Until I figure out a way to make these a permanent feature, please remember our favorites here: Michael Yon's blog from Iraq, the best explainer I've encountered on that same subject (with thanks to ARMY magazine) and the book/DVD MEDAL OF HONOR, which is filled with such amazing and compelling stories and text... the proceeds from which go to such a good cause.

Have a good weekend and please join us for the Friday edition of NBC Nightly News.

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COMMENTS

I wasn't planning to respond to Mike B.'s "rant", until he got one of his uninformed 'buddies' to post FOR him. The thing that ended the "Cold War" was when the last of Stalin's 'minions', Chernenko, died ! The KGB & the CIA were 'screwing' w/ each other for 40 years. The 'Cold' War stayed cold because of the Nuclear MAD doctrine's "launch on warning" protocol, that SAC maintained. Why risk this, by attacking their banking system; inviting escalation & retaliation ? Communism died w/i 5 years, under Gorbachev; as it was never intended, by Karl Marx, to be anything other than a template for world revolution via armed insurrection - to bring down European Royalty, that had REAL power then. The death of Communism is what ALLOWED the Russian Mafia ( With the help of Putin's FSB. ) to gain a foothold in their gov't., under Yeltsin's admittedly inept leadership !

Mike B, Did you hear last year that the CIA actually was partially responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union by delibertely sending computer viruses into their banking industry? Hum... is that called terrorism?

Tell it like it is Mike B!

The real reason for the American government and media's distaste for Putin is his failure to bow down at the alter of Zionist power. Russia is one of the U.N. security council members, and the only European power, that has firmly resisted American attempts to use the security council as a device to further Israel's interest (e.g. Israel's war against Lebanon last summer that Russia refused to support and tried to bring a speedy end to, and which the U.S. seemed to want only to prolong). Putin has also maintained strong relations cultivated during the cold war with various Arab and Muslim countries, such as Iran and Syria, and this has further incensed the U.S. and Israel — the former, once again, acting almost entirely in the interest of the latter.

Putin has spurred Russia's federal prosecutors to go after several oligarchs of a certain ethnic persuasion (such as Mihail Khordokovsky and Boris Berezovsky) that has a major stake in both the American media and government, as evidenced by the preference both demontrate for Israel. Thus journalists like Jim Maceda erroneously report that the charges against against Khordorkovsky are "questionable," or portray Berezovsky as a "persecuted exile," when both men are criminal malfeasors who, under the drunken, incomeptent auspices of Boris Yeltsin, defrauded the Russian people and government of hundreds of billions in assets, contributing to the disaster of Yeltsin's privatization plan which left the populus abjectly impoverished and the governmet bankrupt.

Yukos, the Russian oil company which Khordorkovsky fraudulently gained sole ownership of, also failed to pay taxes for several years, another reason he is in prison and his remaining stake in Yukos was frozen.

Putin has also failed to aquiese to U.S. and Israeli demands to use the very power which they object to to silence "anti-semitism" in Russia, which has apparenty been on the rise since Yeltsin's afformentioned privatization scheme and the widespread poverty that ensued.

All of these have done little to endear Putin to the American media and government and their Zionist powerbase.

It is interesting that the supposed "liberal democratic reformers" who most strongly oppose Putin are almost entirely representatives for, and/or funded by oligarchs, crooked politicians and mafia bosses (which are in many cases one and the same) who don't care at all about greater freedom for the Russian people, but simply desire the freedom to exploit the populus unfettered and unregulated.

But if I have a criticism of Putin, it is that he has not done enough to bring the criminals in all of these categories — many of whom are under the protection of foreign governments like the U.K., Spain, and Israel, and who have done so much harm to the Russian people — to account.

What they deserve is to be extrudited back to Russia, (if they have fled) to be thrown in prison, and to have the entirety of their ill-gotten assets confiscated. Furthermore, Putin should declare war on the mafia, much as the FBI did in the U.S. in the 1970s and, if necessary, use the military to enforce the policy.

As a caveat, Mike Moran's assertion (see blog entry above) that Putin is in cahoots with the "Russian" mafia is inaccurate; the mafia is an enemy of the Russian people, and Putin is, by and large, a populist. Furthermore, the very term "Russian" mafia is a misnomer. There are numerous "mafias" in Russia, each identified with a particular ethnic minority group — Jews, Chechens, Georgians — but not Russians. Russians may be employed by some of these organizations as thugs and low-level managers, but they are not the bosses. Simply because people live in and speak Russian does not make them Russian.

In any case, Putin is mostly doing what he needs to do to restore law, order, and some semblance of prosperity to Russia, in sharp contrast to Yeltsin, who allowed anarchy, corruption, and nepotism to reign supreme, much to the detriment of the Russian people.

However, the U.S. government and media don't have the welfare of the Russian people in mind, or even that of the majority of Americans, but only the interest of special interest.

Russia hasn't been off of everybody's radar. The recent conflict in Lebanon should have clued people into the Russian problem. Putin used to be in the KGB & was head of its follow - on, the FSB. The KGB was known to have a relationship w/ the Russian Mafia, helping covertly support their worldwide "Proxy Wars" w/ us, during the 'Cold War'. His 'mob minions' have been killing - off his opposition, so that these "ties" would not come out. Instead of worrying about Iran, Iraq & Syria - which are Israel's problem; we should be worrying about countries like Russia, and China & France as well.

Fascinating report out of Russia last night--thanks! I second your theory that Russia has been off the American radar. While internationally-speaking we're focusing on Iraq and a handful of other countries involved in the War on Terror, Putin's Russia is coming back as something similar politically-speaking to the former Soviet Union. Witness such strange cases as the poisoning of the anti-Putin Russian in London and the recent murder of an opposition journalist. The Cold War also seems to be making a comeback, with Russia on the opposite side from the US regarding many international issues, such as what's going on with Iran. Russia has also been meddling in neighboring countries that previously had been Soviet Socialist Republics such as Georgia in an effort to bring them into the Russian fold. So I'm looking forward to seeing more out of Russia.

I must commend you for the story you aired last night showing US Navy Ensign Bill Hawes surprising his six-year-old at school with his return after seven months in Iraq. What a powerful, heart-wrenching set of images. When I saw it this morning (having tivo'd it last night), I was sitting snuggled up next to my own five-year-old son in our big comfy chair in our sun room. He was absorbed in his Nintendo DS, so I felt free to let the tears flow as I watched and then re-watched that segment, and oh how I hugged him tight. The emotions on the face of the young boy as he saw his dad, then ran crying into his arms -- I don't know that I'll ever forget it. I can just imagine how the boy had dreamed of having his dad home again, and there he was, safe and sound and back home. Thank you, NBC, for sharing this wonderful story with us.

Instead of looking to China for one man's resistance to construction surrounding his property, look in your own back yard, right there next to you, Hurley's Bar. Hurley fought the Rockefellers and WON! So they built the entire Rockefeller Center around his building and it is still there, as most of you at NBC know only too well. That was the ultimate challenge and Mr. Hurley won. Put that on the nightly news, please.

Editor's note: You can read about the Hurley's Bar story on the bar's Web site here: http://cityinsights.com/newyork/hurley's.htm. The bar moved to the Theater District in recent years.

Good Evening Mr. Williams, First of all I am a avid coffee drinker and every morning I make my daily stop at Starbucks. Of course there is one right near my work. I guess I wouldn't have it any other way. Anyway, I will say they have managed to expand into much more than just coffee. But the people keep coming and buying all they can purchase. I have purchased some of the music cds as gifts and many other things. And I have an added bonus at my Starbucks because during the offseason a well known baseball pitcher comes in every morning to buy his coffee. Now he is back with the team, but I'm sure I will see him again in the later fall. The report concerning the nun being cured of Parkinsons and saying it is because of Pope John Paul II is something the church will have to research and find out if exactly is was in relation to the voice she heard. Lastly onto the report about Russia from Jim Maceda. Putin seems to want everthing his way or else. As someone interested in the arts I know how many dancers left Russia because they had more freedom to express their artistic abilities. And the facilities were far better. If the people in that country really support him and his popularity is good then I suppose it works for them. It is not a country that I have ever visited. But one should always try to embrace different cultures. Peace to all!

Thank you Jim Cummins for your dedication to journalism. I still remember watching your live report from Waco, TX in 1993. You were calm and professional, in a time that was uncertain and stressful. May you enjoy your retirement with your family.

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