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.

Why I came to Baghdad

Img_1580 Editor's note: About seven hours after filing this blog post, Brian appeared on "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert. Click here to watch the video.

After much planning and many hours of traveling since our departure from New York on Friday evening, we have arrived in Baghdad for several days of coverage.

The decision to come here was mine. The trip was under consideration for months and has been several weeks in the planning. It is the story of our time, it dominates our news coverage night after night, and as a journalist I believe it's important to see and touch this story first-hand. It is my third trip to Iraq since the start of the war, and this one comes at a critical time in my view. The recent change in the tempo of the violence and the decision to send more U. S. troops were both major factors in my decision. We have taken all the security precautions possible, and we will do nothing to put ourselves in any undue danger.

After I made the decision to come, NBC signed off on the trip, from the very highest levels on down, and then the planning started. It was our goal to visit before the coming anniversary of the start of the war. I'd be lying to say that the wounds suffered by my friends Bob Woodruff and Kimberly Dozier didn't weigh heavily on my mind. My own family has been profoundly affected by Bob's ordeal -- and it will stay with us and help guide our actions. I saw both Bob and Kimberly just days ago, and we intentionally delayed our trip so as not to conflict with Bob's documentary last week and the launch of the book that he and his wife Lee have written.

While in Iraq, I'm surrounded by the best possible team -- all of whom volunteered for this duty. Producer Subrata De is here (you will be seeing her photos and reading her postings) as is producer John Zito, who was embedded with U. S. forces during the war. We have an outstanding technical crew, including Craig White, who was David Bloom's cameraman during the war, and who was just here with Robert Bazell while shooting the series of reports, "Wounds of War."                     

Also with me is retired 4-star U. S. Army Gen. Wayne Downing -- a former member of President Bush's White House anti-terrorism staff, and the former head of U. S. Special Operations. Gen. Downing was traveling with me during a helicopter mission at the start of the war, which was forced down by insurgent fire, which in turn forced us to spend three days in the desert under the protection of the Third Infantry Division. It is great to have him on this trip, both for his technical assistance and for his companionship.

We will try our best to report what we see, including the texture of military life here, which is seldom reported back home in any depth. Again: we are here to take stock of this story, and see it for ourselves. We have two superb correspondents in our Baghdad bureau, Richard Engel and Tom Aspell, who will continue to cover the day-to-day life and warfare on the streets they know so well.

My thanks to all the people who got us here and are keeping us safe. My thanks to my friends back at NBC News in New York -- who will turn what we report -- into a great broadcast each night we're here.             

We'll see you on the air from Baghdad.

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COMMENTS

Brian, thanks for the excellent reporting.
I lost a friend Feb. 22, 2007 in Iraq. He was a great man and an American Hero.
Our soldiers deserve to have as much coverage, I take that back, they deserve more coverage then the spoiled Hollywood groups.
We love our troops and pray daily for their safe return.
I also pray that peace enters Iraq so we can bring our men and women home.
God Bless you and your crew!
Stay Safe.

Mr. Williams -
I realize that this is a very long shot, but, if you see LTC Charles "Chuck" Ferry (he was featured in your reporting last night on the Nightly News) again during your trip, please send him my regards.
I had the honor of serving with LTC Ferry in 1994 while we both served in the 82nd Airborne Division. Quite simply, LTC Ferry is among the best if not the best officer with whom I ever served.
While we have, by way of great understatement, a diffult job in Iraq, I was encouraged to see LTC Ferry on the ground and in command. If anyone can bring about a positive change, it's LTC Ferry.
Finally, please do all that you can to stay out of harm's way. Also, please tell every soldier and Marine you encounter how very grateful all of us are for their service.

Brian, Keep up the good work. I know your family is worried sick about you, so you best get home safe! We all love you and your crew BE SAFE!

Brian,
May you and all of the others with you stay out of harm's way while providing us at home with a glimpse of life in the war zone. Your nightly newscast is required viewing in our home. We appreciate your balanced and truthful style. Our prayers are with you.

Brian,

I think your coverage Monday Night was only on one side of this issue. It shows that NBC was supporting this war. It didn't show the blood, and our tropps dieing over there. It didn't show why they need to come home as soon as possible. We need a withdrawl. The press doesn't see the story that the public wants. We want the end of this WAR!

God be with you and come home safely. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
We are proud of you and your reporting.

brian, I am a retired marine/airforce e-7.vietnam veteran. Iraq is a nightmare. Maybe your take will shed new light on the picture. Its terrible. Wife and i watched cbs news for twenty two years. Since you took over at nbc, we watch you. We think your style is frees, different and feels so genuine and real when you report. You are a fine person brian, with what comes across a humble and honest quality. God bless you on this crucial trip and come back home to us as we need you here.

Brian and crew, Good luck in Iraq. We all wish someone would come
up with the answer to stopping this madness. The everyday brutality
is mind numbing and sometimes just not watching the news allows
us to step away for a few hours. You are one person whose reporting
I do watch and respect your insight into what is happening. Let us
know if there is any hope of bringing this mess to some acceptable
conclusion. Stay safe. God speed.

If Saddam would have given American companies access to Iraqi oil many years ago, Bush and Cheney would never have created all this havoc to get him out of the picture so they would have freedom to get their hands into the Iraqi oil. How they misjudged what would happen. Brian, try to sort that one out.

Brian, we will be looking forward to your stories. I have a son in Iraq...and a nephew. Thank you for going where the rest of us cannot go...so we can learn more about our families. We will add you to our prayer list. Give the troops our love and support from home!

Brian:
Your decision to not make the trip when Bob Woodruff was promoting his book and doing his documetary shows what an exemplar human being you are. Instead of trying to get to Iraq to drum up the ratings, you actually thought with your heart, which no one does anymore.
The world needs more people like you and Tom Brokaw. You are doing responsible reporting, and are to be commended!
Also, I agree with the other poster, the story on your father was so touching, what a good man your dad is too, I see where you get it from. Keep up the good work!

Brian, every person has a defining moment in their life; please take this opportunity to be defined as the patriot who gave us back our integrity as a Nation and a People. Be safe and ask the tough questions!

My Daughter and Son-In-Llaw are stationed in Bagdad. Remember our men and women are risking there lives for this mission. They are due our respect and support from everyone, even those who chose to protest the war. It is hard duty there everyday. Please support them, give balanced coverage. Mother of a U.S solder on the front lines of a stryker unit.

Brian,

I finished reading "In an Instant" by Bob and Lee Woodruff at 3:00 this morning, and have been weepy all day (mostly, I think, in relief that things turned out as well as they have for Bob and Lee) -- both Bob and Lee are amazing!!! I pray that you will never have the occasion to write a book on the same subject. I also pray that you, the crew, and everyone else there in Iraq with you will return safely ... you are all very brave to make the decision to go, and I admire you all a great deal.

May God hold you all, as well as your families and loved ones, gently in the Palm of His Hand.

Brian, you and NBC news broadcasting is excellent. I would like to see some interviews of people on the street of Bagdad on how they feel about presents of US Military toop on the street and in their country. Ask the question, Do they want us there or for us to leave and go home.

Stay safe in Iraq, please tell about all the good things that are going on there,i.e. building schools,roads,ect. seems like the only thing we hear about is the car bombs.

Brian:
I echo the sentiments of praise and support in many of the previous comments. Good on ya. I look forward to hearing and seeing a more comprehensive and intelligent account of what our troops are dealing with-not just in Baghdad. One request: please try to use language that is understandable to the unwashed instead of the euphamisms and political drivel we are fed daily by the media. Call'em like you see 'em.
Godspeed.

Brian, This is my first comment on a blog of any kind but I must tell you a few things. First, I am a devoted view of your news reports and think that you are so articulate, insightful, and often very funny. At the New York Times interview with Jacques Steinberg you were terrific.
Now, about going to Iraq - i think it's time for you to stay at home. It's too dangerouse there. I know that you are conscientous and curious and want us to have first hand information but it has become more and more chaotic there. And especially after losing David Bloom whom I adored and seeing the injuries of Bob Woodruff the fear has taken over - and I just want you to be safe.

Mr. Williams,
Ever since I watched the tribute you paid to your father one evening, I have watched your evening newscast. You have my admiration as a man of principle . You are articulate, and you use your postion to do good.You are, as othersw here have noted. a decent man.

Brian, you are the most respected jounalist of our time - forthright, true, honest! Stay safe and let us really know what's going on in Iraq - WE TRUST YOU!

All of you stay safe and as most everyone else has said "our prayers are with you".

Mr. Williams,

As NBC Nightly News enters our home each evening, recently there’s been gloomy news. Yet regularly towards the end of the newscast, were left with optimism and joy, especially each Friday when you report on "Making a Difference", which repeatedly transforms prior gloomy news into an inspiration.

And now once again you and your crew are making a difference. As you place yourselves in grave danger to do what you all do best, report the news. Doing so the only way you know how, up close and personal. - Thanks for making a difference!

Looking forward to see you this evening…you inspire us all!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your crew for a safe journey.

Eric C.
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Brian: What are the answers to the situation in Iraq from the average person who lives there. Maybe it would give all of us a better path to departure from a gastly mistake which will scar the country for years.

Mr. Williams Please be safe over there I watch you every night and i hope to for many years to come you are in my prayers every night so please be safe and I will be watching you every night for your reports so please be safe and come home safe and sound.

The story continues. The military is being treated miserably at home, the casulties increase. The military is short of forces and goals. That's the real story. Where will you take us? Truth or fiction?

Since the blog forgot my name I will try again: Brian, I wish you the best and am sure that both the technological and US military expertise that NBC has access to offers you some comfort as you undertake your dangerous journey to bring us your report. I personally, although a supporter of the war initially, have been completely astounded as to the political hack job that has been Iraq. Our so called Commander in Chief has been anything but. He has sacrificed our precious young blood, our treasure, our position in the world, regional Middle East security for a NeoCon fantasy cajoling the public into believing that WMD's would be found. Hussein is dead, now what? I would venture a guess that our Commander has not read ONE book about Iraq. What has he done to us? I shake my head in disbelief. I ask that you bring us the uncensored facts about just what is occurring as we yet again, I believe, proceed into folly. This era is not WWII. This country can no longer bomb itself into security. We bomb ourselves into more insecurity. This is a new kind of war if indeed it is a war. It is a world-wide defensive action that requires a diplomatic savvy, understanding of the region as well as a technological and computer expertise. This Commander in Chief has not the vaguest idea about any of that. We need a new day and new leadership if we can ever hope to end this nightmarish quagmire. I hope and pray you and our country remain safe.

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