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.

Battlefield Tour

Good afternoon from New York, where we are busy preparing tonight's NBC Nightly News.

Here in the newsroom we just heard from NBC's Jim Maceda in Baghdad who just returned to our bureau after being given rare access to tour the battlefield with America's top commander in Iraq. He spent the day with Lt. General David Patraeus flying over, and landing in the infamous 'triangle of death" to get a handle on how the troop surge is working.  The video he described to us over the phone sounds amazing, and we look forward to airing Jim's report tonight, and hearing what General Patraeus has to say about where things stand.

Tonight we will also look ahead to an in-depth series our partner the Washington Post is beginning tomorrow on Vice-President Dick Cheney, and in particular his influence in defining the administration's policy on the war on terror.  Our John Yang will look at that, and also at questions being raised about how the VP handles classified documents.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (3 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Tonight's broadcast

Hello from New York. Brian is off this evening so I'll be anchoring the newscast.

All of us in the newsroom have been terribly moved by the pictures from Charleston, S.C., where tens of thousands turned out to honor nine firefighters who lost their lives fighting a furniture store blaze earlier this week. The image of nine flag-draped coffins at the front of a coliseum, with thousands of fellow firefighters from across North America in attendance, was a vivid reminder of the shared sense of duty and danger that cements the bond between those who answer the fire bell in cities large and small. Martin Savage is covering that story for us.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (10 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Cursing Vietnam - a white house protest

The distant thunder of Vietnam, a hazy, hurtful memory for most Americans, came roaring to the White House today in a large scale protest. But the object of scorn was Vietnamese President and Communist Chairman Nguyen Minh Triet meeting with President Bush to sign a trade agreement. Several thousand Vietnamese Americans from across the country milled at the edge of Lafayette Park penned behind waist-high barriers, shouting across Pennsylvania Avenue facing the White House:

"Free All Political Prisoners"
      "Down with the Communists"
      "Democracy"
      "Murderer"

I waded through the orderly, noisy protesters, noting they were all ages: older men, some in their Vietnam War uniforms; younger men, one wearing an AC/DC rocker T-shirt, many wearing printed T-shirts, "Stop Kangeroo Court in Vietnam...Human Rights for Vietnam."  Women were as boisterous as men, taking up the cadence of the increasingly incendiary chants:

"VC (Vietcong)" the leader would yell into a bullhorn...
      "Liar" the crowd would yell back
      "VC...Terrorists"
      "VC...Mafia"
  "VC...Go to Hell"

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (6 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Medal of Honor: Duane E. Dewey

MohbookEvery weekday for 110 straight days we will feature a different living recipient of the Medal of Honor. These are the men who have received their nation's highest military honor. Brian is a board member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. The words and photos are courtesy of Artisan Books, publishers of "Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Peter Collier with photographs by Nick Del Calzo.

DUANE E. DEWEY
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps  Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division

Dewey_66 When 19-year-old Duane Dewey joined the Marines soon after North Korean forces rolled into the South, it was an “indefinite” enlistment—the duration of the war plus six months. Dewey was part of the 1st Marine Division, which was near Panmunjom in the spring of 1952. The command had established a series of outposts beyond the main American force. Corporal Dewey was the leader of a machine-gun squad in a reinforced platoon dug in at one of these positions when it was attacked by a battalion-size Chinese force around midnight on April 16.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (2 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Undercover in Juarez

Juarez, Mexico, is a place that stays in your mind long after you’ve left it. This week I wandered that city’s dusty streets carrying a hidden camera for Lisa Myers' investigative report on fraudulent documents. The goal was to capture people on tape who rent and sell American documents that allow people to cross the border without being caught.

El Paso means "the crossing" in Spanish and crossing to the U.S. is an obsession in Juarez. I would say hello in Spanish and shortly after people would offer to help me get to Texas. Several men tried to rent or sell me passports and visas, all American, they said, all authentic, all documents that could help me cross the "El Paso del Norte" bridge just steps away, or any of the four bridges which join Juarez and El Paso. My concealed camera rolled on the document dealers, some holding bundles of dollars, fresh from their latest visa deal. A few hundred can get you almost anything in Juarez -- an American passport, a social security card, even a birth certificate. For $1,200, one man offered to sell me the passport of someone who resembled me, complete with a Social Security card and work permit to match my new identity. Another man would give me the same three documents for just $900, but I would have to return the passport to his partner once I made it to the U.S, so he could bring it back to Mexico and “rent it” to someone else to cross, he explained.   

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (2 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Farewell, Sgt. Sutton

Sutton Arm-in-arm with a military escort, Joanne Sutton led the procession of mourners to the graveside service for her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Greg Sutton, who was killed June 6 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.

Mrs. Sutton, 3-year-old daughter Cailee, and 2-year-old son Greg Jr., were among family and friends gathered Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery for Sgt. Sutton's burial.

For Greg Lamonte Sutton, 38, of Spring Lake, N.C., the Army was a way of life. His father, Sgt. 1st Class Claude Sutton, served in the Army for more than 20 years, mostly with the 82nd Airborne Division. Greg Sutton followed his father into the Army but not into the 82nd Airborne.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (6 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Taliban's U.S. media blitz

New York Police Department officials are dismissing video of a “Taliban suicide-bomber graduation” as “part of a media blitz intended to spread Taliban propaganda and raise the profile of the organization” rather than a real threat.

In a special analysis distributed this week to NYPD commanders, the department’s counter-terrorism division also downplays the Taliban’s capability of carrying out suicide attacks in the U.S. and Europe, as the Taliban commander suggested, saying they do not have the needed networks in the West and have no experience carrying out such attacks.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (3 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

DALLAS DIARIST

We arrived in Dallas on an uneventful (for once) and completely food-free (so what else is new?) American Airlines flight from El Paso this morning, and we'll originate the broadcast tonight from nearby Fort Worth, where I'm typing this in a borrowed office at our station here, KXAS-TV, which also houses our NBC News Dallas Bureau.

An early heads-up: we have an extraordinary interview with an Army widow from Texas tonight -- a woman who came to our attention when she mentioned us in her local paper [Read the Killeen Daily Herald stories: Her love of a lifetime | Widow vocal about opinon on war ].  It was such a kind mention that I asked her to meet with us when we arrived here.  She's an extraordinary person with some interesting views on the management of the Iraq war, having lost the man she loved to a sniper.
Img_2417

Brian Williams and Donna Kiernan pause for the camera at Donna's house in Killeen, Texas.
Photo by Subrata De

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (51 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Medal of Honor: Jefferson J. DeBlanc

MohbookEvery weekday for 110 straight days we will feature a different living recipient of the Medal of Honor. These are the men who have received their nation's highest military honor. Brian is a board member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. The words and photos are courtesy of Artisan Books, publishers of "Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Peter Collier with photographs by Nick Del Calzo.

JEFFERSON J. DeBLANC
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve  Marine Fighter Squadron 112

Deblanc_65In 1938 Jefferson DeBlanc was working as a bench chemist in the sugarcane industry to earn enough money to attend college. The Civilian Pilot Training program, which the federal government had initiated in universities, seemed perfect for him—he had been fascinated by aviation ever since a U.S. Mail pilot had made a forced landing near his home and allowed him to get into the cockpit. He signed up for the program and learned to fly in Piper Cubs, then entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Reserve program and became a Marine fighter pilot. At the time he was sent to the Pacific in the fall of 1942, he had only ten hours in a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (1 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Early Nightly is up

Earlynightly

Brian is traveling from El Paso to Fort Worth, Texas, so NBC's Don Teague takes on today's vlog duties, previewing some of the stories we're working on for tonight's broadcast.

Click here or on the image to watch.

DiscussDiscuss (0 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this