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.

Terror Attack?

Good day from New York, where we are carefully following today's frightening incident at the Glasgow International Airport in Scotland.  We all know what immediately comes to mind when we hear a car has plowed into an airport terminal bursting into flames, especially a day after those two car bombs were diffused in London. The witness accounts all suggest it was a deliberate act, but at this writing, whether it is an act of international terror related to the London car bombs remains to be seen.

A year ago I was in the UK covering a terror threat to US-bound airliners from London.  That incident is the reason these days we are forced to carry our shampoo and contact solution in ziplock bags to get through airport screening checkpoints.  Before that, it was a shoe-bombing attempt aboard a London to Miami flight that resulted in us having to remove our shoes before we enter the concourse. Within hours of today's incident in Scotland, American airports were again ramping-up security, and I can't help wonder if the days of getting dropped-off at the terminal door are now numbered. Is that what we will remember this day for?

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (9 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

London calling

We received first word from our London bureau that something was up -- and we now know much more about what was discovered and who they are looking for. I'm writing this about 4 minutes after getting off the air with a network special report -- an update on this scary situation in London.  A car loaded with gasoline, compressed gas and roofing nails, a crowded nightclub and a cellphone detonator.  What an awful combination.  British citizens are being told to dial 999, their equivalent of 911, if they see anything suspicious.  We are quite busy assembling our package of coverage for tonight and so this will be a short final post for the week.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (13 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

MEDAL OF HONOR: FREDERICK E. FERGUSON

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.

FREDERICK E. FERGUSON
Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army  Company C, 227th Aviation Battalion,
1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Ferguson_81_2 Frederick Ferguson got a part-time job driving a gas truck to pay for flying lessons while serving out his enlistment in the Navy, earning his pilot’s license before his discharge in 1962. Over the next two years, he hung out at airports and got his commercial license. Then he took his first helicopter ride and knew instantly that he wanted to be a helicopter pilot. He joined the Army’s Warrant Officer program and graduated from the nine-month program in May 1967 certified in rotary-winged aircraft. Two weeks later, he was in Vietnam, a copilot with the 227th Aviation Battalion of the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile). By August he was in command of his own helicopter, a UH-1D slick.

CONTINUED »

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

A blog sent from an iPhone

I'm standing in front of an Apple store in Hollywood, California writing this on the virtual keyboard of an iPhone as about 100 of the faithful wait for them to go on sale tonight.

The glass keyboard takes some getting used to as I'm a two-thumb BlackBerry user. But, I remember that the first time I used the BlackBerry, I hated it, but got the hang of it eventually. (As I was typing "hang", I mistyped "hanh" and the iPhone suggested "hang". A tap of the virtual space bar quickly fixed it.)

The iPhone doesn't run on the fastest data networks available and when I typed www.msnbc.com, it took 30 seconds for the home page to fully load, pictures and all.

Like the iPod, the iPhone has an unswappable battery.  When it wears out, the thing has to go back to Apple for battery replacement.  That may be okay on your music player, but hey, this is your phone, too!

Still, it's a cool gadget and I suspect Steve Jobs of Apple may have a hit on his hands.

EDITOR'S NOTE: George Lewis filed this blog entry via e-mail. Watch his Web-extra video on the anticipation, the hype, and the reviews around the iPhone. 

DiscussDiscuss (5 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Small town America's war casualties, heroes

Editor's note: Washington Producer John Rutherford writes a weekly blog on the soldiers and Marines buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There were no public burials this past week, so he is writing instead on a Purple Heart ceremony today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Small-town America is bleeding for the rest of the country.

A disproportionate number of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be from towns most Americans have never heard of, towns like Gladys, Va., Clinton, Utah, and Spring Lake, N.C.

At a ceremony today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 19 soldiers, most of them from similar small towns, were awarded Purple Hearts. We asked some of them why they joined the Army.

"My dad did three tours in Vietnam, my brother was infantry," Sgt. Blayne Sheets, 21, of Berea, Ohio (pop. 18,970), said. "I just thought I'd do my part, too."

For Spc. Evan McQuistun, 24, of Trenton, Fla. (pop. 1,617),  the reason was more practical.

"For a job," he said. "There's not a lot of places to work in Trenton."

CONTINUED »

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

Flying high and making history

Fly1_2 The morning of June 27 was sticky even by South Florida standards, but that didn't dissuade hundreds of supporters and sponsors from coming out to cheer the return of a young pilot who has written a new page for the history books.  Drummers, singers and dancers performed in advance of the ceremonial arrival, when a small Columbia 400 buzzed the crowd at Opa Locka Airport near Miami. 23-year-old Barrington Irving completed an around-the-world solo flight -- and unofficially became the youngest and first black pilot ever to do so.

Barrington Irving waves to fans after completing an around the world solo flight, making him unofficially the youngest and first black pilot to do so.

CONTINUED »

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

ECHOES OF BROWN, THE VOICE OF BREYER

This was a history-making day in the U.S. Supreme Court chamber, and that was evident from the tone of Pete Williams' voice when he walked us through his version of events for tonight. Justice Breyer provided the emotional high point of the court session during his 27-minute oral dissent -- more of a direct rebuke of the majority opinion and its authors.  We'll look at the decision, the dissent and the impact of the court's action today.

CONTINUED »

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

Nuthin' but 'Net

Hi. The demise of immigration reform, the rising tensions between Congress and the White House, the nervous jitters on Wall Street, and the long-held dream of a middle-aged geek (a Led Zeppelin reunion?) are the topics today.

Immigration reform  is now clearly, most sincerely D-E-A-D. BullDogPundit takes a victory lap.   Ed Morrissey muses on what to do next.   Patrick O'Conner says the GOP is official breaking up with Bush over this.  And Josh Marshall notes the President's tone in conceding defeat.

The White House is refusing to cooperate with Congressional subpoenas   Andrew Ward has some analysis.  and Glenn Greenwald writes about how much we don't know about the administration's eavesdropping program.

CONTINUED »

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

Medal of Honor: Walter D. Ehlers

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.

WALTER D. EHLERS
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army  18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

Ehlers_77 Walter Ehlers’s older brother, Roland, had bullied and protected him throughout their childhood in Kansas. By D-Day, the two had already fought their way through North Africa and Sicily in the same unit. While training for the Normandy landing, Walter was made a squad leader and transferred to a different company. The brothers wished each other luck and promised to “meet up on the beach.”
The first wave was pinned down on the beach. Ehlers’s squad, along with about two hundred other soldiers, were on an LCI (landing craft, infantry) scheduled to be in the second wave. Orders were quickly changed. Ehlers and his squad were transferred to a Higgins boat and sent to the beach three hours ahead of the second wave. They were not prepared for the chaos that they found on the beach.

CONTINUED »

DiscussDiscuss (4 comments) Email thisEmail this | Link to thisLink to this

Early Nightly is up

Earlynightly

Brian's back! He's been gone from the vlog for a few days now, but today he gets in front of the camera and previews some of the stories we're working on for tonight's broadcast.

Click here or on the image to watch.

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