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 STATE OF THINGS

If you've watched any cable news today, you may agree that it paints a pretty grim picture of our national discourse and the political conversation in this country.  I just read Joe Klein's comments as posted on his blog back today, and so it goes.  What a contrast to the scene in Parliament today where Tony Blair received a rare ovation as he departed (while there's no shortage of vitriol in the U.K.).  In the middle of yet another cable segment on the Ann Coulter-Elizabeth Edwards encounter yesterday, a bit of local news shocked us to attention: a power outage here in Manhattan, extending into some of the City's power lines.  Knowing how these things sometimes cascade through the system, I found myself looking down 6th Avenue while on the phone, half expecting traffic lights to go dark while I watched. 

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Early Nightly is up

Earlynightly

Brian will anchor tonight's broadcast, but NBC's Anne Thompson takes over today's vlog duties.

Click here or on the image to watch.

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Medal of Honor: Russell E. Dunham

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.

RUSSELL E. DUNHAM
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army  Company I, 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division

Dunham_75 In mid-1940, Russell Dunham, unable to find a job, joined the Army. After the war started, he saw action in North Africa, Sicily, and Anzio as part of the 3rd Infantry Division. In August 1944, his unit landed at Toulon in the south of France and fought its way toward Alsace-Lorraine. Five months later, Sergeant Dunham’s company was facing a significant German force at the small town of Kaysersberg, France.
On the morning of Jan. 8, 1945, the men were issued white mattress covers to camouflage them in
the deep snow and ordered on patrol. Heavily armed with carbine magazines and a dozen grenades hooked into his belt, Dunham scrambled through the snow up a hill where three German machine guns were dug in.

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A LITTLE DAY MUSIC

As I write this, there is a troupe singing opera on 6th Avenue, a few stories beneath my office.  They have microphones and amplifiers, and sadly I'm not a big fan.  So, I just increased the volume of my iPod here in the office.  Problem solved.

To the news: a primary story on our broadcast tonight happened last evening when the man once known as "Richard Nixon's Favorite Mayor" -- Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar -- gave a speech (after much deliberation) breaking with the president over the war in Iraq.  While not quite an "if I've lost Cronkite ..." moment, it was a moment given Lugar's reputation. We'll talk about the speech and the fallout and the policy tonight.

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Nuthin' but 'Net

Hi. Lots of buzz today over Republican senior statesman Richard Lugar's decision to bolt from the GOP fold on Iraq. Plus, VP Cheney in the spotlight, Obama's first commercials, and the best five seconds of video you've ever seen.

Here's the AP's take on Lugar bolting on Iraq.  But Liberal Oasis says Lugar's position should not define the opposite pole of the Iraq debate.

The Washington Post is in the midst of its jaw-dropping opus on Vice President Cheney. All of it is "Must-Read" as they say.  And Unbossed sums up many a blogger's reaction with the question: what took 'em so long?  Also, ThinkProgress updates us on Cheney's ongoing battle with Congress over his prerogatives.

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Early Nightly is up

Earlynightly

Brian will anchor tonight's broadcast, but Chip Reid takes today's vlog duties from Washington, D.C.

Click here or on the image to watch.

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Medal of Honor: Roger H.C. Donlon

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.

ROGER H.C. DONLON
CAPTAIN, U.S. ARMY  Detachment A-726, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces

Donlon_71 Roger Donlon always felt that the military was his destiny in life. His father had served in World War I; all four of his brothers served in the Army or Air Force. He had wanted to go to the newly established Air Force Academy and learn to fly, but an eye examination detected the beginning of a cataract. Instead, Donlon graduated from the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and qualified for West Point in 1955. After two years he resigned to join the Army. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and was eventually assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group in 1963.

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Crackdown or Compassion?

It's hard not to feel sympathy for a sobbing young woman, explaining she only came to this country to work -- for a better life. She believes in her heart, despite what the law says, she has not committed a crime.

On the other hand, it's also difficult not to empathize with an elderly retiree, standing on a street corner with a picket sign, trying to rally support for laws that will remove thousands of day laborers waiting for work on the corners of a suburb that could be anywhere in America.

"We are not bad people," says Teresa Biarra in New Haven, Conn. "We are people dedicated to working." Biarra is here illegally. She's free on bail after federal immigration officers arrested her and 30 others recently.

"The whole thing is the law," says Sue Grant in Farmingville, New York. "I want our politicians to enforce the law, that's all I'm asking." Grant and a few others are picketing at a busy intersection, with signs demanding deportation for anyone here illegally.

The stories of these two women illustrate the nation's sharp divide on illegal immigration. Should we crack down or show compassion? Can we get rid of them, or are they here to stay?

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The News Never Stops

The longest day of the year is now in our rear-view mirror, and we enter that nether-season where seemingly one-eighth of the American population is on some form of summer vacation at any given time.  But we trudge on.  The news never stops, nor do we.  My thanks to Lester Holt for filling in for me on Friday.  The following are our options for the start of this new week:

The Tahoe fire is still dangerously out of control, as is the drought across some areas of the country.  The Supreme Court came out with two fascinating 5-4 rulings today, which are always best explained by our own Pete Williams -- as they will be tonight.

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Medal of Honor: Drew D. Dix

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.

DREW D. DIX
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army  U.S. Senior Adviser Group, IV Corps, Military Assistance Command

Dix_68 Drew Dix volunteered for the Army in 1962. He wanted to be in Special Forces, but at eighteen he was too young, so he spent the next three years with the 82nd Airborne and participated in the peacekeeping operation in the Dominican Republic in 1965.
By 1968, Dix had become a Special Forces adviser and was in Vietnam working on a CIA project in the provincial capital of Chau Phu near the Cambodian border. His mission was to coordinate intelligence gathering with a company-size unit made up mainly of indigenous Vietnamese, Cambodians, and hinese Nungs, primarily by capturing Vietcong soldiers for interrogation.

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