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.

A POWERFUL PEN

A few random notes today: First, we were horrified to learn during our afternoon meeting that editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette has died.  Doug was just 57, a Pulitzer winner and a veteran of many newspaper editorial pages.  I didn't know him well, but was a huge admirer. Click to visit Marlette's site

I first met Doug during a workshop he held for children -- my daughter was among those he instructed that day in the art of cartooning.  In later years, I found myself in the unlikely role of one of his subjects from time to time. His depictions of me were always kind and always funny, and not all of Doug's victims could say that.  In each case, he mailed me the original, signed and inscribed with kind remarks, and in each case, he took the time to write a note.  He was smart, talented, controversial and every bit as much a journalist as any of us in any branch of the profession.  We have lost a treasure of the printed image. 

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BACK TO WORK

Three work days off, plus the weekend -- a five-day break from 30 Rock and now back in the saddle again.  Allow me to thank Lester Holt for so ably filling in. What I didn't see live I watched on DVR last night.  There is no test of character quite like loading up the family car and driving to Maine and back over the July 4th holiday.  To those of you who were with us in the bumper-to-bumper traffic yesterday on Routes 495, 90, 84 and 91 -- I felt your pain, and am still feeling my own. I am just now able to fully extend my legs and flatten out my hands from the death grip I had on the steering wheel.

Back to the job at hand: tonight we're looking at indicators that support for the war in Iraq may be shifting, especially among some crucial Republicans. We will also mention the President's most recent claim of executive privilege.  We'll look at the heat and fire risk across the country as well.  We have stories from Iraq (correspondent Jane Arraf) and Australia (Anne Thompson) and we will look at Boeing's new creation -- the jetliner with the curved wings: the new 787.

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GETAWAY TUESDAY

The London/Glasgow investigation and the Libby commutation aftermath continue to dominate our news, and we have our best correspondents on both stories.  We'll have reporting from our London team, and a special look by Andrea Mitchell tonight at this President's legacy.

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POOTIE AND THE BLUEFISH

The headline worked until I realized that whoever speculated on the radio this morning that President Bush would take President Putin fishing for Blues was totally wrong. I saw the pool video feed come into the building this morning, and I noticed 41's boat "Fidelity III" was idling just off the rocks at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Me.  That can usually only mean one thing, as veterans of New England salt water fishing well know: striped bass. Apparently, Putin caught the only striper (a helluva fish -- an estimated 30-incher), which led someone at our editorial meeting to speculate that KGB divers actually hooked it for him under the boat.  It was worth watching the video this morning just to see the clothing of the participants: the president in a blue jacket with "43" emblazoned on the front, and Putin wearing what you'd expect the former head of the KGB to wear fishing: a kind of action-figure outfit, later shown to be a rather form-fitting, short-sleeve shirt under a windbreaker.  In truth, the two men have some very serious business to transact during their 13th meeting, and we'll report on that tonight.

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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.

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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.

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

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