Brian Williams Veteran journalist who became anchor of NBC Nightly News in 2004, replacing Tom Brokaw.
My nominee for 2007 Person of the Year is a woman--a woman with a history of abuse, a woman who has never run for elective office, someone we all know, someone who makes her presence known on a daily basis in all our lives and, for my money, is better than any male alternative. That woman is Mother Earth. I think the environment is the compelling issue of our time.
Yes, Time really felt the need to inform readers that Williams anchors the "Nightly News," although he's done so for three years now.
The Associated Press is reporting a second Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer has been shown the door for furthering rumors about rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) being a "Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States.":
The Clinton campaign has decried the rumors as offensive and outrageous, and last week forced volunteer Jones County coordinator Judy Rose to resign after learning that she forwarded a such an e-mail on Nov. 21. But it turns out Rose wasn't the only one.
Linda Olson, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa County, had forwarded a similar version on Oct. 5, without comment, to 11 people. One of the recipients was Ben Young, a regional field director for Democrat Chris Dodd's campaign, who provided a copy to The Associated Press on Sunday.
As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker noted in an October 31 post, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams tossed Obama a softball at an interview on the matter of the Illinois Democrat being subtly "swift-boated" about his religion.
Williams hinted that Republicans were most likely to unfairly smear Obama, but given the fact that TWO Hillary Clinton workers have been given the boot thus far, what are the chances Williams will apply the left-wing "swift-boating" canard to Hillary Clinton? (emphasis mine):
Asked by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on Sunday evening about how a new MSNBC/Mason-Dixon poll found that Iraq is not “the dominating issue” as “the economy is immensely important to voters,” Tim Russert suggested Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani will have “to re-calibrate” for “a bread and butter election” since “with the surge in Iraq and the level of American deaths declining, it is off the front pages.” Iraq is also now of less interest to the television networks. A MRC study released last week documented how Iraq stories on the three broadcast network evening newscasts fell from 178 in September to 68 during November, “with only eleven (16%) actually from the war zone itself.”
The mainstream media have been fawning over the atheist inspired film "The Goldan Compass" and ignoring the fact that the author (upon which the movie is based), Phillip Pullman, has bragged about killing God in his novels. Well, according to CNN, the real focus should be on the fact that the film raises "awareness" about the plight of polar bears. No, really.
In 2007, ABC's investigative reporter Brian Ross has provided hard-hitting looks at Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani. He's focused only one such segment on a Democrat, Hillary Clinton. And, unsurprisingly, each of his investigations into a GOP candidate has been accompanied by snarky, sarcastic comments.
Taking their lead from liberal Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, the three broadcast networks all screamed “cover-up” Friday night as ABC and NBC led with Democratic complaints about the CIA destroying video of some interrogations of terrorists while CBS made it the second story -- though Katie Couric teased it with “Cover-Up?” on screen under video of Kennedy. “Tonight, charges of a cover-up by the CIA,” Charles Gibson teased World News, “why were videotapes of its secret interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects destroyed?” Gibson set up his lead story by asserting “congressional leaders are in an uproar tonight over a secret they were never told, and will now never know,” as if leaders of both parties were “in an uproar.” In the subsequent story, however, all four soundbites from members of the House or Senate came from Democrats (two of the four from Kennedy). Couric got it correct as she highlighted how “today Democrats demanded a criminal investigation.”
Brian Williams teased the NBC Nightly News: “On the broadcast tonight, was it a CIA cover-up? New fallout after revelations the CIA may have destroyed videotape evidence in the U.S. war on terror.”
Checking in Wednesday night from Tehran with Iranian reaction to what anchor Brian Williams described as the new intelligence assessment that “Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all,” NBC correspondent Ali Arouzi held up a newspaper to show how it portrayed President Bush “as Pinocchio.” Arouzi described crowds cheering President Ahmadinejad's railing against lies spread by the U.S. and how the state media are calling President Bush “a liar and a warmonger.” On the upside for Iranians, Arouzi found the “many” who “have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions” now have “a sense of relief that that won't happen.”
Back in September, when General David Petraeus reported that the surge in U.S. troops had improved the security situation in Iraq, the big three broadcast networks were openly skeptical.
"Insurgent attacks are down from 170 in January to 120 in August," ABC's Terry McCarthy noted on the September 9 World News Sunday, the day before Petraeus testified before Congress. "But that is still four attacks a day, on average. Iraq remains a very violent place....Life in central Iraq is still deadly dangerous."
Reports on Tuesday's broadcast network evening newscasts all highlighted concerns the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded Iran stopped working on its nuclear weapons program in 2003, will reduce international pressure on Iran. But just a couple of minutes after CBS's Jim Axelrod asserted that “maintaining an international coalition to confront Iran will no doubt be trickier now,” CBS's Elizabeth Palmer contended from London that pressure to impose sanctions, “led by the European leaders,” remains “huge” since “they've always said, 'look, the point is to stop Iran enriching uranium that could be one of the ingredients for a bomb.' And they believe that sanctions could be very effective in finally curbing that program which remains very active as we speak.”
Like Axelrod, NBC's David Gregory noted that “the President is making the case that the international community cannot let up on Iran,” but “the question is whether a skeptical public and skeptical international community will listen?” ABC's Martha Raddatz related how the White House is “concerned” and “I've been in touch with some diplomats. The ones who have to go overseas and say please join us with these sanctions. There is definite concern...”
Over the past two months, it has been on the way according to the media. But as of December 3, the price of crude has decreased - not increased as predicted.
"Crude briefly cracked $90 a barrel for the first time and analysts say that will soon trickle down to the pump," Alexis Christoforous said on the October 20 "CBS Evening News." "Some predict gas will jump $0.20 or more in the coming weeks. And if crude tops $100 a barrel, they say we could be looking at $5 a gallon."
On his Daily Nightly blog, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams sent his happy-birthday wishes to liberal comedian Jon Stewart. In a Wednesday blog post playfully titled "Where Have You Gone, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz?", Williams mourned how the writers' strike has taken Stewart away from his "vital comedic work" trashing Bush. Just like Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams thinks Stewart is an American treasure:
The serious fact is that Jon Stewart and his colleagues in comedy -- along with the writers who support them -- serve an invaluable purpose by skewering the pompous and deflating the egos of the high and mighty. They function almost as a separate branch of government. We need them, and we miss them.
Three weeks ago, when NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed Rudy Giuliani, Williams raised Giuliani's closeness to Bernard Kerik and pressed him on Iraq as he pointed out how 2007 had become “the bloodiest year” in the war, but in an interview with John Edwards aired Tuesday night, Williams stuck to softballs and didn't bring up the indictment of a major Edwards donor or push Edwards about how the “surge” in Iraq he rejected is working. The two interviews are the most recent in the “Making of the President” series on the NBC Nightly News.
In the taped session with Republican presidential candidate Giuliani aired on November 6, Williams inquired: “Let's talk about your friend Bernard Kerik. Press reports are, as recently as today, that he could be a few days away from indictment, perhaps. When was the last time, first of all, that you spoke with him?” And on Giuliani supporting the war: “We just learned today '07 is the bloodiest year in Iraq. What would you do in Iraq starting today?”
But with Democratic candidate Edwards Tuesday night, Williams stuck to the horse race and sympathetic personal issues, wondering about the impact of Oprah Winfrey -- “a formidable celebrity” -- campaigning for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton's contention she will be the nominee, the status of his wife's health and Williams cued him up to elucidate his foreign policy expertise: “If you had to pick one, what one foreign country, currently, keeps John Edwards up at night?”
“There is a noticeable trend under way. A growing stream of Iraqis who left to escape the killing, many of them going to Syria, now reversing their migration,” anchor Brian Williams highlighted Tuesday evening as the NBC Nightly News became the first broadcast network evening newscast to air a full report on the trend.
From Baghdad, reporter Tom Aspell showcased a mother who exclaimed: “I'm so excited” and “I can't wait to get back.” Aspell explained: “Though safer, life in Syria turned out to be hard. $300 a month rent and food for the family of seven wiped out their savings. So when the Iraqi government offered free bus tickets to Baghdad, today's opportunity was too good to miss.” Adding the caveat that a safer Iraq is not the main motivator, Aspell noted: “A recent UN survey at registration centers found most Iraqi refugees are returning home not because Iraq is any safer, but because they're running out of money, and Syria is clamping down on visas.” Aspell, however, acknowledged upbeat trends: “Refugees coming back to Baghdad are going to see a lot of changes. There are more people in the streets, shops are open and traffic everywhere.” Though Aspell pointed out how “it is still a dangerous city. There are kidnappings, shootings and bomb blasts every day,” another mother, nonetheless, decided: “Thank God we returned and found the situation better than when we left.”
In the musty but hallowed halls of the Old Media, the first item for target practice is often the New Media, the ones formed and made popular by the atrocious biases of their predecessors. The Old Media continue watching their numbers bleed away; continue to paint themselves as fair and balanced, despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary; and continue to smear the New Media, especially talk radio, as the divisive haters and fact-manglers ruining civil discourse in America.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw is on the publicity tour for his new book "Boom!" about the 1960s. On the November 26 Laura Ingraham show, when he was challenged with his soundbite broadsiding talk radio as "instantly jingoistic and savagely critical" of war protesters, Brokaw quickly put his anti-radio rant back into rotation.
He suggested incivility was a "big cancer" on America, and talk radio is the number one tumor. Front and center in Brokaw’s pathology was Limbaugh: "My problem with the whole spectrum is there is not -- you know what Rush’s, what his whole drill is. He doesn’t want to hear another point of view. Except his."
Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do was cry "wolf" to get your parent or guardian to come to your aid? Well, apparently that doesn't work anymore.
Thanksgiving air travel went well; in fact it went so well it prompted CNN anchor Rob Marciano to exclaim, "Maybe the media sufficiently scared everybody."
CNN's "American Morning" and NBC's "Nightly News" reported the good news on Thanksgiving air travel, with CNN's Kiran Chetry saying it "wasn't so bad" and NBC's Amy Robach calling it a "relatively easy experience."
But both broadcasts forgot an important detail: military air space opened up by President Bush along the East Coast.
ABC's "World News Sunday" gave credit where credit was due - but left out a key point.
"Those express lanes, allowing flights to detour through military air space along the East Coast, also worked," said ABC's Jeremy Hubbard, forgetting to mention that Bush had authorized the air traffic change.
Finally catching up with ABC and NBC, the night before Thanksgiving the CBS Evening News turned to chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan for a look at how conditions are improving in Iraq. But the story from Logan, who just over a month ago insisted that “we're doing extremely badly,” was more cynical and foreboding than more upbeat reports aired Thanksgiving night on ABC and NBC when CBS's newscast was bumped for football.
Fill-in anchor Russ Mitchell noted “some signs perhaps that conditions are improving. Nationwide, the U.S. military says terror attacks have fallen 55 percent since the summer.” Logan began with how “the sounds of celebration echo on the streets of Baghdad's deadly Adamiyah neighborhood for the first time since the U.S. invasion,” but in explaining that “the U.S. now fights alongside their old Sunni enemy” she said the U.S. “calls them volunteers” while “some people call them America's militia.” Explaining how local Sunni women are helping the U.S., Logan stressed how “it's so dangerous to be seen working for the U.S. that many of these women hide their identity cards.” Logan ominously warned: “The U.S. can't keep paying and protecting the Sunni volunteers forever. And if it doesn't transition into the Iraqi police, and the Iraqi government doesn't take it on, that's the danger....A danger that could send the Sunnis back to war, this time with nothing left to lose.”
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
I was the recipient today of several emails from well-intentioned people, telling me I was being attacked in parts of the blogosphere for something I wrote and said on the air in last night's broadcast. It was a closing piece about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip celebrating their 60th anniversary. I noted this accomplishment, especially in this era when, as I put it, marriage seems "under attack" as an institution. My meaning? Our national divorce rate, which is currently somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. Others took it upon themselves to decide that I was somehow attacking gay marriage. The simple fact is that nothing could have been further from my mind, as many others easily understood. In fact, one comment shared with me today came from a respected member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, who said, "It seemed to me he was talking about the sky-high heterosexual divorce rates. Marriage IS under attack -- by straight people. It had nothing to do with the gay marriage movement."
When a MSM dinosaur like Tom Brokaw says he thinks print newspapers won't be around in 10 years, that's probably an indication the industry in trouble. (Click for audio.)
The former NBC "Nightly News" anchor appeared at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on November 19 to promote his new book, "Boom!" Brokaw said he envisioned a major newspaper going completely digital in 10 years.
"I was at The Washington Post earlier today," Brokaw said. "And in the lobby they've got a wonderful graphic describing how the printing press works and where it is ... 75,000 copies an hour it can turn out. Its last run is at 2:15 in the morning and [has] an automatic paper roll that comes when they run out of paper and the ink is recharge and I looked at all that and I thought - ‘Ten years from now, will it be here?' I don't know. Probably ... if you would do a hardcore analysis - probably not. It'll be probably digital 10 years from now."
Catching up with news from the end of last week, NBC and CBS on Friday night jumped to highlight an increase in Army desertions blamed on the Iraq war, but failed to note the rate has simply returned to its 2001 level or that the number of desertions by Marines, a service also heavily committed to Iraq, has fallen. Brian Williams led the NBC Nightly News with how “the number of desertions from the U.S. Army is way up in the six years we've been at war.” Jim Miklaszewski outlined how “over the past year, 4,698 soldiers were declared deserters. That's an alarming increase of 42 percent over the previous year, but a stunning 80 percent jump in desertions compared to the first year of fighting. As they did during the Vietnam War, many deserters flee to Canada to avoid a military court-martial in the U.S.” Unlike Miklaszewski, CBS reporter David Martin added some perspective by pointing out that “the overall number of deserters represents less than one percent of soldiers on active duty. During the last unpopular war, Vietnam, the desertion rate was five percent.”
Both networks linked their stories to Canada's top court rejecting asylum for two U.S. Army deserters. On NBC, a deserter living in Canada asserted: “The whole reason we're here is because this was a bogus war. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There were no links to international terrorism.” CBS featured another deserter who rationalized: “If I had been asked to go to Afghanistan, I would have gone there. But the Iraq War, I didn't want to have any part of that anymore.”
But on that night, one network (ABC) interpreted the data differently from the others about Stockton, Calif., the city with the nation's highest foreclosure statistics. "NBC Nightly News" and "CBS Evening News" reported 1 in 31 homes were in foreclosure and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" reported 1 in 49 homes were in foreclosure.
According to RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga both numbers were "technically" correct, but the ABC report used the number for "unique household" – making its report more accurate.
Former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw appeared on the November 14 edition of Fox News’ "Hannity and Colmes" to discuss his new book "Boom!" Through the course of the interview, Brokaw rehashed the 1960's and its impact today. Brokaw admitted he dressed his daughters up as hippies, marched in some rallies, declined an offer for Nixon’s press secretary, and puffed Hillary Clinton.
Co-host Alan Colmes asked Brokaw if he was "tempted...to be sucked in" to the culture of the 1960's. Brokaw admitted that to a large degree he was.
"Now, as I say in the book was, you know, it was entertaining to be in Southern California, and so on weekends, sure, I'd put on bell bottom trousers and take my little girls dressed in their little hippy outfits, go out to the Renaissance Fair, we had a friend who was a hippy potter, and we’d hang out with him, and then Monday mornings I'd put back on my button down collared shirt, and my suit and tie."
Brokaw also admitted to participating in some demonstrations, but also denied buying into the more extremist rhetoric.
Three weeks after ABC's World News aired the first of three stories then and since about significant declines in violence and improving living conditions in Iraq, NBC Nightly News caught up Wednesday night as anchor Brian Williams acknowledged: “We are all hearing more and more these days about a significant drop in violence and deaths in Iraq, even though 2007 some time ago became the bloodiest year of the war, yet for U.S. forces these new stats show a different trend.”
From Iraq, reporter Tom Aspell illustrated how life has improved:
A few months ago, Ali Hamid could not have sold balloons here on Jadriyah Street. He might have been kidnaped or killed. A few blocks away, Azar Habud might have been shot for giving Western-style haircuts in his barbershop. And nearby, Mohammed Hassan's ice cream shop is still busy, even though it was bombed twice in April, killing nine customers. Back then, explosions were a horrifying part of everyday life. Now, the U.S. military says rocket and mortar attacks in Iraq have dropped sharply in the last few months from 1,000 in June to fewer than 400 in October. And so have civilian deaths.
It might be highly predictable than the media elite would favor a green sheen on Time's Person of the Year debate, but Brian Williams has taken his "Mother Earth" campaign to a whole new level of goo on his Daily Nightly website:
I made my annual pilgrimage to the Time magazine luncheon designed to narrow down the nominees for "_____ of the Year" on the cover of Time. Forgive the blank, but over the years it's been a noun, a pronoun, a proper noun -- it's been a lot of things. My nominee was a woman -- a victim of abuse. A strong, resilient woman who is a constant topic of discussion these days: Mother Earth.
On Sunday's "NBC Nightly News," correspondent Pete Williams previewed details of a new book, The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack, by Ronald Kessler, in which Kessler revealed information obtained by the an FBI agent who extensively interviewed Saddam Hussein and found, among other things, that the former Iraqi leader had deliberately tried to "fool the U.S." into believing he had weapons of mass destruction because "he wanted Iranian leaders to believe that he had nuclear and biological weapons." The FBI agent, named George Piro, also reported that Saddam Hussein "hoped the post-Gulf War sanctions on Iraq would dissolve, allowing him to pursue a nuclear capability." (Transcript follows)
In the past six years, any time someone wrote a tell-all book about George W. Bush or a member of his administration, they were given the royal treatment by the press with lavish interviews offering them the perfect platform to market their work as well as their politically charged opinions.
Consider for example all the attention given to Valerie Plame Wilson just recently when her book "Fair Game" was released, or the focus on George Tenet and his "At the Center of the Storm" exposé back in April.
With this in mind, if a former female White House aide published a new book implicating a former president -- whose wife just so happens to be the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008 -- in rape and other possible crimes, shouldn't she be welcomed with open arms by evening television magazines like "60 Minutes" and morning shows like "Today?"
After all, given Kathleen Willey's shocking statements about her new book "Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton" to WOR radio's Steve Malzberg Thursday, one would think such programs would be all over this like white on rice, assuming of course their goal was journalism and not political activism (audio in two parts available here and here, highlights of the interview follow):
When the Labor Department on Friday announced a strong gain of 166,000 jobs during October, double expectations, ABC and CBS gave it a few seconds while NBC ignored the good news, but on Wednesday night NBC, as well as ABC and CBS, led with a bad day on Wall Street they painted as a harbinger of impending economic doom. NBC anchor Brian Williams piled on the bad news as he insisted he took “no pleasure” in highlighting it. With “DANGER SIGNS” on screen, Williams announced: “Good evening. The following sounds pretty awful -- and we take no pleasure in reporting it -- but today Wall Street fell, the U.S. dollar fell, GM is in bad shape and the housing market continues to be in big trouble.”
CBS displayed “MARKET TURMOIL” on screen as Katie Couric opened with how “investors were carrying a world of worries on their shoulders today” because of “the falling dollar, record high oil prices, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, and a possible economic slowdown. And they responded by dumping stocks. That sent the Dow plummeting more than 300 points for the second time in a week.” Over on ABC, Charles Gibson teased his top story: “Tonight, oil gushes and Wall Street plunges.” Gibson cutely led: “Wall Street today took a nose dive sharp enough to make investors' ears pop.”
Lt. General Raymond Ordierno on Thursday reported significant progress in reduced violence in Iraq, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts only ABC's World News bothered to cover the positive trend as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a full story on how “military officials gave one of the most upbeat assessments of the security situation in Iraq that we have heard since the opening months of the war.” The CBS Evening News* and NBC Nightly skipped the positive trend, but CBS had time for a story on the investigation of the September shooting of civilians by Blackwater and NBC aired a piece on Hillary Clinton “playing the gender card.” The Washington Post and New York Times on Friday also made very different news judgments on the importance of the positive direction as the Post put the news on its front page while the Times hid it in a story, on an inside page, about Iran's role in Iraq.
This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq. On Tuesday, ABC ran a piece about “booming” shopping markets and significantly improving life in Baghdad and eight days earlier World News showcased Fallujah's “extraordinary comeback story.” (Details below)