'American Success Story Times Three': NBC Gushes Over Rahm Emanuel and Brothers

Previewing a fawning Brian Williams interview with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his brothers, Ari and Zeke, set to air on Friday's NBC Rock Center, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed the siblings to be "an American success story times three." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the clip that followed, Williams enthused: "The Emanuel brothers, three super achievers, raised under the same roof. The big city mayor, the Hollywood super agent, and the medical bioethicist. And if you're going to sit down with all three brothers at once, be ready, bring your best game, because it's not for the faint of heart."

Williams even touted the thuggish Emanuel family style: "And there is much more in our conversation with these three brothers...including all the things you might want to think about before you go up against the Emanuel brothers." Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel blustered: "Somebody crosses us or somebody crosses a friend, they know we're going to be in the trench, if it's appropriate. And I promise you that we're going to be on their side and it's going to be a battle..."

This is not the first puff piece Rahm Emanuel has gotten on Rock Center, back in November of 2011, correspondent Harry Smith wondered if the liberal mayor would some day be the "first Jewish president." [Watch the full interview]


Here is a full transcript of the March 22 Today report:

8:39AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Back now at 8:39 with an American success story times three. Brian Williams recently sat down for a rare and exclusive joint interview with the Emanuel brothers, Rahm, Zeke, and Ari. And oh brother, did he get an earful.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Tonight on Rock Center; Brian With the Brothers Emanuel; How They Found Success From Hollywood to the White House]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: The Emanuel brothers, three super achievers, raised under the same roof. The big city mayor, the Hollywood super agent, and the medical bioethicist. And if you're going to sit down with all three brothers at once, be ready, bring your best game, because it's not for the faint of heart.

[EMANUEL BROTHERS LAUGHING]

RAHM EMANUEL: I'm not doing this, I have my view.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no, no, stay, stay. Mr. Mayor, stay.

ARI EMANUEL: It was the first time since Zeke and I bonded and we beat the hell out of Rahm.

ZEKE EMANUEL: I'm sitting between you guys, you want me to calm down? What, do you think I'm crazy?

WILLIAMS: We're at a bar in New York because the doctor, the oldest brother, has written a book. It's really an agent, a doctor, and a mayor walk into a bar. It's really a bad joke what I'm living here. Doctor, why did you write this book?

ZEKE EMANUEL: Two reasons. The first reason is I began assembling stories for my daughters, I wanted to – getting to the age where I wanted to pass on family lore and get it right. And the second is we all begin getting questions of, "What did mom put in the cereal? How come you have three successful brothers in three different areas and how did that happen? And how can I raise my kids that way?"

RAHM EMANUEL: And after this interview somebody will say, "How do I not raise my kids that way?"

ZEKE EMANUEL: Well, I didn't – this is not a manual for how to raise your kids. In point of fact, I think it should say, "Don't try this at home."

WILLIAMS: So this is only the Emanuel manual.

ZEKE EMANUEL: Yes, absolutely.

WILLIAMS: And it shouldn't be considered a manual for anybody.

ZEKE EMANUEL: It would be dangerous for anyone else.

WILLIAMS: Don't try this at home.

ZEKE EMANUEL: Exactly.

WILLIAMS: And there is much more in our conversation with these three brothers, Zeke, the doctor, Rahm, the mayor, Ari, the Hollywood super agent, including all the things you might want to think about before you go up against the Emanuel brothers.

ARI EMANUEL: Somebody crosses us or somebody crosses a friend, they know we're going to be in the trench, if it's appropriate. And I promise you that we're going to be on their side and it's going to be a battle, and I think that is also loyalty. So there's how we treat people, but it's also, if somebody screws with one of us, or a friend, or a company, that we will be there to defend it, and that's also how we grew up.

GUTHRIE: By the way, Zeke's new book is called, appropriately enough, Brothers Emanuel. And you can see more of that interview tonight on Rock Center with Brian Williams at 10/9 Central Time right here on NBC.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC