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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Williams’

Williams Says Being College Dropout is Huge Regret

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams spoke to GWU graduates on Sunday. He spoke to estimated crowd of 25,000 people on the National Mall.  At the close of his speech he implored the graduates to improve the country. “You don’t actually have to build a rocket and take us into space but please, take us somewhere,” he said. “Please keep us moving, push us, lift us up, make us better.”

Willams never graduated from GWU. He attended community college, transferred to Catholic University and then moved on to GWU. He left to intern for President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Highlights:

  • Mr. Williams told the story of how he first arrived in Washington, D.C. – tagging along with a friend visiting his girlfriend for the weekend — and eventually to GW for a semester but not before first enrolling at Catholic University.
  • “(Catholic) have run out of dorm space and I’m a little late in applying so they find room for me in the administrative building across the street in Trinity College. There are eight of us living on the top floor: eight men and 600 Catholic women. It was fantastic.” Watch here.
  • However, Mr. Williams said with money for tuition dwindling and “the taxi meter was running,” he dropped out entirely and never went back to college.
  • “I walked out of college for the last time,” he said. “I like to say to people I was in a big hurry and I needed to go make a living, and I never looked back. But the truth is, as the last college I attended, I look back every day. And I look in the mirror, and it’s one of my great regrets. Don’t forget that by being here today that you have now achieved something I was not able to achieve.”
  • Mr. Williams acknowledged the heroics of people like Chuck Yeager and John Glenn and how there was no guarantee that their missions in the early days of the space program would be successful yet they did it anyway.
  • “When our American astronauts needed a ride up to the International Space Station, we have to ask the Russians. We don’t have a way to get them up there ourselves. It’s a last insult to Chuck Yeager. He’s still around and with us and he can see this. And it’s an insult to John Glenn who’s still with us and living in the Washington area and he can see this. It breaks their hearts and mine.”
  • Mr. Williams asked the U.S. veterans graduating to stand up for a round of applause for their service.
  • “Our civilian life and our military life are going down two separate paths. Picture it as two train tracks that don’t intersect because of the small percentage of people we call upon to fight our wars, because we don’t have a draft. You can walk door to door in this country and have to go to 250 homes before you come to a home of a military family.”

NBC’s Williams to Give GW Commencement Speech

“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams will deliver George Washington University’s commencement address on May 20.

The event will take place on the National Mall.

RSVP: Media who wish to attend Commencement should RSVP by Thursday, May 17, 2012.  To RSVP, contact Latarsha Gatlin at 202-994-5631 or lgatlin@gwu.edu.

Twits on Twitter

We all know those journos who will go on and on about the importance of Twitter in today’s reporting. A new report from the Pew Research Center suggests that the value of Twitter may be slightly overblown. TWTs Jennifer Harper writes that the annual “State of the Media Report” reports the following:

“Facebook and Twitter are now pathways to news, but their role may not be as large as some have suggested. The population that uses these networks for news at all is still relatively small, especially the part that does so very often.”

In other words, using Twitter and Facebook to report isn’t a brilliant idea, but rather useful tools to help promote your already brilliant ideas. Here’s some raw data.

  • Among those who access Twitter through their computer, 85 percent say that they “never” follow through to click and read stories that are shared.
  • Among those who access Facebook through their computers, 53 percent say they “never follow up” on shared stories.

With the constant drumbeat of editors emphasizing the importance of social media, it’s a refreshing change of pace to remind journos that there is a large swath of the country that doesn’t know what the hell a Twitter is. The study reminds us that good, honest writing and reporting should be the focus of your work, not trying to make it go “viral.”

We can’t paint a clearer picture of this than looking at NBC’s Brian Williams. He’s the number one newsman in the country. He has close to a million followers on Twitter….. And he hasn’t sent out a single tweet.

Now excuse me while I tweet this. I bet this gets decent pickup.

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of What we Think you Ought to Know…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newt’s campaign still upset about tame audience– Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich complained Tuesday about NBC’s Brian Williams requesting that the audience remain silent during Monday’s debate. After experiencing a relatively docile audience during Thursday’s debate, the Gingrich camp is now getting conspiratorial. Kevin Kellems, a senior adviser to Gingrich, accused rival Mitt Romney‘s campaign of manipulating the makeup of the audience. “They definitely packed the room [with Romney supporters],” Kellems told HuffPost. Goddammit. Where are those moon colonists when you need them?

In jealous rage, The Atlantic calls Weigel a “raging jerk”– As bitchy as journalists can be, the ones on the Republican primary campaign trail have a lot to be happy about. They’re in Florida where the temperature is hanging around a balmy 70 degrees. But that doesn’t mean The Atlantic, founded in frigid Washington, has to be happy for them. On Thursday the magazine called out the braggy tweets from journos in Florida. They called Slate‘s Dave Weigel a “raging jerk” for sending out a tweet last week in which he said, “High on the pleasantness scale: That moment the Florida sun retreats behind a cloud.” And WaPo‘s Philip Rucker is “cruel” for tweeting about the “sunset in Ormond Beach.”

Two Speakers sit down for “This Week”– Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will appear on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday to discuss his campaign and the Florida primary with ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper. Then it’s out with the old and in with the orange. Speaker John Boehner will be on after Gingrich to comment on the details of President Obama‘s State of the Union speech. Other guests: conservative columnist George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, and conservative talk radio show host Laura Ingraham.

Editorial writer recalls “most embarrassing correction” of his career– After The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Lewis found glaring errors in a Thursday morning article about Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio published by Reuters, Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner offered up a quasi-defense of the wire service. In a blog post, he recalled his own time at Reuters and a mistake he once made that resulted in a dirty mudslide of corrections:

“[B]ecause it was the most important news of the day and it was rattling many markets, other Reuters reporters simply grabbed my wording to put into our stock report, bond stories, foreign exchange dispatches, and so on. So after I corrected the story, it triggered what my co-workers teased was a ‘global correction tsunami,’ as reporters throughout the world had to issue corrections because of my bungle. It was one of the moments in my career where I could have starred in a Southwest ‘Wanna get away?’ commercial.”

Klein went on to lambast Reuters for their errors Thursday, saying that it was different from his own experience because “this isn’t the type of breaking news financial news story that needs to be pumped out in minutes. It’s a longer feature that the writer and editor had more time to work on. There’s no excuse for being this sloppy.”

Rotten Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Very Gross Things we Think you Ought to Know…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Edition of Fish Food takes a look at some of the grosser parts of the news. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Bloody Mitt RomneyYahoo‘s Dylan Stableford reports on what might have been if Bloomberg Business Week had gone through with their original idea for the Jan. 13 issue. The magazine actually went through the process of creating the cover on the right, featuring a bloody Mitt Romney, but decided to run a cover with Microsoft’s Steve Balmer instead. Bloomberg Editor Josh Tyrangiel says the decision was based on their perception that “the Romney story seemed to have already hit its peak.”

Barbara Bathroom Habits – Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens” welcomed on Sherri Shepherd, co-host of the view this past weekend. Host Andy Cohen puts Shepherd through her paces and asks her a series of uncomfortable questions. When asked to say something embarrassing about ABC’s Barbara Walters, we braced ourselves. Considering Walters’ past, this could have gotten ugly. Walters has already admitted that she had an affair with Sen. Edward Brooke back in the 70′s. Fortunately, we were spared from any mental images of Walters doing the nasty, but what we did hear wasn’t much better. Shepherd says that Walters “never goes to the bathroom.” Here’s the video if you want to watch it, weirdo.

Shep Smith Just Ruined Lunch - POTUS welcomed various TV anchors to dine with him before his State of the Union Address on Tuesday. It’s a long-observed tradition in which the sitting President invites the pretty faces to join him for lunch. This year, the invite list included CBS’s Scott Pelley, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, NBC’s Brian Williams, and several others. HuffPost reports that one member of the media who was present was FNC’s Shep Smith. Smith confirmed this to his audience on Tuesday afternoon by bringing us the menu and how great it was. We honestly couldn’t tell you what was served, though. We were too busy trying not to get sick watching Shep’s sickly hacking cough and gaunt cheekbones as he described the menu. If you think you can stomach it, check out the video of a skeleton wearing a poorly made Shep Smith mask Shep describing the cuisine.

 

 

Newt Vows More Warfare Against the Media

At last week’s CNN Debate in South Carolina, when John King asked Newt Gingrich about recent allegations from his first wife saying that he wanted an “open marriage”, Gingrich gave a legendary answer blistering the newsman.

The crowd roared for Gingrich.

It wasn’t the first time. Newt has made a habit out of squeezing in a pointed jab at the “mainstream” and “elite” media in each debate, and each time, his applause gets louder. So imagine Gingrich’s frustration when NBC’s Brian Williams requested that the audience refrain from any cheering and clapping. The result? It was one of Newt’s weaker debates.

But today, Gingrich is fighting back. He told Fox and Friends this morning that he wishes he had protested NBC’s rules about applause and that the reason the audience was told to stay quiet is that the “media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media.” Gingrich says putting debate organizers on notice that he won’t participate in any future debates unless the audience is welcomed back into the mix, saying, “Media doesn’t control free speech. View the video below.

 

There’s another CNN Debate Thursday night, so we will see if anyone tries to muzzle the audience and how Newt reacts if it happens.

In other Newt News… the visual comparisons of Newt to Schrute (Dwight, from NBC’s “The Office”) have been making the viral rounds. Rainn Wilson, who plays Schrute, acknowledged the similarities via Twitter, according to Chris Moody of Yahoo. Wilson has changed his Twitter avatar to the picture on the right.

BriWi Makes a Boo-Boo

NBC anchor Brian Williams has gained a reputation for being a smart, hip, funny kind of broadcaster. His frequent appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and other comedy shows have raised his visibility as a different brand of newsman. So, when Gawker recently published a personal email between him and website founder Nick Denton criticizing both Gawker as a website AND a recent performer on NBC’s own SNL, we took notice.

From: “Williams, BD (NBCUniversal)”
Date: January 15, 2012 15:56:25 EST
To:

ND:

I hope you’re well. Happy New Year. A big congratulations to the new freelance weekend guy, Taylor Bernam. He’s done some good posts right out of the box. I do wish the main page featured more TV coverage (Brooklyn hippster [sic] Lana Del Rey had one of the worst outings in SNL history last night — booked on the strength of her TWO SONG web EP, the least-experienced musical guest in the show’s history, for starters). In my humble opinion as a loyal customer (you know I love you but the Blog View button will be the eventual cause of my death) and while I know you’re in the midst of an editor change, weekends have been allowed to go awfully fallow — and it was a fallow holiday period for those of us who check your shit 10 times a day by iphone. I know you’ve been watching NBC Nightly News religiously each evening and I’ll no doubt be getting a withering, detailed critique from you straight away.

BW

As you can imagine, NBC had a hissy fit and emailed Gawker asking that they take the post down. Naturally, Gawker published that email, too.

From: M., Erika (NBCUniversal)
To: Gawker
Sent: Mon Jan 16 12:26:59 2012
Subject: Brian Williams

Can you please have the post of Brian Williams’ email to Nick Denton taken down immediately? That was sent in confidence as friends and absolutely never intended to be public. A speedy removal would go a long way in maintaining the trust and respect we have for your site.

My guess is that having your respected newsman use potty language and badmouth his own network didn’t go over very well. NBC confirms that Williams never intended the email to be public, he was just emailing his buddy,  Denton. Which, by the way, Gawker doesn’t deny. They freely admit they published the personal email from Williams and that he and Denton email “like a couple of gossiping secretaries.” Did Gawker betray the trust of Williams? Bottom line: Williams should know better. There is no eight-second delay in the world of email. If you screw up and get in trouble, you can’t fix it in post. And does he really think that a publisher with the rep of Denton would ACTUALLY have his back?

We have reached out to NBC for a comment on the situation.

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things we Think you Ought to Know…)

Ben Smith Goes Viral – We are still scratching our heads trying to figure out the Ben Smith move from Politico to BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed, best known for it’s collection of viral content recently named Smith as Editor-in-Chief. The readers of Buzzfeed are known for launching internet memes and immediately latched onto the possibility that someone as straight-laced as Smith would be joining their world of corgis on surfboards and planking. Thus, Buzzfeed Ben was born. View more of their creations here

We’re All for Good Causes And All – But, this seems a little crazy. This Thursday is “Free to Tweet” Day across the twitterverse. It’s a celebration of the Bill of Rights Day where you can express your appreciation for the First Amendment. Students between the ages of 14 and 22 can use the hashtag #freetotweet to be entered into a contest to receive one of 22 $5,000 dollar scholarships. The contest goes on for 24 hours, and students are encouraged to participate as often as they can in that time frame to share their love of Freedom of Expression. That sounds like a worthwhile venture. Don’t study. Just tweet for 24 hours. I am almost positive the Founding Fathers had something else in mind for the First Amendment.

Chelsea Clinton Makes Her NBC Debut – On last night’s “Rock Center” on NBC, Chelsea Clinton made her debut as part of the network series called “Making a Difference.” Her first report was filed from her home state of Arkansas and profiled a woman trying to help children living in poverty. After the report, she joined Brian Williams in studio. When asked why she decided to shed her private lifestyle to enter the world of TV reporting, she said her recently deceased Grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, told her that “being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity.” Didn’t Uncle Ben tell that to Spider-Man? “With great power comes great responsibility?” View her debut in the video below.

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Fallon ‘Embarrassed’ by Bachmann Debacle

The Jimmy Fallon-Brian Williams bromance continued on NBC’s Rock Center last night as Fallon sat down with the newsman for a primetime interview.  The conversation almost immediately turned to the recent controversy surrounding the Roots, Late Night’s house band, playing an offensive song when GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann appeared on the show last month.  The song,  “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” by Fishbone, prompted  an outcry from the Bachmann campaign and an apology from Fallon, NBC, and band leader ?uestlove.  (Not a typo, it’s pronounced Questlove).  Fallon was uncharacteristically somber about the issue and admitted that he was “embarrassed by that.  I wanted it to go away.”  He also tweeted that he hopes Bachmann will come back to the show soon.  So, IF she ever comes back, what song should they play?  Perhaps “Lyin’ Ass Bitch is too much.  What about a nod to the infamous Newsweek cover and play “Hungry Eyes?”  Or “Stupid Girl” by Garbage? Or maybe a reference to her creationist beliefs by playing something by “Dinosaur Jr?  Maybe something by The Queers?  The video of Fallon’s appearance is below.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Bedard Falls Prey to Sexy Fox News

U.S. News & Word Report‘s Washington Whispers columnist Paul Bedard just can’t help himself when it comes to Fox News. He must have them. In a recent post he showered 1000 kisses on Bill O’Reilly as he weighed his program against Brian Williams‘s brand new “Rock Center.” Gee what a surprise that Bedard ridicules Williams after a week and a half of the program’s debut and uses that as a chance to inflate O’Reilly and Fox News. And who cares that they aren’t even competing in the same time slot?

An excerpt: “It’s bad enough that Brian Williams’ new NBC show Rock Center didn’t do better in it’s second airing Monday than the dismal show it replaced—Playboy Club—but now a potential killer Nielsen stat has emerged: Fox’s prime time hit The O’Reilly Factor had virtually the same number of viewers. Granted, the shows were not head to head, but the fact that O’Reilly’s numbers virtually equalled Williams may be proof that cable has finally reached viewer parity with network TV.”

It’s an obvious network pitch. Per usual, Bedard took the bait.

See the smoochfest here.

 

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