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Brian Williams Explains Why NBC Will Air The President’s Address Tonight

Brian Williams blogs about NBC’s late decision to broadcast President Bush’s speech tonight:

 williamsjune28.jpg“Our senior executives spent the better part of this day discussing the coverage of tonight’s speech by President Bush, and much of the debate had to do with the intersection (some would say collision) of semantics and politics. In the standing Washington tradition of the pre-September 11th era, the White House would call the bureau chiefs of the television networks and request evening television air time on the occasion of a major speech by the president. That’s what happened in this case, only tonight’s event is made more complicated by the venue: Instead of the traditional backdrop of the Oval Office, the president is delivering what some are calling an “address to the nation” from Fort Bragg, N.C., while surrounded by 500 U.S. Army soldiers. While some members of the loyal opposition have said the backdrop will render this event a de facto rally in support of the president, several of our NBC television stations let us know they were anxious to provide live coverage of the president’s speech, and the network will do so, from 8-9:00 p.m. EDT, with coverage afterward continuing on MSNBC.”

As Jeff Jarvis said last week, NBC is “beating CBS News to the transparent blogging punch…”

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