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Cameras Continue to Roll as Situation in Cairo Deteriorates Rapidly

As a cameraman trained his lens from a Cairo high-rise, NBC News anchor Brian Williams and chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel gave a play-by-play of what was happening below. The scene, adjacent to the frontlines of a battle between protesters and pro-Mubarak forces outside the Egyptian Museum, showed a pickup truck with its driver having been pulled out of the front seat, kicked, beaten, then put in the bed of the pickup.

It’s 4:55 in the morning in Cairo, and Williams and Engel are describing just another incident in the increasingly deteriorating situation in the Egyptian capital.

Williams and Engel began this evening’s coverage during “The Rachel Maddow Show” and continued into “The Ed Show” at 10pmET. When Ed Schultz asked Williams about their safety, Williams said no one was interested in the American TV crew looking on, “We’re absolutely almost, perversely safe looking over this gunfire,” he said.

Anderson Cooper, one of several TV correspondents roughed up by protesters today, anchored his show crouched low, with just a few lights, along with CNNI anchor Hala Gorani and correspondent Ben Wedeman as Ivan Watson phoned in from nearby Tahrir Square. “This is not exactly how we planned to bring you tonight’s program,” said Cooper. “But the situation changes here minute by minute in Cairo. We’ve been advised to turn down our lights, get down on the floor and try to barricade ourselves in the area we’re in. So that’s why we’re doing this program like this tonight. It’s not going to look very good over the next hour, but bear with us.”

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