NBC’s Brian Williams is in the Windy City today, anchoring Friday’s Nightly News from along the Chicago River on a balmy October night. Williams, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, came to town to host a Pritzker Military Library fundraiser honoring Medal of Honor recipient and NBC/MSNBC military analyst Col. Jack Jacobs.
TVNewser caught up with Williams as he departed Chicago’s NBC Tower on his way to the event.
TVNewser: The NBC Nightly News seems to devote special attention to those who serve in the military and to military veterans, and you are personally involved in honoring those who’ve served. Did this start with Tom Brokaw and “The Greatest Generation” – are you carrying the torch, so to say, or is this a particular interest of yours?
Brian Williams: No, I think this is an interest of mine. I’m the son of a World War Two captain. I didn’t serve myself – my own cause is that, you gotta remember, every time I go to Iraq and Afghanistan, the reason I come home alive and in one piece, is that when we get there we get handed over to the U.S. Armed Forces. And they keep us safe…
I cherish the time I’ve been with them overseas…People say this, but I mean it, it’s a privilege to be around them. To eat what they eat. For short bursts, to live how they live – though unarmed among them. They’re the reason I’m alive today.
TVNewser: It’s been an interesting month for the TV business, with Rick Sanchez let go by CNN, and now FNC’s Juan Williams fired by NPR. What do you think of all this, and what do you think of the media coverage of these controversial developments?