NBC should change the name of their evening newscast. Instead of calling it "Nightly News With Brian Williams", they should call it "Nightly News About Brian Williams". Because let's face it--that's really what it is. Every night, through his extensive use of personal pronouns--I, me, my, mine, our, us, we, etc.--Brian transforms news stories into stories about himself. His favorite phrases--"For those of us", "All of us who" and "If you're like me"--are carefully chosen to allow him to change the subject to something he really loves--himself. On Tuesday, while reporting on the 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia, Brian made sure to tell all his rapt viewers exactly where HE was when the quake struck ("I can report that the beach does move in an earthquake. I was on my second attempt at a summer vacation at my native Jersey shore..."). Not that anyone asked. In fact, Tuesday's Nightly News reported on the whereabouts of only two people during the earthquake: President Obama and Brian Williams. That makes sense. Because in Brian's mind, they are the two most important people in the country. One is the Commander in Chief and is responsible for the safety and welfare of 300 million Americans. The other is the News Anchor in Chief and is responsible for informing the American people about all the important news stories going on across the country and around the world. Stories like these: Bert & Ernie are not gay; the death of Johnny Cash's bass player; Foster the People and their hit song of the summer "Pumped Up Kicks"; and Mishka the talking dog. Brian brings us all the latest breaking news about Will & Kate, Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho and Mary Thornberry. His broadcast reports important stories like the appropriateness of wearing flip-flops to work, the difficulty of dancing in high heels or a profile of New York's singing construction worker. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's Nightly News. Reporting on relevant and meaningful events. All I can say is: God bless Brian Williams, America's News Anchor in Chief.
While talking to WNBC meteorologist Janice Huff about Hurricane Irene on Tuesday, Brian made sure to tell us that, "I got family on the Jersey coast..." Clearly, Brian's primary concern is reporting on how the hurricane will affect him and his family (and see how easily he slips into the common vernacular of "got" instead of "have"?). But on Friday, he really stepped up his game. He anchored the entire broadcast from the Jersey Shore, because Brian's world revolves around the Jersey Shore. Let me make sure I understand this. A category 1 or 2 hurricane is about to strike New York--a city of more than 8 million people, and Brian is anchoring Nightly News from the dunes of Sand-And-Surf, N.J. That's great. Apparently, Brian exercised his work-from-home option on Friday. I guess when you're America's News Anchor in Chief, you have that prerogative. And in case anyone is wondering why Brian was still at the Jersey Shore after Gov. Chris Christie issued an evacuation order, Brian has special dispensation to stay because he's a FGFJ ("Famous Guy From Jersey"). And besides, Brian's Jersey Shore compound has miles of underground tunnels and apartments that are sealed and weatherproof, so he's safe from the hurricane. His compound is so elaborate that it makes Khaddafy's compound look like Saddam Hussein's snake hole.
Of course, Brian's "Live From the Jersey Shore" broadcast was not without its hilarious moments. For one thing, Brian told us that, "This is nationally famous Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.--thousands of people come here on vacation every year..." Funny thing--I've lived in New York all my life and I've never heard of "nationally famous" Point Pleasant Beach. I guess I'm just ignorant and uninformed. Also, Brian was resplendent in his Banana Republic shirt and cargo pants. It must be casual Friday at NBC News. How ironic. Back on June 3, Brian derisively mocked Mitt Romney for outfitting himself in what Brian described as "new jeans and a fleet of I'm-just-a-regular-guy shirts." Yet here's Brian wearing the exact same outfit that he ridiculed Romney for wearing. Maybe Brian has the same image handlers as Romney. Or maybe he's just a hypocrite. It was also pretty funny to hear Brian begin his interview with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate by bragging that he (Brian) had "ridden out Katrina inside the Superdome". First of all, I find that highly doubtful. Although Brian carefully cultivates his image as a "regular guy" (albeit one with an 8-figure salary), he doesn't mingle with the hoi polloi. He was probably staying in a comfortable hotel room outside the flooded area, or perhaps in a nice motor home. But aside from that, it was just another opportunity for Brian to turn the news into the news about himself. I can't wait until Monday's broadcast when Brian tells us all the details about how he rode out Irene in his Jersey Shore compound. That's Monday on "Nightly News About Brian Williams".