Here are two breaking news stories that Brian Williams reported on the Nov. 5, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News:
Story #1: "The first newly-restored victim of that awful sinkhole in the Corvette museum is all fixed up and now on public display. It's an '09 ZR1--a rocket ship they call the Blue Devil. It was the least damaged of all the cars and required six weeks of work to replace the damaged parts."
(I should point out that it is insensitive and inappropriate, to say the least, for Brian Williams to refer to a Corvette as a "rocket ship" a mere five days after a Virgin Galactic test pilot died in the crash of an actual rocket ship.)
Story #2: "A giant has been sacrificed in Pennsylvania so that it may entertain millions here in New York. A couple in Bloomsburg, PA [sic] donated the 85-foot Norway Spruce and after a three-hour drive, they'll set it up in our backyard here at 30 Rock and they will light it up on December 3."
It should be noted that on this night, Brian Williams did not report any news from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Ukraine, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea. In fact, he did not report any news at all from South America, Europe, Eastern (or Southeastern) Asia or Africa. He did, however, introduce a brief 84-second story about violent clashes in Israel. This is notable because it is the first foreign news story that had been reported on NBC Nightly News in eight days. Meanwhile, here are some of the other important news stories that Brian and Lester Holt reported in that time:
➜Crash test dummies are being made larger to represent the increasing girth of the American public. (24 secs)
➜LeBron James played his first game of the season in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (14 secs)
➜A Washington University study revealed that scratching an itch can cause a person to want to scratch it even more. (18 secs)
➜John Spinello, who created the board game "Operation", is himself in need of an operation. Some of his friends who are toy executives and inventors have contributed money to help him pay for the surgery. (2:16)
➜As part of their annual Halloween show, the hosts of The Today Show dressed up as Saturday Night Live characters. (38 secs)
➜Millions of Americans are buying Halloween costumes for their dogs, including correspondent Janet Shamlian, who dressed her yellow lab Bella as a bumblebee. (1:50)
➜Babe Ruth's first Yankee contract is going up for auction. (27 secs)
➜NBC sponsor Walmart is implementing major price rollbacks for the holiday season. (1:52)
➜In Alexandria, VA, there is an exercise gym for dogs. (2:10)
➜We saw a preview of Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk between two Chicago buildings. (NBC News's Peacock Productions is producing the Wallenda special for The Discovery Channel.) (3:10)
➜This was followed, a day later, by a recap of Wallenda's tightrope walk. (16 secs)
➜Tom Cruise did a daring stunt (clinging to the exterior of a flying plane) for "Mission Impossible 5". (24 secs)
➜Two NASCAR drivers got into a brawl following a race at Texas Motor Speedway. (29 secs)
➜A girl with terminal brain cancer played in a college basketball game and scored several baskets. (2:13)
➜A baby hippo was born in the L.A. Zoo. (31 secs)
➜A Minnesota car dealership gave a job to a 17-year-old mentally challenged young man who loves cars. (2:12)
Altogether, these stories took up 19:24 of news time, which is the length of an entire NBC Nightly News broadcast (when commercials and promotional material are filtered out). So Nightly News may have gone eight days without reporting any foreign news stories, but at least we got to see dogs working out in a gym and Kathie Lee & Hoda dressed as Wayne & Garth.