At the time of my post at this very same hour yesterday, there was a lot we didn't know -- and as far as we knew, control of the Senate was quite possibly in the balance. While we now have more information, the latter technically remains true. I'm happy to report that based on all the available information from official sources and others, Senator Johnson has passed through the darkest hours. As I said on the air last night -- and this bears repeating -- our thoughts and prayers are with this public servant and his family as they face this challenge and enter into this fight. While I just looked up at the TV and saw two people manipulating a plastic brain with a hinged top (to illustrate what happened to Senator Johnson) we're all trying to make clear that all of our coverage, at its root, is about a man in big medical trouble who may emerge from this a very lucky man indeed.
We also have an important health story tonight that represents the best possible news in the field of breast cancer in a long, long time. Robert Bazell will have that for us. There's a big military story, having to do with the guard and reserves and service in Iraq. We'll update the search for the climbers in Oregon (now the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division -- Bob Dole's old outfit -- is flying in to lend their expertise) with Correspondent George Lewis (and the weather there is worsening rapidly)...and we may yet commission a thing or two not on this list. The top of the broadcast -- story order -- is absolutely anyone's guess at this point. We're about to sit down, gather around and prioritize and choose a lead story from among several viable candidates.
FROM THE PODIUM
I note that Tony Snow has publicly apologized to my friend and colleague David Gregory, our Chief White House Correspondent. As I told David earlier this week, it has been tough (just as I imagine its been tough on him) to sit at home and watch various cable types leveling completely unfair accusations at David, a guy I admire and whose work I trust. Perhaps Tony's classy act today will go a long way toward silencing that noise, and prompting others -- and by my count there are several others -- to consider doing the same.
TO THE NEWSROOM AND BEYOND
Now we will make sense of the day's budget of stories. We hope you will join us for our Thursday night broadcast. For those viewers in New York: you'd be well advised to stay off the streets of the City tonight. We're having our annual Nightly News holiday gathering, at an undisclosed location. We'll have an after-action report in this space tomorrow. See you tonight.