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RISING TEMPERATURES

The debate over global warming is heating up. One of the direct consequences of the election is named Chairman Henry Waxman. His committee plans aggressive hearings, and we saw that today. The crux of the questioning: Did the Administration try to squelch, dilute or alter evidence from government agencies pertaining to climate change? I watched much of the testimony and questioning today, and Andrea Mitchell will have the story for us tonight. We'll check in on the Libby trial, and we'll also look at testimony today on the war in Iraq and the latest from Iran. We have promoted a special look tonight at commercial air pilots forced to retire at 60, and Lester Holt has a great feature to take us off the air tonight -- direct from the U.K.


IN OTHER NEWS
There are several stories NOT receiving a whole lot of coverage these days, and we're working to change that: the President's efforts to stimulate the economy (there was an event today on that topic), the Putin situation in Russia, the fighting in Gaza (very dangerous and difficult to cover -- see Martin Fletcher's World Blog post), the Chavez regime in Venezuela, the environment and on and on. Sometimes prepared pieces get bumped for day-of-air news -- and at other times, it takes some doing. It's almost overwhelming when you look at it all from the vantage point of our editorial meetings. We have SO much territory, characters, conflict and trends to cover in the time we're allotted each night. Thankfully we at least have this very venue for all of us to share the moving parts that often don't make air. Every day is about balancing and slicing, much like a newspaper front page. Priorities have to be set and choices have to be made. Considering that we could easily fill tonight's broadcast with JUST what we learned in congressional hearings today, there aren't always any "right" or "wrong" choices in a very subjective business, but we take the responsibility of coverage and story selection very seriously. We work hard at it. I spent the morning going over story suggestions in viewer e-mails, and there are a staggering number of good ideas. The trick will be to find the time and set priorities.

And in still other news: While we can't change the fact that some of our own people have been mentioned in (and are essential to) the Libby case, we're currently going over how to cover, for example, Tim Russert's day on the stand. We are trying to avoid having a correspondent who reports TO Tim... have to report ON Tim. As you know, Tim's been unable to discuss the case with us on the air, in order to avoid influencing the outcome. There are several ways to remedy any coverage problems, and our aim is to cover it straight as we've tried to do throughout the trial thus far. We'll keep you posted on what we decide, and you'll of course see the coverage when it airs.

For now, we hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.