If you read this space regularly, then you know that we can't ask Tim Russert about his testimony in the Libby trial until he finishes with his testimony. If that happens this afternoon, we'll have him on live. If they hold him over until tomorrow, we will report it as a news story (and detail the testimony as we would any "key" witness) and we'll interview Tim tomorrow night.
We have a very troubling trend of choppers being shot at in Iraq, and today brings word of the death of seven Americans on board a twin-rotor chopper. Also tonight, Richard Engel reports from his embedded position with a U.S. combat team. The NASA saga continued today -- though the second-guessing going on over psychological vetting is a bit like saying that everyone in Boston who discovered an assembly of batteries, circuitry, electrical tape and lights -- should have instantly known it was a promotion for the Cartoon Network.
Not too much "original content" for the blog today, owing to the day's schedule (I'm hosting a 3-star Army general who is speaking to our editorial staff, and I'm also hosting an employee gathering), and to the exhaustion among members of our travel team following our New Orleans trip and our long night before that with the firefighters, that ended just before dawn Tuesday. One comment on yesterday's post tells of an "incident" right after we got off the air Tuesday night in the Lakeview section of New Orleans. While it's true that I was (mostly politely) confronted by a group of three women who complained about what they saw as the "negative drumbeat" of coverage of New Orleans, my colleagues and I were overwhelmed at the number of people who came out to watch the broadcast -- kind, wonderful people who waited in the cold just to thank us for our commitment to the story, the city and the region. It was actually a great little gathering and a great impromptu scene. One woman brought both of her small children, another woman wanted me to meet her dog named "Bear," the principal of the local elementary school pinned an honorary medal to my jacket, and another man came to offer me a glass of red wine after the broadcast. (I politely declined as I don't drink.) Complete strangers stood behind our lights on a street corner in the dark and waited for a 30-second encounter to express their thanks. Some folks were watching Nightly News and recognized the backdrop and hurried over -- others heard through word of mouth. As for the three women I mentioned: I listened carefully to their concerns and will keep them in mind when we go about the process of deciding the future direction of our coverage. One of the women, whose husband has a prominent role in the city, asked: "How do you expect people to come back to New Orleans if they see all this negative coverage?" It left me speechless, and it still does. We'll be back.
In the meantime, please join us for our Wednesday broadcast.