A few random notes today: First, we were horrified to learn during our afternoon meeting that editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette has died. Doug was just 57, a Pulitzer winner and a veteran of many newspaper editorial pages. I didn't know him well, but was a huge admirer. Click to visit Marlette's site
I first met Doug during a workshop he held for children -- my daughter was among those he instructed that day in the art of cartooning. In later years, I found myself in the unlikely role of one of his subjects from time to time. His depictions of me were always kind and always funny, and not all of Doug's victims could say that. In each case, he mailed me the original, signed and inscribed with kind remarks, and in each case, he took the time to write a note. He was smart, talented, controversial and every bit as much a journalist as any of us in any branch of the profession. We have lost a treasure of the printed image.
I spoke today with a seasoned professional in the area of diplomacy and foreign affairs -- a veteran public servant who is today in the private sector. His assesment of the world was rather dim -- chiefly, the one area he says keeps him up at night: Pakistan. To that end, we have some good reporting tonight by Andrea Mitchell on that subject.
Of special note on the broadcast tonight: Keith Olbermann's essay on Barry Bonds, and a special piece of reporting by Richard Engel (see his posting this page), which while tough to watch is important and deserves an airing. On the subject of Iraq, Senator McCain made news today with a speech on the Senate floor, while the Administration is suffering defections on that front.
We also hope you'll take a look at today's blog entry on Medal of Honor recipient Wesley L. Fox.
TODAY IN HISTORY
Six months ago today, President Bush announced the so-called "troop surge" in Iraq.
45 years ago today: Telstar was launched, and the satellite communications era was underway. Today, there are more than 800 active satellites orbiting the Earth (a friend of mine spotted one crossing the nighttime sky this
past weekend in Maine and alerted our attention to it -- it's still a rare treat to see). Telstar is still up there, but inert and inactive. Anybody remember the song of the same name from the sixties?
Finally, our friend David Brinkley would have turned 87 today. David's image in our soon-to-be-redesigned Nightly News animated opening segment reminds us of the shoulders we stand on each night on the broadcast.
We hope you can join us for tonight's Nightly News.
Former NBC Anchor David Brinkley