By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
Great traffic on the blog -- and as we anticipated, a huge response to Richard Engel's story last night. Who among us -- with all the blessings we enjoy and all that we have -- could watch his story last night and not come away wanting to take those girls out of that awful environment and give them a better life and a loving environment? Absent being able to do that (adoptions from Iraq are "impossible," according to Richard) we can at least help financially, and tonight, on our Nightly News website, Richard answers some of your specific questions about how to help.
A few notes from the postings over the last 24 hours:
To Jeff: On top of all that went on in Memphis on Friday, would you believe I never got one morsel of barbeque? I would not have eaten at all had someone not thrown a McDonald's double cheeseburger on my desk while I was writing for the broadcast late in the afternoon. I will crawl across cut glass for pulled pork, crunchy slaw and cornbread.
To Anna: I think "Williamsgate" is a perfect name for the conspiracy we pulled off.
To Ladytechie01: I love what you said about bias -- and I've always said I'm only happy when my hate mail is divided equally among those who charge liberal bias and those who charge conservative bias. We learned today that our overall audience for Nightly News is larger this year than at this time last year, so we must be doing something right...on those nights when you can hear us!
Calling The Onion: Headline on Huffington Post today: "Troops in Iraq want Obama, Clinton." Well, at least THAT'S decided...
To Frank Embrey: I envy you your reunion and your trip to Patriot's Point. Those of us on the Medal of Honor Foundation board are mighty proud of that new museum -- and especially on this day when another Medal is being awarded to a posthumous recipient, U.S. Navy Seal Michael Monsoor, who we will profile tonight on Nightly News. The President got emotional at today's ceremony, and who can blame him. Patriot's Point is a magnificent place. All I ask of you, Frank, is that you take a moment to pause while you're there and remember: it's a monument to you, too. It exists as a tribute to your service and that of all those who've ever worn the uniform and have kept the home fires burning. We all thank you for your service.
While we're on the topic, allow me to plug a book that is just now coming to market. It's for all those who want to know what the war in Iraq is like -- at the ground level -- from the view of those fighting it. The book is Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon. Michael is a Special Forces veteran (bemused at being called a "blogger") who attaches himself to U.S. Military units as a writer and chronicler of their stories. I met Michael at a military base in Iraq and I've been reading his stuff for years. Some of the stories in this book, like his profile of LTC Erik Kurilla and his reporting on the Brits in Basra, are impossible to put down, and tell incredible, staggering stories of gallantry, heroism and sacrifice. Michael lives like a soldier and talks like one; but he writes like an experienced author, one who has had to pick up a weapon to defend himself in the course of reporting the stories in this book. If you're looking for a policy debate on the merits or the choice to pursue the conflict, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for a portrait of the American warrior, its as vivid and brutal and real as it gets.
Every television set in the newsroom is tuned to MSNBC and the Petraeus testimony. It will be our major story tonight -- we hope you will join us.