By Lester Holt, NBC News Anchor
The ping-pong-like exercise of "he said, she said" in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination lands in Barack Obama's court today over remarks he made about "frustrated" and "bitter" blue collar Americans. Both Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain have pounced on the remarks as "elitist." Obama is playing both defense and offense, acknowledging his choice of words was poor, while defending the point he tried to make. The story has gotten play all day on the cable news channels and political blogs. We will let you hear the remarks for yourself on our newscast tonight, and NBC's Lee Cowan will show us how each candidate is spinning them.
Not far from the shores of America is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Most people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day, making the soaring price of food much more than an inconvenience. This week there have been deadly protests and looting as Haitians demand relief. NBC Nightly News digital correspondent Mara Schiavocampo is in Haiti to offer a first hand account of the crisis. Mara has also posted a blog entry about what she has seen and experienced on the ground.
Some shocking video that has been making the rounds on the Internet, of teenagers beating up a fellow teen over some online insults has landed the 8 accused perpetrators in a new piece of video. It's courtroom video of them in jail uniforms facing a judge and adult felony charges. The case has opened up the discussion about the growing culture of meanness and violence associated with young people and social networking sites. Ron Mott is working that story for us tonight.
Finally, last Sunday we promised you a story about two U.S. Marines whose inspiring story offers a new twist to the brotherhood of war. Because our program did not run in its entirety in all parts of the country, we chose to hold the piece. Tonight, from Chicago, Michelle Kosinksi will tell us about these two remarkable young men, their families, and a gift from the heart. I hope you can join us.