By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
If you didn't see the story we aired about Sears last night, please take a look. While we don't engage in corporate boosterism, these tough times are tough times for Sears, and yet they continue a tradition that comes with a great cost to them, a tradition of caring for (and then some) their employees in uniform and their families. As I was watching Mike Taibbi's story air, I thought of my own past as a Sears employee in Middletown, New Jersey (a lesson in the power of repetition -- I will never forget my employee number, 14928, which had to be punched into the electronic cash register terminal with each transaction). I got my working papers the day I turned 14, and got my first real paycheck two weeks later...starting in Menswear, and graduating to Hardware. The Sears slogan was "Where America Shops", and it was true at least in my neighborhood. For years, the Sears card was the only credit card my parents had. The company that transformed American retailing with its catalog business...and later changed the Chicago skyline with its (former) corporate headquarters...has chosen to honor its commitment to our men and women in uniform, and that's the story we chose to highlight.
AND ANOTHER THING...
At some point in the next few days, we will air an interview I just conducted with Jack Jacobs, our military analyst. Jack, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, one of fewer than 100 men alive today who can claim such an honor. Jack has written his astounding life story in a new book, "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?", and I agreed to write the foreword. The stories of his combat exploits are gripping and absolutely breathtaking...but the reason to buy the book is the lesson it contains about character, sacrifice, bravery and service. We're lucky to have Jack in our midst.
GOOD GUYS FINISHING FIRST
It's been a time of big promotions around here, from our friend David Gregory being named moderator of Meet the Press to today's announcement that Chuck Todd will become our new Chief White House correspondent. It's a job title I took over from Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory took over from me. We're thrilled for our friend Chuck, who will join Savannah Guthrie and John Yang -- the single best reporting team on the single most important beat in Washington (or anywhere else) these next four years.
In other news: we hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.