Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor
If you want a sharp contrast between news stories currently being covered by media in this country, look no further than this: the President is about to announce that 30,000 or so volunteer members of the Armed Forces will be leaving for Afghanistan—a tough military campaign in an unforgiving place. Thirty-thousand mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. Thirty-thousand families preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best. Many of them spent this past Thanksgiving break getting their affairs and paperwork in order prior to deployment. Most will ship out without complaint and serve their country with selflessness and great distinction. At the same time, a couple of fameballs (as my favorite website would call them) fight for legitimacy after showing up without an official invitation to a State Dinner. As Jonathan Capehart points out in today's Washington Post, where State Dinner invitations are concerned: you know it when you see it.
I'm spending the afternoon doing interviews with some of our affiliate stations. Outside my window, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a towering beauty, prepares to spend its last dark night...without colored lights...of the holiday season. Tomorrow evening the whole world descends on our building for the big moment.
We hope you can join us for our broadcast tonight, and for our special coverage of the President's speech from West Point, at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific.