About this controversial leak of the intelligence report: the President today said he is having it "declassified" -- even as he himself said, in effect: this is no way to conduct the nation's business. As you can imagine, the Democrats have a few things to say on this matter. We'll hear from some of them tonight... notably, the Junior Senator from New York. Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke to reporters today about her husband and the nation's security. We'll hear from David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell.
Wall Street is making news... a big day on the Dow (six-year high) and NASDAQ, with a number of companies posting 12-month highs. The S&P had a big run today. The market is suddenly up like a rocket. How high? 24 of the 30 stocks in the Dow are up, many of them big-ticket stocks. Our friend Maria Bartiromo will be along to give us the big picture.
If you vacationed anywhere in New England this summer, or if you have attended a Red Sox game at Fenway, there's a good chance you have seen the Hood blimp. There's an even better chance that you have NOT seen it parked in the trees. It went down today, and we'll have the pictures tonight.
Golfing great Byron Nelson has died at the age of 94. We will note his passing tonight.
Also tonight, Lisa Myers has our Fleecing of America segment, and Bob Faw has the story of an American veteran that is simply not to be missed.
A PARALLEL UNIVERSE AND A GOLD STATUE
We were fortunate last night to be awarded an Emmy for our coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. At the very same moment I was at the podium accepting for my colleagues, the New Orleans Saints were scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt 90 seconds into their home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. While we were forced to relive that week in New Orleans via the news clips that played on a big-screen television in the ballroom last night prior to each nomination... they were celebrating the re-birth of the Superdome, which so many of us had left for dead after the storm. It was a big night for our news organization, but much more importantly: it was a happy night in New Orleans. They haven't had too many of those. The Saints, undefeated, indeed came marching in, through the very same tunnel where on the day of Katrina we all huddled to escape the water cascading in through the ceiling of the dome.
Ed Bradley handed me the statue with great affection, and in my remarks I paid tribute to the NBC News employees who have put their professional calling above self and have made us so proud to work here.
Because we work in television and are constitutionally unable to plan ahead beyond the next hour or so, after last night's Emmy Awards, various network camps ended up at the revolving bar at the Marriott Marquis Hotel here in Midtown Manhattan. Not that there's anything wrong with the Marriott, mind you -- but it was a bit strange that in the city that leads the world in the category of cool bars -- there we were, alongside a tour group from Canada, four students from Virginia, and selected delegations from other networks who suffer from the same inability to event-plan. So I found it funny that while NBC staked out an area of about 100 square feet in the bar's inner immovable "core," our colleagues at ABC News chose several tables on the other side of the "seam" in the revolving part of the restaurant.
This meant that like the planets around the sun, our competitors passed by at a barely-perceptible crawl every 55 minutes or so (it's because I don't drink that I was able to make these observations and calculations with an unclouded mind), but they know better than to read anything into this in terms of "running circles around us" or any such play on words. We chose the area that looked out on 30 Rock... and enabled us to keep an eye on our world headquarters... and our competition... ever watchful. I do believe the constant swirling motion that separated the two groups ultimately prevented an ugly network rumble. We were ready, though.
To those of you who have written me such kind thoughts about our own Richard Engel over the years, please keep Richard in your thoughts and prayers. He is now heading back to the region, after attending the Emmys as a nominee last night. Richard is as savvy as he is brave, and has a wisdom about the region well beyond his years. We have loved having him around here for a few weeks, but as he keeps reminding us: he is happiest in the field. We'll do our best to watch over him from here.
We have a good broadcast planned for this evening, and we hope you can join us.
Photo captions: Above left, the view from the NBC News table as Brian accepted the Emmy. Above right, Brian Williams celebrates with Nightly News producers Marisa Buchanan, Pat Burkey and Subrata De (left to right). Both photos by M.L. Flynn, NBC News.