Brian Williams’ Blog Big Hit with Crucial 11-to-13-Yr Old Demographic

Add Brian Williams’ blog to the list of things — like “girl crushes” — that didn’t exist until the New York Times covered them.

Although Williams, anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” has been blogging since May 31, seems it took today’s Times article to get many bloggers (and CJR Daily) to notice. (Also, thanks to the Times, we can now cop to our crush on Campbell Brown).

According to the Times, NBC is hoping that Williams’ blog, the “Daily Nightly,” will “lure younger people who might be thirsting for a little inside baseball.” Consider Brandeis University-bound PokornyPundit among the thirsty. PokornyPundit “welcome[s] Mr. Williams” and remarks that “the MSM finally figured out how useful the blogosphere is in communicating with its audience on a more informal level.” Meredith/”Biftek,” whose photo and blogging tone indicate she may also be a Young Person, gushes about the “news-related nuggets” available on the “Daily Nightly” — and also about the “very funny” and “very bright” and “cute” Brian Williams. Gawker, also young, is “marvel[ing] at modern communications technology, which is finally allowing someone like Williams — a regular Joe, a volunteer firefighter — a chance to have his voice heard.”

But it’s not just Williams’ voice that you’ll hear on the “Daily Nightly.” Yesterday, we heard from germophobic newswriter Barbara Raab who reported that the first thing she does when she gets to work is “run a few Clorox Wipes across my work space (always!) …” Raab also confided that she and her colleagues “monitor the Arab news network Al-Jazeera … even though we don’t understand anything that’s being said.” (It’s enough to make us long for the much-derided “Voice of God” anchor of old.)

Speaking of understanding what’s being said, bloggers are buzzing about conservative televangelist Pat Robertson’s claim that the Associated Press misunderstood him. Robertson says he never called for Hugo Chavez’s assassination, just that our “Special Forces should ‘take [Chavez] out.’” Michael at Addison Road has penned a letter to Pat Robertson in which he declares: “Nobody misinterpreted your words. Know why? Because we all saw the video. We saw the whole thing. We watched you speak them, we saw the earnest fervor on your face, and we knew what you meant.”

Steve at Blog on a Toothpick is feeling sympathetic. “I’m with you Pat, the media is blowing things out of proportion,” Steve writes. “Personally, by ‘take him out’, I thought you meant ‘dinner and a movie’ but your explanation makes much more sense.” DCMediaGirl suggests that “our liberal media” start calling Robertson “an extremist cleric,” as “this is hardly the first time that Robertson has been caught making batshit insane statements.”

And finally, David at Oxblog reports that “he said/she said journalism is a myth. Journalists have strong opinions and only take limited measure to hide them.” We may not be graduate students in international relations at Oxford over here, but last we checked a “he said/she said” story isn’t one in which the journalist’s “strong opinion” remains “hidden.” It’s one in which the facts remain hidden, replaced by dueling spokesmen’s quotes.

Liz Cox Barrett

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.