Williams, 45, is capable of showing good humor and a dry wit in public. When Time magazine held a lunch to discuss candidates for its person of the year, he exposed a side of his personality that is seldom seen on the air.
When a fellow panelist mentioned that bloggers had had a big impact on the reporting on Election Day, Williams waved that point away by quipping that the self-styled journalists are “on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem.”
I must admit that I expected better from Williams. As many readers will recall, I participated in NBC’s election night coverage on Nov. 2. I was at Rockefeller Center with Ana Marie Cox and Joe Trippi, representing the blogosphere. Around 1:00 in the morning, I was walking through a deserted lunch room, returning to our set, when a man approached from the opposite direction, heading toward the men’s room. Because he was well dressed and tanned, I took him to be an on-air person. He went out of his way to walk up to me, extended his hand, and introduced himself as Brian Williams. I’d never heard of him, but I said I was John Hinderaker. He said: “I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate what you guys are doing.” I thanked him and walked on.
So: is Williams a secret admirer of bloggers like us, or not?
Beats me. I do wonder, though, about the bathroom reference. First we’re in our pajamas, now we’re posting from our bathrooms. What’s next, nude blogging from our hot tubs? Get over it, I say.