Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NBC's Brian Williams Declares NYT's "Discovery" of Brooklyn As Media Story Of 2010. "It's Like Marrakesh," He Says.

NBC News anchorman Brian Williams has declared the NYT's "discovery of Brooklyn" as the media story of 2010.

"There are young men and women wearing ironic glass frames on the streets," Williams said incredulously last Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," remarking on some of the NYT's more notable Brooklyn finds. "They are making grilled cheese sandwiches in the streets."

Williams's brilliant comic tirade at the NYT's expense came in response to Joe Scarborough's statement that he believed the iPad to be the media sensation of the year.

We've transcribed Williams's reply, and the rest of his riff, but you're better off just watching the short YouTube video clip:

WILLIAMS: It’s pretty slick. I am rarely without mine. I, however, am going to go a bit differently. I thnk the media story of the year, in 2010, was the NYT’s discovery of Brooklyn. Once a day, there’s a story about all the riches offered in that borough. There are young men and women wearing ironic glass frames on the streets. There are open air markets, like trading posts in the early Chippewa tribe, where you can make beads at home and then trade them for someone to come over and start a small fire in your apartment that you share with nine others. Artisinal cheeses. For sale, on the streets of an entire American borough. It’s been fascinating to watch the paper venture over the bridge. Venture through the tunnel. Go out to the outer reaches. The outer boroughs of the city. All different sections of the paper.

SCARBOROUGH: I want to get this down for Harold Ford. We’re going to take the subway over there.

WILLIAMS: They are making grilled cheese sandwiches in the streets. There are roving wagons that will make you a – Brooklyn. Yes….it’s just a fantastic….it’s like Marrakesh over there.

SCARBOROUGH: Who is the Lewis & Clark of the New York Times to discover Brooklyn?

WILLIAMS: I’m too busy reading content to notice bylines. I’m leaving here to get to an artisanal market that just opened up today. It’s a flash artisanal market. The newest thing.


Michael Powell said...

Okay, that's funny.

Victor E. Sasson said...

Where has Brian Williams been?

There have been Times story about Brooklyn's so-called food renaissance for several years. It's not just in 2010.

Areas near the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges seem to be the favorite of those reporters.

I thought the coverage was aimed at Brooklyn readers the paper was trying to win over.

Anonymous said...

I think it's more the case that so many Times reporters live in Brooklyn and out of laziness simply take note of the passing parade as they head off to work each day. Hence the constant reports on new restaurants or culinary phenomenon that just happen to be near transit stops or coffee bars.

Anonymous said...

That really is funny. Especially for Brian Williams. He must have been really relaxed and punchy when he did that riff. Must have taken the corncob out of his tight ass before he did the interview!

Anonymous said...

When he's not doing the news, Brian Williams is awesome and hilarious. Don't watch the news program ever, but I like the guy and love his interviews.

Tim A. Donnelly said...

We annotated his comments to see how they stack up against the actual coverage

Anonymous said...

At least the NYT discovered Brooklyn. The Today show still has trouble covering anything on the other side of Rockefeller Center. And the nightly news is just a bunch of press releases from the White House.

Certainly the NYT's coverage can be mocked, but it is based in reality. When I lived in Brooklyn a decade ago, there were few of these grilled cheese joints.
Back then, most of the people still believed that pork was bad for you. The place really has changed. All it takes is one stroll down Smith street to realize it.

The boom has been building slowly and it just kicked into high gear this year as the coverage indicates.

Crhistopher Gray said...

Sublimely crafted piece on slush this morning, by Michael Wilson, front page. And inventive "single paintings" story in Arts.

"Paintings, like poetry or music, are essential nutrients that help people sustain healthy lives." ---Roberta Smith, NYT, 12.31.2010

Christopher Gray

Anonymous said...

I live in Los Angeles now. Grew up in Brighton Beach and Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay. Since I started reading the Brooklyn articles on the NYT iPod app, I feel more connected, proud of my roots. And a little homesick!

Anonymous said...

wish there was more stuff about the bronx.

Anonymous said...

"There have been Times story about Brooklyn's so-called food renaissance for several years. It's not just in 2010."

Look in Times Past three and four decades ago when the yuppies started moving into Park Slope. The perennial and biennial chestnuts are the hallmark of intellectually lazy journalism.

In the last century, The Times actually had a newsroom in downtown Brooklyn. Just imagine if they ever ventured across a real river like the Hudson.

Give truth a chance said...

Who cares what Brian Williams offers as expert opinion? He is a face, a beautiful one at that and a trunk, well-suited with borrowed attire, and a mouth and a voicebox who is given a script to follow. That he sidewalk grilled cheese on the sidewalk on his time off and that some NYT reporter brought that to him, without a grilled cheese agent stalking him or a Park Slope lobby bribing him, is a moot point. He is a well-chiseled statuesque manly face to look at like a pacifier for dignified adults to suck on and stay tuned by. He'll age nicely and gracefully nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

nyt screen grab (via testy copy editors on facebook):

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to take DAILY out of your name/logo. A LOOK INSIDE THE NEWSPAPER OF RECORD....not a DAILY LOOK....