It has taken me nearly six decades – since, essentially, the dawn of commercial television – but your humble correspondent has finally made it onto the NBC Nightly News.

Granted, it was the Sunday edition, which is not exactly the top-rated news night of the week.

And granted, I was on opposite the Super Bowl.

And granted, it was brief. (Do you ever watch the HBO series Extras, where Ricky Gervais is always trying to inch into the frame, so he can be seen?)

But through the miracle of Tivo, slo-mo, and freeze frame, I can report with complete certainty that I appeared on the NBC Nightly News Sunday, February 4, 2007, for 1.3 seconds (note the decimal point between the 1 and the 3) at approximately 6:46 pm Eastern Standard Time as John Edwards swept past on the dais to take the podium and deliver his powerful speech.

And you? You were chugging Budweisers watching the Bears and Colts? You were taking advantage of the game to waltz into the hottest restaurant in town without a reservation? You were reading Proust?

I was writing my recap of the DNC winter meeting.

The highlights:

  • I got upgraded to the concierge floor of the Washington Hilton, which has a lounge with a machine that makes your choice of coffee or hot chocolate, which you can blend, full-strength, decaf or 50/50, mild, medium, or strong, single cup, double or carafe. They also serve a free dinner every night between 5 and 7 – although in their minds I think it’s only hors d’oevres. My favorite were the miniature shishkabobs.
  • With the upgrade came my choice of a free movie, a free day’s Internet connection, a free shoe shine (but Corfam never needs shining), or $5 off any meal over $25 (but they were feeding me free, so that was out). I watched Flags Of Our Fathers, the Clint Eastwood, Spielberg production. Well worth it even if it hadn’t been free.
  • I got to hear outstanding speeches by Harry Reid and 10 of our likely presidential candidates – among whom I am enthusiastically neutral. YOU can watch them all here.

Those were the real highlights.


Hmmm. So now Carl Icahn wants to buy the whole thing at $36, as reported here, and the market expects a higher bid. The stock closed at $38.64, up from $28 when first suggested 14 months ago. Those of you who held on or bought more when it dipped to $15.60 are in fine shape, let alone those who may have bought LEAPS. But those of you who had the misfortune to read – and act on – my December 29 column would have made just a small gain on the stock (but kept your LEAPS). So this has hardly been a triumph; yet, as losers go, well – they should all end this badly.

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