The Observer just spoke with Tom Brokaw who felt that our recent characterization of his role at NBC and stance towards MSBNC were inaccurate. At no point, said Mr. Brokaw, has he ever complained about the broad editorial environment of MSNBC to General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, NBC Universal’s president and CEO, Jeff Zucker, or NBC News’ president, Steve Capus. Furthermore, Mr. Brokaw said he had in no way appointed himself as "the custodian of the Russert legend," as our source suggested.
Back in August, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis sent a letter to NBC News’ Capus, complaining about NBC News’ coverage of Mr. McCain’s candidacy.
"We are concerned that your News Division is following MSNBC’s lead in abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race," wrote Mr. Davis. "We would like to request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss our deep concerns about the news standards and level of objectivity at NBC."
Shortly thereafter reports surfaced that the McCain camp was actually considering pulling out of the presidential debate scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7, to be moderated by Mr. Brokaw. Getting the opportunity to moderate a presidential debate is a major honor. Losing that opportunity would be a major disappointment. But according to Mr. Brokaw, he has since spoken with senior level McCain advisers, who assured him they had no issue with him moderating the debate. "There’s no problem there," said Mr. Brokaw.