The Buzz

TheChat: Tom Brokaw still carries big-time clout at NBC (so look out Brian Williams)

Williams (left), Brokaw
Williams (left), Brokaw

Say hello to Tuesday.

▪ “Tom (Brokaw) was surprised by a lot of the things Brian (Williams) has said, and has become increasingly critical through the years.” — an NBC executive who has worked closely with both Brokaw and Williams.

The 75-year-old Brokaw, who preceded Williams in the anchor chair, still carries big-time clout at NBC and Comcast, its parent. The inside story here: Brokaw has always had wary relations with Williams, or at least that’s how a Politico story characterized it. Brokaw’s statement last week on the crisis wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Williams. Said Brokaw: Williams’ future “is up to Brian and NBC News executives.”

▪ “Just traffic tickets. No criminal act. Nothing.” — Tonya DeBerry who was arrested a year ago and handcuffed in front of her grandson for unpaid traffic tickets in Ferguson.

A group of civil rights lawyers is suing Ferguson for jailing people when they fail to pay fines for traffic tickets and other minor offenses. This all amounts to a new challenge to the way the police does business in that city. (link courtesy of

▪ “This will divide our caucus again and cause bad feelings between people.” — Missouri state Rep. Ron Hicks, a St. Peters Republican, on the impact another fight over right-to-work legislation will have on the GOP House majority.

Hicks opposes right-to-work, which would bar unions from collecting fees from non-members. But he think a bill can pass this year. The issue seems to crop up every session.

▪ “Our margin of error is gone.” — Silver Lake Superintendent Tim Hallacy on the impact of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to cut 1.5 percent of all K-12 funding.

Hallacy and other Topeka-area superintendents said they were spending cash reserves to get through the year. Said Hallacy, “We’ve been cutting for six years.”