Brian Williams Mocks NYT Over-Coverage of Brooklyn

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It's no secret that the New York Times has has a bit of a love affair with all things Brooklyn and hipster this year. The Pulitzer-collecting global newspaper of record has shown a quirky, if excessive, fascination with the slightest cultural nuances on Brooklyn's growing population of young, white, middle class residents. But NBC News anchor Brian Williams has had quite enough. While appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Williams dryly mocked the paper by pretending to heap praise on its Brooklyn coverage in what the NYTPicker blog called a "brilliant comic tirade at the NYT's expense."

The exchange started when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough predicted that the iPad would be 2010's biggest news story. Here's the transcript and, below that, the video. Fun note: Williams made his tirade while sitting next to New York Times writer Brian Stelter, who certainly looked to be laughing along.

It’s pretty slick. I am rarely without mine. I, however, am going to go a bit differently. I think 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 and 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.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.