Farewell Brian Williams
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I'm Brian Williams and that's the news for today, April fourteenth. 2044.
On a personal note, this will be my last broadcast as anchor of the NBC Nightly News. I'd like to thank my corporate family here at Via-Time-Warner-Com/Disney for taking a chance on me and forcing Tom Brokaw into early retirement some forty years ago.
And thank you to the many, many journalists who's job, seven days a week, is to sift through the stacks of press releases and find the ones best suited for me to read out loud. Also, my gratitude and admiration to the brilliant programmers and designers who create the completely lifelike simulations of people and places which give our broadcasts their visual edge. Lastly, thanks to our wonderful, wonderful robots that bravely travel to the globe's most dangerous hot spots to report on the robots that are fighting our wars for us. And to the robots who built them.
It seems a fitting moment to reflect on the events of the past forty years and my own perspective from the anchor's desk. I look back fondly on the many news stories which have passed into ancient history. Long gone are the colorful maps and state-by-state analysis that came with every presidential election. They've gone the way of the electoral college itself, as has actual elections. And gone are our exciting, romantic handguns. Crime stories are just a little bit more dull now that the handgun has been replaced with the more efficient super-high-speed laser-cannon.
From the "goodbye and good riddance" file are the endless stories about oil -- Who has it? How much does it cost? Where's the spill? Running out of oil may have its downsides, but I, for one, am relieved. The same with those dry, repetitive stories about global warming. Once we shifted to chronicle the mass evacuations of coastal cities, we could cover it as a human interest story.
These past five years have brought many events that will go down in history -- moments for which I am proud to have read the press releases. The completion of the Ronald Reagan International Space Station. The dismantling of the world's last nuclear weapon. And, several months later, the ceremony marking the first successful test of the Missile Defense Shield. The "Farewell to Social Security" celebration. The great gains in legal status for our nation's fetuses -- from the right to vote, to the right to bear arms, to immunity from frivolous lawsuits. And who amongst us will ever forget the spectacle of the Ronald Reagan International Space Station descending, in a ball of fire, into the Indian Ocean.
Of course, there are things I would have changed about our reporting. I regret defending so firmly our discovery of "Sadie the Talking Dog." If there had been less fur, our staff surely would have noticed the stitching where the miniature speaker was implanted. Also, I should have been less quick to criticize the creation of The Department of Mind Control. In hindsight, The Department of Mind Control is a wonderful gift for Americans everywhere and should be cherished. I trust it implicitly. Lastly, I can not apologize enough for my defense of Activist Judges. When The Department of Homeland Security announced that they were all linked to Al Qaeda, I realized my error.
But I have a responsibility as a journalist to look forward as well. In the next decade, I predict we will turn the corner in the Iraq War so we can at last bring home our long-suffering reservists for geriatric care. I believe a woman will finally be elected President, and another black man to the Senate. I hold high hopes in the promise of technology -- from X-ray specs to shrink rays to sex robots.
Tomorrow night, when you're having the news beamed to you, it won't be my voice being downloaded into your cerebral cortex implant. The news will be read by S.H.A.U.N.A., the computer-generated host of "The Best of Law & Order." S.H.A.U.N.A., you have my best wishes for a long and vital career. But always remember, the news isn't something that just happens. You have to make it happen.
For NBC News, I'm Brian Williams. Good night.
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