He was inside the Superdome for the height of the hurricane. He left the shelter to anchor Monday’s Nightly News. He said the vacuum of information in New Orleans was “appalling.” “I think the despair set in around Thursday,” Williams says. “I later learned that our broadcast that night prompted a call to the president by an aide in the West Wing asking if he was watching.” (The president apparently wasn’t; an aide burned Bush a DVD of the coverage.)
It happened like a slow train wreck. Williams calls it the “archetype television story.” “I don’t think there has been a story better told by television,” he says.