Thanks to a dear friend who works for a committee that's always "in the know," I got word that one of my journalism idols, Brian Williams, would be broadcasting the Nightly News live from the Russell Rotunda. He was in town recording a series called "Congress, Behind the Scenes," set to air on Dateline this weekend. So, after work, I walked briskly through the tunnel that connects the Senate office buildings to the Russell Building so I could catch a glimpse of the broadcast icon. Soon enough, he made his debut.
I didn't just stick around until I got a good look at him. No, just a glimpse didn't satisfy me. I was one of those annoying onlookers who doesn't go away. I'm talking really annoying. I was even annoying myself, but I couldn't make it stop. I even tried telling myself, "Okay, Andrea, you've seem him. Time to go home." But I couldn't stop being interested. I just kept watching, snapping pictures and waiting. I was being completely unprofessional. And I knew it. I should have told onlookers I was just an intern, and maybe the situation would have explained itself away, but I had no shame. So, when the 30 minute Nightly News broadcast ended and the famous anchor started walking away, I bolted after him. He went into the Kennedy Caucus room to meet a few people, and I just waited outside. Like a stalker. I should have been embarrassed at my behavior, but I was too excited at the chance to meet him. So, when he popped back out to say hi to some kids (a five and seven-year-old nonetheless), I just squeezed myself into the line. Sorry kids, don't mind me. I handed one of their parents my camera and they gladly obliged to my unprofessional request as I jumped in to shake his hand before he walked away. Pictured below:
"Hi, my name's Andrea. I'm a dork and love watching the news. In fact, if I had to pick a journalist to marry, it would be you. You just have a way with words!"
That isn't exactly what I said, but something equally as dorky ensued. "Hi, I'm Andrea. I used to be a reporter, and both you and Andrea Mitchell are my journalism idols. And Ken Strickland." (Ken is a producer for MSNBC, standing in the middle of the picture wondering why I had suddenly gone cuckoo.) To which he replied, "Andrea Mitchell is much more deserving, but thank you." And that, my friends, is the entire story. After we shook hands, I continued to snap a few pictures for a few others, until his handlers told us to take it easy while Mr. Williams filmed a stand-up. If you happened to miss the Nightly News tonight, and seeing Brian Williams live from the Russell Rotunda, you can watch below. Just know, that I was behind the cameras somewhere with big, googly eyes, snapping pictures and acting more or less like an intern: