Obama Names Tom Brokaw And Another Ex-NBC Reporter to White House Panel

Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports President Obama has named two NBC News veterans to the selection panel for the White House Fellows program, which will select new Fellows in the coming week:

Tom Brokaw, now a special correspondent for NBC News, and John Hockenberry of Public Radio International and formerly with NBC and ABC, join a distinguished panel that includes General Wesley Clark, Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe, and former Senator Tom Daschle to pick young people to work "at the highest levels of government" and to participate in an education program and complete public service activities.

The commission can choose between 12 and 19 fellows from a pool of 30 candidates winnowed from over a thousand who initially applied.

A White House fellowship is a prestigious D.C. internship program, and current NBC anchor Brian Williams served as a fellow during the Jimmy Carter years. (He's not listed as an eminent alumnus in the White House press release. How much love does Brian have to show Obama to get some notice?)

The White House suggests this panel is nonpartisan, but the only Republican I can find on this mostly liberal list is Roger Porter, a former adviser to George H.W. Bush.

A quick Googling of Brokaw shows that on June 15, he introduced John Kerry at a Council on Foreign Relations event. The Federal News page on it has an interesting tease with Brokaw's endorsement of Kerry's war heroism:

One of America's most distinguished public servants, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Most of you know his biography by now, obviously. He's a graduate of a little trade school in New Haven, Connecticut, where he then after matriculating and serving in the same secret society as the man he ran against for president of the United States, he went off to Vietnam, where he had a not just a distinguished military record but a heroic military record, having earned the Silver Star. And during his campaign of course he was joined by his fellow crew members, and they gave testimony to his heroism in Vietnam....

So Brokaw could have had this appointment four years ago, if Kerry had won.

PS: John Hockenberry has shown his liberal stripes on TV. Try this MSNBC interview he anchored with Lawrence O'Donnell on June 8, 1999, where he equated Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge with the Salem witch trials:

All right. But pledge-smedge. Lawrence O'Donnell, you know it seems to me a lot of Americans out there watching this conversation might say it sounds like, you know, the Salem witch trials, this pledge. You have to take these little code words and pass these litmus tests.

- Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.