(a man named Craig Robinson)

In Portland, last week’s presidential inauguration was completely overshadowed by the mayor, his (apparently) 18 year-old ex-boyfriend and far too many journalistic conflicts. In Corvallis, it was ruined by Brian Williams.

From the Oregonian‘s John Canzano:

The cameras caught Oregon State coach Craig Robinson early and Williams identified Robinson as Reggie Love, Obama’s personal assistant. Oops. It got worse. Because Williams waxed on and on about how Love become Obama’s personal assistant, and what a personal assistant does… according to one OSU fan who emailed me, “evidently one shaved head tall black guy looks about the same to Williams.”


So later, the cameras are again on Robinson, who is wearing his Oregon State scarf, colors orange and black, and Brokaw says Robinson is wearing “Princeton” colors. Robinson attended Princeton, and the school colors are indeed orange and black, but it was a little shortsighted, no? to miss the the obvious angle. No mention from Brokaw that OSU’s colors are orange and black and that Robinson is the Beavers’ coach.

One reader, from Independence, wrote:

“To NBC: Go (bleep) yourselves. You are elitist pigs. If this is your idea of ALL THE facts, what am I to believe on your newscasts?”

Another wrote:

“I am still pissed about OSU stopping Pitt and holding them to zero points, and have it characterized as a boring game…. and all (Robinson as coach) gets them is their basketball coach first misidentified, and later, lauded for his Princeton education. Elitest (bleeps).”


Now, being a Penn State fan, I like a titanic defensive struggle as much as anyone, so let me suggest that some may have thought the Sun Bowl was a boring game not because of the 3-0 score but because it featured two mediocre teams, the better of which was coming off perhaps the most humiliating home loss of the college football season.

But I digress. Canzano concludes that “NBC’s coverage made the Northwest feel a little insignificant.” Said insignificance would also be why Sam Adams is still not nearly as well-known as Elliot Spitzer.

The ever-unflappable Williams later apologized.

“Whatever you have called me over the past few days can’t be any worse than my own anger over my mistake. I made an inexcusable error when I confused the great OSU coach Craig Robinson with a friend of mine, the personal assistant to President Obama, Reggie Love. I am sending personal apologies to both men, and this is my apology to all members of Beaver Nation. It was a mistake committed during 9 hours of live programming – I was distracted and watching many incoming video feeds, but that’s no excuse for the error, which was no one’s fault but mine. I have felt awful about it since I forced myself to read the coverage of it on OregonLive.com, and I hope that someday you can find it in your hearts to forgive my error.”

Heh. He said “Beaver Nation.”

Incidentally, Coach Robinson’s team is not so bad (0-18 in the Pac 10 last year, road wins over Cal and Stanford this year).