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Brian Williams Laments Joe Biden 'Chains' Firestorm, Political Media on 'The Daily Show' (Video)

The NBC news anchor defends his network's coverage of Paul Ryan and regrets the attention paid to celebrity distractions.

The Daily Show Brian Williams Screengrab - H 2012
Comedy Central

Now that Brian Williams is back from London and reunited with his beloved dog, he's ready to cover the pressing issues of the day. He just wishes that the rest of the news media would join him.

Appearing with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, Williams gave a dry, frustrated answer when asked when the media would start doing serious reporting on the presidential campaign -- something many reporters said would happen once GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.

"As soon as we exhaust all of our reporting on his driving of the weiner mobile as a young man," Williams deadpanned, referring to Ryan's teenage-years job of driving the Oscar Mayer weiner mobile. In response to Stewart's nod to Ryan's famed P90X workout routine, Williams said he had no idea what that entailed but noted that "Drudge breathlessly reported yesterday that he has body fat between six and eight percent."

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After a little dig at celebrity gossip -- "As you know, there are a lot of distractions in this world -- R-Patz," he said, which was a fun jab at Stewart's Monday interview with Twilight star Robert Pattinson -- Williams defended his own network's coverage and promised more would be coming.

"It's all out there, all that coverage is out there," he said. "And we've been covering substantive issues all this time. And wait until people get a bite out of his voting record, as we reported on last night. Wait till more people understand the vote on TARP. Wait till we get down the road."

With that, he lamented the multiday firestorm that has accompanied Vice President Joe Biden's "chains" remark, saying "Today specifically, as we said tonight, was a terrible day for discourse in democracy." And after listing all the political headlines of the day, and implying they were irrelevant, he concluded, "We can't as a country keep doing this."