BriWi vs. the ironic youth

Brian Williams continues his attack on Williamsburg hipsters

Honing his "artisanal cheese" routine that he debuted last year, the NBC anchor takes aim at Brooklyn's finest


Drew Grant
April 12, 2011 4:12PM (UTC)

 I don’t know what happened to Brian Williams the last time he ventured over the Williamsburg Bridge, but it must not have been a good experience. Back in December, NBC’s most studly chinned anchor went on a boffo monologue about how the media story of 2010 was the New York Times' discovery of Brooklyn.

"Once a day there is a story about all the riches offered in that borough ... you can make beads, simple beads at home and then trade them for someone to come over and start a small fire in your apartment that you share with nine others. Artisanal cheeses. For sale. On the street."

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It was a really good bit, because it was making fun of that breathless New York Times Sunday Styles elite-enthusiasm (elitesiasm?) for exposing a part of culture that the rest of the country had known about for at least a year now. (For another good example of this, check out David Parker's piece on The Awl, "The Most Emailed New York Times Article Ever.")

But apparently some of us had misconstrued Brian Williams' sentiment. He wasn't making fun of the New York Times. He was making fun of those Brooklyn residents, or at least those who live in Williamsburg (though it's not clear if the anchor has ever ventured beyond the hipster living community and believes it to be the sum total of the borough).

Brian's sassy digs at the artisanal cheese-eating, ironic-glasses-wearing subset of white kids can now be seen in a new taxi TV spot, wherein the Don Draper of "Nightly News" warns what I can only imagine to be a car full of increasingly worried tourists that when going to Brooklyn, "Whatever you do, check for all your personal belongings." Then he compares the area to a time machine, there's some b-roll of a guy with an accordion and a curly mustache, and we're out.

As someone who lives in Brooklyn, I can't wait for Brian to come do his segment on Bedford-Stuyvesant or Sheepshead Bay, should he ever be able to navigate himself away from the plethora of open-air markets filled with Fagin-esque pickpockets and leather goods that line the stalls outside the L train.

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Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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