NBC's Brian Williams on '30 Rock':The Eliot Spitzer of TV News?

"NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams appeared in a brief cameo for Thursday night's edition of the sitcom "30 Rock" and spoofed himself as someone interested in trolling for anonymous sexual hook-ups. The scene revolved around characters "Jack Donaghy" (Alec Baldwin) and "Tracy Jordan" (Tracy Morgan), an actor on the show within the show. (The episode involved Baldwin's character, a network executive who produces a sketch show that Jordan stars in, trying to help his co-star find an anniversary present for his wife.)

Towards the end of the program, Jordan broke down and admitted to Donaghy that, despite impressions to the contrary, he had never cheated on his wife. "The partying is just for show...All the phone numbers you see me hand out, they're not even mine," he explained. As an example of such a phone call, the show then cut to a scene of anchor Brian Williams quietly reading the newspaper in his Connecticut home. He picked up a ringing phone and answered: "Hello? No, this isn't Tracy Jordan. [Williams pauses, listening.] Really? I've not heard of that term before. Do you know how to get to Connecticut?" A distinguished news anchor joking about random sex with strangers? What's next? Charlie Gibson on "Dancing With the Stars?" Katie Couric on "Survivor?"

In April of 2008, "30 Rock" featured a subplot about the conservative Donaghy launching a celebrity ad campaign to stop African Americans from voting.

A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 9:52pm on April 23, follows:

"JACK DONAGHY" (Alec Baldwin): But Tracy, sometimes I think men like us aren't built for marriage.

"TRACY JORDAN" (Tracy Morgan): Okay, this is something I've never told anyone. This is my terrible secret. In 20 years that I've known her, I've never cheated on my wife. There. I said it. Don't look at me.

DONAGHY: Wait a minute. that can't be the truth.

JORDAN: The partying is just for show. And because I'm a high-functioning alcoholic. All the phone numbers you see me hand out, they're not even mine.

[Cut to Brian Williams reading the newspaper. The phone rings.]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Hello? No, this isn't Tracy Jordan. [Williams thinks for a minute.] Really? I've not heard of that term before. Do you know how to get to Connecticut?

[Cut back to Jordan and Donaghy.]

DONAGHY: My God. That's an inspiration. I mean, if you can do it-

JORDAN: So can you. Because, I'm a ridiculous, unstable human being.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.