As the NBC “Nightly News” anchor opened Tuesday’s newscast with a segment about American Airlines’ bankruptcy, the fire alarm in the studio went off.
First, he tossed it over to NBC’s Washington, D.C., bureau, but when that segment was over the fire alarm was still moaning—and it continued through most of the program.
“Williams kept his cool, offered an easy chuckle and assured viewers that it was just an alarm and there was no danger,” writes Al Tompkins on Poynter.org. “Surely the problem would go away. It didn’t.”
The blaring alarm—complete with a recorded announcement—quickly became a hot topic in social media. On Twitter, Williams received accolades for “redefining professionalism.”