Steven Brill, dubbed by the New York Daily News as “journalist, media mogul, and national I.D. card entrepreneur,” hosted a summit Tuesday between Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and the major television network news divisions.
The Daily News says that dining at Brill’s New York to hash over terrorism scenarios and government-to-media communications were NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s Peter Jennings (along with news President David Westin), CBS News President Andrew Heyward, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, and CNN’s Aaron Brown. “The dinner was a wide-ranging discussion about international terrorism and domestic security,” Jennings told the Daily News. “The topics included the challenge for the networks if, God forbid, there was ever another catastrophe similar to 9/11.”
Brill, who befriended Ridge while working on his post-9/11 book “After,” arranged the off-the-record government-media exchange out of a belief that “thousands of lives can be saved depending on the kind of information that is on television in the first hour after an event.” Last year, Brill founded a nonprofit group to address the challenges of homeland security.
The dinner, said Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse, was “one of a number of ongoing efforts to have a continuing dialogue with the media to determine how we can best work together to get timely and accurate information to the American people.”