Ari, Ezekiel and Rahm Emanuel talk to Brian Williams last week for "Rock Center."
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Apparently no encounter with the Brothers Emanuel is complete unless they bully you. And that’s just what happened to Brian Williams, the NBC News anchor who interviewed the trio to promote big brother Ezekiel’s new book, "Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family."
After the meeting ended, middle brother Ari was furious that Williams hadn’t conducted a puffball interview. Williams, who is a serious journalist when he’s not slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon, asked Ari about his reputation as a Hollywood tough guy.
Reported the New York Post: a source said that when they met Williams earlier this month to pretape it at a Manhattan bar, the NBC anchor was acting “like it was for ‘Meet the Press.’ ”“Ari was not happy with it,” the source said of the aggressive interview done in a casual setting. “It was very odd, and [the brothers] were caught off guard. They were there to talk about the book and growing up together. They had offers to do this interview with lots of other people.”
Spies added that “something was just off.”
And, apparently, Ari felt things were “off” enough that he subsequently sent a letter to NBC, objecting.
A source told us that the letter said, ‘This was not what we agreed to. He felt like he did the interview in good faith and he was irritated.”
Another source said Ari was so annoyed that when he visited “SNL” on March 9 to watch client Justin Timberlake host the live comedy show, he confronted NBC Chief Executive Steve Burke.
“Ari told Steve he was not happy with the interview,” says a source. “Steve told him that it was NBC News’ thing and that he had nothing to do with it.”
But sources close to NBC and Ari’s agency, WME, which confirmed that the letter was sent, say there was never a heated confrontation with Burke. An NBC source added that the segment, which aired Friday, was “in no way influenced” by Ari’s letter to the network.