"It's a wrenching, slow car crash of a Groundhog Day."
That's how "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams described his visit to the oil spill-ravaged gulf region this week.
"I can't believe I'm sitting here, looking at the Gulf of Mexico, and it's still going," he said by phone earlier this week. "And more than that: it's about to increase, if they get the cut right. They have to increase it to stop it. That's hard to believe. Here we are in suspended animation. It is Groundhog Day."
Williams, who visited the region immediately after the oil spill, said that that first visit "seems so long ago."
"It seems like such an innocent time, how little we knew about how big it would get," he said.
Williams added that he considers himself an "honorary Louisianan," and said that no other region in the US could withstand what this region has endured over the past five years.
"There's the usual spirit here," he said. "I don't know a region that could deal with this as well. They've had a kind of perverse practice round during Katrina, but as I keep saying: Katrina didn't take away their right to work, their ability to work. If you had a trade and if you worked on the water those shrimp were still there and as soon as the fishery business recovered, they got back on it. This isn't just a region of the country or an accent or a city. This really is a culture, and this is a way of life."
"All I know is it's awfully sad down here," he added.