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Remember This-C-SPAN’s BookNotes With Brain Lamb: David Brinkley- From The New Deal to The Contract With America, From 1995

September 12, 2016

“You could say that David Brinkley saw it all in his life at least as a broadcast journalist and anchor. He had the first and big nightly…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

You could say that David Brinkley saw it all in his life at least as a broadcast journalist and anchor. He had the first and big nightly national newscast the Huntley Brinkley Report, with Chet Huntley from NBC News. During that period there was the Korean War, the start of the Cold War, General Dwight Eisenhower as President of the United States, the early days of the civil rights movement, the civil rights movement in the 1960s, our first Irish-Catholic President of the United States in John F. Kennedy, the 1960s, the 1970s, Watergate, etc, all as either anchor of the Huntley Brinkley Report, or co-anchor of NBC Nightly News. David Brinkley, had a long and great career as either anchor of the NBC News nightly newscast, or as anchor of the ABC News Sunday morning news program This Week. He was the first stars of ABC News when they finally merged as a major player in the network news business in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

David Brinkley had an ability as a good interviewer and commentator. Like Howard Smith at ABC News, he was very good at delivering the news and analyzing it as well. Explaining what the news meant and the JFK assassination in how how he described how the country was feeling and how horrible that tragedy was in 1963, is a perfect example of that. His commentaries about Watergate in the early 1970s, is another example of that. He was very witty as well when he would get a silly story to cover and talk about on his show. He was almost like a great debate moderator on This Week between Conservative George Will and Progressive ABC News White House corespondent Sam Donaldson. The debates they had on that show made This Week worth watching by itself, along with the people they interviewed. And of course he had that great voice and gentlemen demeanor that made him perfect for news programs, because the people there didn’t think he was trying to attack them.

The Huntley Brinkley Report, was a two-man nightly newscast with David Brinkley and Chet Huntley. CBS News had Walter Cronkite, who was simply the best at what he did and still is and anchored the CBS Evening News. NBC News had two excellent news anchors and men who worked very well together in Brinkley and Huntley and paired them together. Which worked for a while up until the late 60s or so when the CBS Evening News, became the top not just newscast, but perhaps news show in the country up until the 1980s. David Brinkley, arguably is the first of the great broadcast news anchors and someone who was at the top or near top for almost fifty-years at both NBC News and later ABC News. And is one of the best broadcast journalists we’ve ever produced, because of his ability to interview, deliver the news, add with when appropriate and could explain the news in a commonsense way that made him very popular.

Remember This-C-SPAN: David Brinkley- From The New Deal to The Contract With America

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