Although the Election Night '96 dust-up in which Brinkley unfairly trashed Bill Clinton may have momentarily obscured it, the truth is he's one of the most insightful political commentators ever to appear regularly on television. He's also had tremendous timing: after some short stints at small newspapers in little Southern towns, Brinkley became NBC's White House correspondent in 1943, and after FDR, went on to cover ten other presidents. (He became particularly friendly with LBJ.) In the process, Brinkley became an expert on the folkways of Washington, D.C. As reported here, when Brinkley was preparing for the broadcast of the first moon landing, he asked the director of NASA about the significance of the event. "David," came the reply, "if this all works I can get Congress to raise my budget to $20 billion next year."
From Publishers Weekly
Born in 1920 and raised in Wilmington, N.C., Brinkley began writing for the local paper in high school. He soon graduated to the United Press and, by WWII, was working for NBC Radio in Washington, D.C. It was there that he covered his first president, FDR ("a social snob"); was present at Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946; and witnessed the miracle election of Truman in 1948. He slowly moved into TV and was paired with Chet Huntley at the 1956 political conventions. Their immediate chemistry led to the top-rated Huntley-Brinkley Report on the NBC Network. Brinkley reminisces about his friendship with Robert Kennedy; tells a hilarious story about how LBJ garnered votes from the cemetery; remembers how he first came across a "rural tinhorn" who went on to become Senator Jesse Helms; and recalls how it felt to be #1 on Nixon's enemies list. He also recounts how he left NBC and joined ABC to host This Week With David Brinkley. He gives his crusty opinion of both political parties: "I find one to be about as bad as the other and both pretty bad." The only thing that mars this work is Brinkley's diatribe against taxes, which comes off as the ramblings of a grump. A thoughtful, breezy, anecdotal work. Photos. 150,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.