"I thought so, too," he replied, as tears filled his eyes. It was a rare look inside the heart of David Brinkley.
About five years ago, we met for what would be the last time. He had bought a home in Houston (he said it was to get away from the "trophy wives" of his previous Florida residence). He had a driver, not because of ego, but because he was frail and could no longer drive. His mind was as sharp as ever. Over lunch, he recalled events from many years ago. He also discussed the latest news and was as on top of things as ever.
If you are not old enough to remember what Huntley and Brinkley did for TV news, you can read about it in Reuven Frank's book, Out of Thin Air, or go to the Broadcast TV Museum in New York. These guys were ratings champs, and when Brinkley began his "second act" as the host of "This Week With David Brinkley" in 1981, ratings success quickly followed. The show hasn't been the same (or as popular) since he retired from it.
With typical North Carolina modesty, Brinkley once said, "I didn't create anything. I just got here early."
Many, especially me, are glad he did.
Good night, David.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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