David Brinkley

Anchor/ Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his over two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, David Brinkley (1920-2003) recalls his early years in the United Press and as a writer/announcer for radio. He speaks of his association with NBC, which began in 1943 in Washington, D.C. He outlines the network's transition to television, and talks of providing the Washington report for the Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze. He recounts his work on all national conventions beginning in 1952, including his first teaming with Chet Huntley for the 1956 conventions. He discusses his long collaboration with Huntley on The Huntley-Brinkley Report, and recalls Huntley's retirement. Brinkley describes his landmark documentary series David Brinkley's Journal, which pioneered the newsmagazine format, and his later series NBC Magazine with David Brinkley. He speaks of his transition to ABC and his groundbreaking work on This Week With David Brinkley (1981-96). He details covering and interviewing Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Don Carleton conducted the interview on December 8, 1999 in Bal Harbor, FL.

"When television news began, they trusted us completely, and should have because none of us had any ax to grind; none of us had any political ambitions. Our only real purpose in life, and in work, was to tell people what we knew to be true."

Highlights
David Brinkley on his first on-camera appearances for NBC News and writing for NBC News
04:21
David Brinkley on Senator Joseph McCarthy's "list" of 205 alleged Communists
06:31
David Brinkley on co-anchoring The Huntley-Brinkley Report  and his chemistry with Chet Huntley
03:52
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:41
David Brinkley on covering President Richard M. Nixon
04:46
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his World War II experience
On being hired at NBC Radio; on his early days working for NBC Radio; on covering President Roosevelt

Chapter 2

On the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; on covering President Harry S. Truman; on his first foray into television
On NBC reporter John Cameron Swayze; on getting on the air at NBC; on Joseph McCarthy's blacklist

Chapter 3

On Chet Huntley; on interviewing Martin Luther King, Jr.
On co-anchoring The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on hosting news documentaries; on former NBC News President Reuven Frank

Chapter 4

On how he and Chet Huntley were perceived; on anchoring David Brinkley's Journal; on covering President John F. Kennedy
On covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy; on covering the 1964 political conventions and the death of Winston Churchill; on the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Chapter 5

On covering President Richard M. Nixon; on co-anchoring The NBC Nightly News; on anchoring This Week with David Brinkley
On interviewing President Ronald Reagan; on his retirement and interviewing President Bill Clinton; on controversy over being a spokesman for Archer Daniels Midland and career highlights

Chapter 6

On the public perception of network news; on the then-current state of television; on the most important stories of the 20th Century
Shows

Camel News Caravan

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David Brinkley on NBC's John Cameron Swayze
02:52

David Brinkley's Journal

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David Brinkley on anchoring David Brinkley's Journal
06:06

Huntley-Brinkley Report, The

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David Brinkley on teaming up with Chet Huntley for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
06:54
David Brinkley on co-anchoring The Huntley-Brinkley Report and his chemistry with Chet Huntley
03:52
David Brinkley on anchoring political conventions
03:18
David Brinkley on concerns that he and Chet Huntley were too "boring"
04:40
David Brinkley on the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
01:07

NBC News

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David Brinkley on his first on-camera appearances for NBC News and writing for NBC News
04:21
David Brinkley on hosting NBC Nightly News after the retirement of Chet Huntley
04:05

This Week with David Brinkley

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David Brinkley on anchoring This Week with David Brinkley
07:47
Topics

Advertising and Sponsorship

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David Brinkley on becoming a spokesman for Archer Daniels Midland
01:31

Bill Clinton

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David Brinkley on his incident with President Bill Clinton
02:55

Characters & Catchphrases

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David Brinkley on teaming up with Chet Huntley (and the origin of their "Good Night" signoffs)
06:54

Civil Rights Movement

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David Brinkley on covering the Civil Rights Movement
00:56
David Brinkley on interviewing a young Martin Luther King, Jr. before the Brown vs Board of Education ruling came down
01:41
David Brinkley on Jesse Helms, at the time, a local Southern reporter who went on the air to "answer Brinkley's lies"
01:39

First Big Break

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David Brinkley on being hired by NBC Radio
03:26

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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David Brinkley on covering President Franklin D. Roosevelt for NBC Radio
06:04
David Brinkley on the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
04:15

Harry S. Truman

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David Brinkley on covering President Harry S. Truman
07:24

Historic Events and Social Change

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David Brinkley on his World War II experience
02:34
David Brinkley on covering the Civil Rights Movement
00:56
David Brinkley on interviewing a young Martin Luther King, Jr. before the Brown vs Board of Education ruling came down
01:41
David Brinkley on Jesse Helms, at the time, a local Southern reporter who went on the air to "answer Brinkley's lies"
01:39
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51

Hollywood Blacklist

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David Brinkley on Senator Joseph McCarthy's "list" of 205 alleged Communists
06:31

Industry Crossroads

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David Brinkley on Senator Joseph McCarthy's "list" of 205 alleged Communists
06:31

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51

John F. Kennedy

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David Brinkley on covering President John F. Kennedy
05:19
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51

Pivotal Career Moments

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David Brinkley on being hired by NBC Radio
03:26

Pop Culture

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David Brinkley on teaming up with Chet Huntley (and the origin of their "Good Night" signoffs)
06:54

Richard M. Nixon

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David Brinkley on covering President Richard M. Nixon
03:33

Ronald Reagan

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David Brinkley on interviewing President Ronald Reagan
01:34

Television Industry

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David Brinkley on Senator Joseph McCarthy's "list" of 205 alleged Communists
06:31
David Brinkley on becoming a spokesman for Archer Daniels Midland
01:31

Television and the Presidency

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David Brinkley on covering President Franklin D. Roosevelt for NBC Radio
06:04
David Brinkley on the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
04:15
David Brinkley on covering President Harry S. Truman
07:24
David Brinkley on covering President John F. Kennedy
05:19
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51
David Brinkley on covering President Richard M. Nixon
03:33
David Brinkley on interviewing President Ronald Reagan
01:34
David Brinkley on his incident with President Bill Clinton
02:55

War

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David Brinkley on his World War II experience
02:34

World War II

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David Brinkley on his World War II experience
02:34
Genres

News and Documentary

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David Brinkley on co-anchoring The Huntley-Brinkley Report
21:46
David Brinkley on anchoring David Brinkley's Journal
06:06
David Brinkley on anchoring This Week with David Brinkley
07:47
People

Roone Arledge

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David Brinkley on anchoring This Week with David Brinkley
07:47

John Chancellor

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David Brinkley on John Chancellor 
01:22

Reuven Frank

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David Brinkley on NBC News President Reuven Frank
03:53

Jesse Helms

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David Brinkley on Jesse Helms, at the time, a local Southern reporter who went on the air to "answer Brinkley's lies"
01:39

Chet Huntley

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David Brinkley on how Chet Huntley was hired by the NBC network
01:11
David Brinkley on Chet Huntley's personality
01:44
David Brinkley on co-hosting The Huntley-Brinkley Report and his chemistry with Chet Huntley
03:52
David Brinkley on the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
01:07

Lyndon B. Johnson

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David Brinkley on covering the 1964 political conventions
04:00

John F. Kennedy

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David Brinkley on covering President John F. Kennedy
05:19
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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David Brinkley on interviewing a young Martin Luther King, Jr. before the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling came down
01:41

Edward R. Murrow

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David Brinkley on Senator Joseph McCarthy's "list" of 205 alleged Communists
06:31

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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David Brinkley on covering President Franklin D. Roosevelt for NBC Radio
06:04
David Brinkley on the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
04:15

John Cameron Swayze

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David Brinkley on NBC's John Cameron Swayze
02:52

Harry S. Truman

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David Brinkley on covering President Harry S. Truman
07:24

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