Rest in peace, Mr. Brinkley

Broadcaster David Brinkley Dies at 82
NEW YORK (AP) — David Brinkley, who first gained fame as one-half of NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley anchor team and for more than a half-century loomed large in the newscasting world he helped chart, died at the age of 82.
Brinkley died Wednesday night at his home in Houston of complications from a fall, ABC News said.
During his career, which in recent years took him to ABC, Brinkley won 10 Emmy awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards and, in 1992, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Former President Bush called him “the elder statesman of broadcast journalism,” but Brinkley spoke of himself in less grandiose terms.
“Most of my life,” he said in a 1992 interview, “I’ve simply been a reporter covering things, and writing and talking about it.”
He stepped down as host of ABC’s “This Week with David Brinkley” in November 1996 but continued to do commentaries. He left amid a rare controversy, and an apology: Late on Election Night, after a long evening, he had said unkind things about President Clinton on the air, calling him a “bore.”
Clinton sat for an interview for Brinkley’s last show anyway, and after Brinkley apologized, told him: “I always believe you have to judge people on their whole work, and if you get judged based on your whole work, you come out way ahead.”
Based in Washington and focusing on politics, Brinkley was known for his gentlemanly manner, wry wit and, as the Clinton incident illustrated, an occasional suffer-no-fools bluntness. Playing against such refinement were a boyish appearance and a jerky style of delivery that suggested a mild case of hiccups.
“If I was to start today I probably couldn’t get a job,” Brinkley once said, “because I don’t look like what people think an anchorperson should look like.”
Perhaps not. But in 1956 his distinctive presence was paired with craggy, leading-man-handsome Chet Huntley for NBC News’ coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. It was a perfect fit.