Off Topic Messages

David Brinkley dies at 82

Thu Jun 12, 2003 6:05 pm

What does this have to do with Elvis. For many of us it was David who broke the news on 8/16/77 that Elvis had passed away. Years later he would say that he was "astonished" at how big the story became. He said that folks in the newsroom were actually crying as he read the story. While he never considered himself a big fan, he garnered a whole new respect for the impact that Elvis had on so many.

Tom

Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:40 pm

I've enjoyed watching David Brinkley.
He was WELL AWARE of the fact that Elvis was popular - especially in the South. Brinkley was the one who came up with the idea of having Elvis' passing as the lead story. He also suggested that NBC do a late night special on Elvis (which they did). This was in the days before "Nightline" came about.

During the late night special, Steve Dunleavy was among the people being interviewed. Dunleavy referred to Elvis as "poor white trash". Brinkley winced when he heard that comment - since he was from the South and that he was aware of the fact that Elvis was considered to be a hero to many southerners.

I liked Brinkley, and liked him even more for the fact that he was aware of the effect that Elvis had on people - and that he did not trash Elvis.

David Brinkley was a class act who will be missed.

Tom (from Ohio)

Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:41 pm

We had the same thing going on in the UK with a news-reader named Reginald Bosenquet he read the "News at Ten" 16th August '77. It was a breaking news item at the end of the bulletin.

I met Reggie at an Elvis Convention in Manchester in 1979, he was a guest speaker. Unfortunately Mr Bosenquet died sometime in the last decade or so. It's quite amazing how the 'messengers' get written into the fabric of history. Fascinating stuff!

Thu Jun 12, 2003 9:55 pm

A good man and a good journalist; it's sad to see him go.

Thu Jun 12, 2003 10:12 pm

hounddawgs6499,
I think David was referring to how big the story of his death got, with the huge influx of fans into Memphis from around the world, the tragedy of the drunk driver crashing into those girls, the plot to steal the body, etc.. As a southern boy himself (Wilmington, NC), I'm sure he knew how big Elvis was. Sorry for the confusion.

Tom

Fri Jun 13, 2003 6:37 pm

Tom in North Carolina,

I wasn't confused by what you said. The way I interpreted it - Elvis' passing had an immediate impact.

Tom (from Ohio)

Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:52 pm

I'm confused. I thought Brinkley was only network evening newscaster who chose NOT to lead with Elvis' death, which would cooincide with above comment that Brinkley was confused about the impact that it had.

I believe I read this in the book The Day Elvis Died, the choice not to lead with the story was a big controversy.

If I'm mistaken and it wasn't Brinkley, it must have been whoever was at CBS - was that Cronkite?

Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:15 pm

Yeah it wasn't Brinkley. He in fact led the newscast with the announcement.
It was CBS who blew it leading the news with a story about the Panama Canal.

Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:42 pm

Kylan wrote:Yeah it wasn't Brinkley. He in fact led the newscast with the announcement.
It was CBS who blew it leading the news with a story about the Panama Canal.


You're right Kylan.

Brinkley led the newscast with the announcement.

CBS did not lead their newscast with the story of Elvis' passing.

Roger Mudd was substituting for Walter Cronkite (who was on vacation).
A producer or an executive or someone at CBS made the decision not to lead the newscast with the story of Elvis' passing.
Roger Mudd reportedly wanted to lead the newscast off with the Elvis story, but the producer (or whoever it was) decided against it. Mudd reportedly decided to drop the matter.

Tom (from Ohio)