Speaking to a packed house Tuesday at the Civic Center Music Hall, longtime television journalist Tom Brokaw recalled his visits to Oklahoma, which included covering the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building for NBC and being booed at an OU-Nebraska football game.
Brokaw, 73, former anchor for NBC Nightly News, was in Oklahoma City on Tuesday as part of Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business speaker series.
The veteran journalist spoke about Oklahoma City's resilience after the federal building bombing.
“What struck me about Oklahoma City was that through its grief there was a determination that through work, it would survive and become a better city,” Brokaw said
Brokaw flew into Oklahoma City on a chartered flight the day after the bombing in April 1995 and recalled staying in hotels and eating barbecue supplied by a local restaurant during his time here, he said during brief remarks to the media before his speech at the Civic Center.
He also covered the 1997 trial of Timothy McVeigh in Denver.
During the news conference, Brokaw also recalled the backlash fellow news anchor Connie Chung encountered while covering the bombing after she asked during a televised interview whether the Oklahoma City Fire Department could handle the aftermath of the bombing.
Chung lost her position as co-anchor of the CBS Evening News soon after her coverage of the bombing.
“I guess for her, it was a lesson in how to ask questions,” Brokaw said.
During his speech Brokaw also joked about his 2004 visit to the OU-Nebraska football game as a guest of University of Oklahoma President David Boren.
Cameras caught Brokaw standing on the sidelines with Boren during the game at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. Brokaw's image appeared on a large video screen at the stadium, and spectators began to boo, much to the newsman's chagrin.
Boren tried to blame the boos on Nebraska fans that day, but Brokaw was not fooled, he said.
“I knew they were Okies,” he said.