The one network anchor who was embarrassed on Election Night was NBC's Tom Brokaw. And it was a "good" embarrassment that had nothing to do with any mistaken projection like the ones made in the 2000 election.
Brokaw seemed uncomfortable as former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain ended their interviews Tuesday by congratulating him for anchoring his final presidential campaign in his distinguished career.
Brokaw didn't want to become part of the story but there was no way to avoid it. NBC analyst Tim Russert also couldn't resist interjecting Brokaw into his analysis of the battle between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry.
"We thought 2000 was a once-in-a-lifetime election," said Russert at about 9 p.m. "You are two for two, Brokaw."
Locally, the congressional race between Democrat Brian Higgins and Republican Nancy Naples also was a nail-biter. WIVB-TV's astute analyst, Joe Crangle, wasn't quite as cautious as network analysts, suggesting shortly before 10 p.m. that Higgins would win because Naples didn't do well enough in Democratic areas.
"I'm not ready to say definitely yet, but it looks like Brian Higgins is going to win this race," said Crangle. Naples vowed she would be victorious after a legal fight.
Channel 2 reporter Stefan Mychajliw apparently is beyond embarrassment. He tried three or four different ways to ask State Sen. Byron Brown after his landslide victory if he was ready to run for mayor of Buffalo. Brown skillfully skirted the issue each time, but Mychajliw impressed anchor Maryalice Demler. She said his persistence would score points with the boss. And undoubtedly land in one of Channel 2's embarrassing "tough question" promos.