On the morning of Sunday, July 20, NBC News paterfamilias Tom Brokaw was wrapping up Meet the Press, where he has been anchor since the sudden and untimely death of Tim Russert.
The weekly round table had ended, and it was time to say goodbye to his guests, NBC political director Chuck Todd and NBC White House correspondent David Gregory.
When the segment ended, both reporters sat with their hands neatly folded in front of them and awaited the frugally dispensed approval of Mr. Brokaw.
"Thank you very much, David Gregory, our NBC White House correspondent and, of course, star of MSNBC's The Road to the White House," said Mr. Brokaw.
Mr. Gregory managed not to grimace. His show is called Race for the White House.
"Chuck Todd, our political director," continued Mr. Brokaw. "We'll be seeing a lot more of you, here, on Meet the Press ... in the weeks to come," Mr. Brokaw said, it seemed, to Mr. Todd.
Mr. Gregory kept smiling as the credits rolled. But if deep inside his mind there was a momentarily flicker of career anxiety, the ambitious newsman could be forgiven. Since Russert's death, speculation about the future anchor of Meet the Press has tended to favor the 36-year-old Mr. Todd and Mr. Gregory, 37. And it was Mr. Todd who got the public invitation to return.
Of course, it's not Mr. Brokaw's decision. But the slip was a reminder that nobody in Washington seems to be paying attention to Mr. Gregory's new show.