Despite my incessant complaining about the current state of the television news industry and the utter failings of so many who exist under its banner, there are still plenty of dedicated journalists who hold our monumental responsibility as sacrosanct -- and never give an inch in that regard.
Today, unfortunately, there is one less.
Ed Bradley was everything true journalists aspire to be: Intelligent. Thought-provoking. Honest. Compassionate. Tenacious. Unafraid.
But unlike those who can call themselves his equal in those respects, Ed Bradley had something else -- a very special quality -- that no one else could touch, and it showed in every single story he did.
He was just so damn cool.
He had a class, dignity and style that elevated him to what I believe was the very top of the heap -- the finest American journalist of his lifetime, and certainly the last of his kind.
Understand that for all of my caustic outrage and righteous indignation, I accept that my role in this business is and always has been -- at least on some level -- to turn murders into music videos. Bradley would have none of that. Though he was as down to Earth as they come, he was far above the fray of what television news has become over the years.
That's why he was always one of my heroes. And why he will be sorely missed.