Friday, July 23, 2010
Thank You and Goodnight
Want to hear about a real scandal? Something truly newsworthy, as opposed to, say, editing a clip from a low-level government official talking about an event that happened long before she even worked for the government and touting it as evidence of widespread racism and corruption?
In 1976, a correspondent for CBS News who had been personally recruited by Edward R. Murrow received a file from a confidential source that detailed extensive illegal CIA and FBI activities. It was called the Pike Committee Report. When CBS reportedly refused to air the contents of the documents, the correspondent quietly leaked the file to the Village Voice, which then ran with the story. He was not only suspended by CBS for doing this; he was called before Congress and hectored to reveal his source -- which he refused to, asserting his First Amendment right as a member of the press.
He risked his career and his very freedom for something he believed in.
And in the end, he became known as one of journalism's elder statesmen because of the sort of courage and conviction it took to make that stand.
That man was Daniel Schorr -- who died this morning at the age of 93.
There are very few people in the news business who truly have earned the title of "legend." Daniel Schorr is unquestionably one of them.
So if you're out tonight, raise a glass to the man who read Nixon's now-infamous Enemies List live on network television -- only to find out that he was #17 on it.