Mass media has lost some of its great figures due to death, retirement, and old-fashioned scandal, with four larger-than-life figures -- David Carr, Bob Simon, Jon Stewart, and Brian Williams -- all leaving the stage this week.
This week, Jon Stewart announced his retirement from The Daily Show. He'll be missed -- not just because he was funny, but because he told the truth in an era when much of the media wouldn't. Later that same night, 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon was killed in a car accident. "There was nothing simple about Bob Simon," said Anderson Cooper. "Except that he was simply the best." The next day, David Carr collapsed and died in the New York Times newsroom. The grace and wisdom he earned the hard way suffused his generous spirit. He never sugar-coated his insights, especially about recovery and redemption. "We all walk this earth feeling we are frauds," he wrote. "The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn't end any time soon." Sadly, with David and Bob Simon, it ended much too soon.
I remember the day in April 2001 when Bob Simon flew into northern Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp to cover the Lost Boys, a story that has become among the most watched in 60 Minutes' history, and that Bob followed for the next twelve years.
Simon collected 27 Emmy Awards and four Peabody Awards over nearly 50 years of brilliant journalism. It is shocking that, after covering war zones from Vietnam to the Middle East, and violent uprisings from Northern Ireland to Tiananmen Square, his life ended in the back seat of a town car on New York City's West Side Highway.
What made Bob Simon different for me was that he didn't shy away from traveling to the "hot spots." At the time that his colleagues were enjoying the Tel Aviv sun and beach, Bob was ploughing the streets of Gaza and the villages of the West Bank looking for that unique voice.
The Williams' flurry is just the tip of a much greater scandal: the charade of the glamorous, all-seeing Super Anchor who ranges the planet in search of scandal, outrage and spectacle. It's a colossal fake, a travesty--put over on an audience that desperately wants to believe in the sham. But, hey folks--the Emperor has no clothes.
The federal government, in fact, did increase the minimum wage multiple times while he was working his way up the ladder, and secondly, none of those increases seems to have stopped him from getting the "rotten jobs" that kept him moving up the ladder to eventual success.
I knew if I took the phone out to turn of the ringer I'd check it, like some automaton Pavlovian finger puppet. The bell rings; I slobber. Have I really been reduced to this? Have I honestly lost the ability to be in the moment long enough to make some breakfast?
You would think that cookies and technology together would make the most awesome partners since chocolate and peanut butter, right? If only...say it ain't so!
A popular proposal in Washington right now: "Fund infrastructure through corporate tax reform." Unfortunately, this is Washington/corporate-speak for letting companies off the hook for most of the up to $700 billion they owe on corporate profits they are hoarding "offshore" if they let us use a little bit of it for infrastructure.
Something funny happened as I matured and had money to spend. When my dental hygienist commented on my 'great' teeth, I was baffled at first. They didn't seem at all to resemble the ones in the Colgate commercials, but when I looked closer, I noticed that they weren't cracked or wildly uneven. Maybe that constitutes beauty?
Thirty years ago (though this seems hard for me to believe), I was teaching at The Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. One of my ...
Neither one of us had planned on this sudden intimacy. He crouched reluctantly into the cramped quarters and nuzzled in for the night. We never spoke, and I tried not to breathe on him.
Fellow Americans, we can tell the world and President Obama's blind enemies that this nation, America, is indeed better off today than 6 years ago when he became president.
Recently President Barack Obama was on CBS' 60 Minutes discussing the problems the U.S. has had in dealing with the Islamic extremist organization, ISIS.
"Writing a great thriller is like assembling a puzzle," explained author Jon Land recently when he called me from his home in Rhode Island. "When the reader first starts a book they should understand something about the pieces but not where they all fit."