George Christian is the best photojournalist that I have ever worked with. It's one thing just to have your pictures in focus. It's another thing to have the distance right. But George goes leagues behind that. He has this intuition, this sense of knowing not only when something is going to happen, but also the ability to be there when it happens - with the camera in focus and rolling.
Our colleagues in the news business recognize his talent, and on Friday honored him with the Radio Television Correspondent Association's Jerry Thompson Memorial Award for Outstanding Photojournalism. I am so proud to call him a CBS News colleague - and I think we've been lucky to have him for all of these years.
George has been covering the news for CBS since October 6, 1971, when President Richard Nixon was in office. A few years later, when Pres. Nixon prepared to resign he ordered everyone out of the Oval Office except for a CBS News cameraman and George himself. He's been traveling the world with presidents (and myself) ever since. On September 11 he was on Air Force One with Pres. George W. Bush.
He's seen history and made it look great. And, he's made all of us at CBS News look pretty good, too. He's saved my bacon - and probably most everyone's here at CBS - more times than I can count. It's hard to get scooped when George has your back.
And every Sunday morning, I sit at the desk a little easier knowing George has my back. Or, rather, my face. He's been Facing the Nation with me for a number of years now, in addition to being out in the field.
So thank you, George, for everything you've done. And congratulations on a very well deserved award.