We interrupt our regular broadcast to compliment a competitor, Bernard Shaw.
Bernie Shaw retired last week after 20 years as CNN's main man and he leaves with the good wishes of everyone who knows him. Like so many who work in all the network and cable news departments, he learned his craft in what may have been the best of all places to learn - the powerhouse Washington bureau of CBS News back in the 1970s.
As junior man in a bureau that included Dan Rather, Roger Mudd, Daniel Schorr, Marvin Kalb, Eric Severeid and 20 more of us, Bernie got what junior men usually do - the worst assignments.
Example: When it was revealed that an old congressman named Wayne Hayes had hired a shapely young woman who couldn't type as his office typist and was letting taxpayers foot the bill, it was a big deal and Bernie was put on the case. Not to report it - the big guys took care of that - but to make sure no one else interviewed her. Bernie accepted such assignments with grace and kept anyone from interviewing the woman for weeks, which seemed important to us at the time.
I always thought he would do well, mainly because he was never content to sit around the office. He wanted to be where the news was. When he showed up in Baghdad the night the United States planes opened their attack, it killed us at CBS News. But if you're going to get scooped, I guess it's better to be scooped by an old friend.
CNN is going to miss Bernie, and we are, too. And now back to our regular programming.
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