Watch CBSN Live

An Honest Man

Weekly commentary by Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

If you live in New England, you know by now that David Brudnoy died Thursday. As "The Boston Globe" reporter for two decades on his radio show, he helped New Englanders to understand the world beyond their doorstep.

Whenever I went to Boston to cover politics or talk about a book I had written, I'd always drop by his show, in the beginning frankly because it was one of the best places in America to sell books, in more recent times because I just enjoyed talking with him. He called himself a libertarian and he had a conservative perspective but he was so different from so many of the professional partisans, those who declared themselves conservatives or liberals and then must look up the issues to find out which one they are supposed to promote or rail against.

David's beliefs came from contemplation, from studies of his life experiences. I found him liberal in his willingness to have an open mind, conservative in his respect for America's core values, but mostly just intellectually curious, witty and always civil. I admired him most for his honesty and courage to take a different view, to reveal his homosexuality when he came down with AIDS because he thought that might help others, to fight valiantly against his cancer, and then when there was nothing else to do, to accept death with a simple declaration, `I am ready.'

David spent a lifetime seeking the truth, and in so doing, he helped others to find it, but the larger lesson of his life is that he also lived the truth. He saw no need to impugn or degrade those who disagreed with him. To him, that would have been intellectually dishonest and he was above all an honest man. For the honest, even death comes a little easier.

By Bob Schieffer

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue