Friday, November 10, 2006

Reflections on Ed Bradley

Remembering a role model

My heart skipped a beat when I heard about the death of legendary newsman Ed Bradley. To me, Mr. Bradley represented the best of broadcast journalism. He was a gifted correspondent - a fair man who could ask the tough questions. He had an uncanny ability to get people to open up. His compassion came through time and time again.

I think people, even when they were subject to difficult questions, felt "safe" with Mr. Bradley. His integrity came across loud and clear. He never gave me the impression that he considered himself a big shot. But he had an incredible sense of style when it came to his appearance. He looked fabulous in suits. He looked fabulous in active wear at a sporting event. He wore an earring in his left ear. He loved jazz. To me, he was the essence of cool.

I got the sense that this correspondent was a deep thinker who never forgot he came from the tough streets of Philadelphia. '60 Minutes' correspondent Steve Kroft said that his colleague "walked with the people." I think we saw that in Mr. Bradley's reports.

Ed Bradley was versatile and had great presence. He was a talented and fearless war correspondent. We listened intently as he covered White House news. He seemed to enjoy seemingly quiet moments as he talked with superstars such as Aretha Franklin and Muhammad Ali. His interview with condemned Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh gave us the opportunity to see McVeigh as a human being, not just a homegrown terrorist.

I learned something new about Mr. Bradley that I didn't know before. He had a degree in education. Prior to starting his career in television news, he taught sixth grade.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that as a broadcast journalist, he was considered by his peers to be the ultimate storyteller. He earned 19 Emmys during his distinguished career, including one for the McVeigh report. This reporter and anchor, who was among the first wave of African Americans to break into network television news, was honored last year with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

At CBS, Mr. Bradley's nickname was Easy Ed. This brilliant newsman will be missed.

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Alina said...

Reading your description of him, I got the exact feeling that he was indeed the "essence of cool".

Hassan said...

Your thoughts on Brother Ed are right on point. It will be some time before we have another like him, and we need someone with his style of journalism to fill his shoes ASAP.

Dennis Fermoyle said...

I, too, liked and admired Ed Bradley. I've watched 60-Minutes as long as I can remember, and he was on it for as long as I can remember. His death makes me feel sad and old.

Deb S. said...

Alina: I think that you really would have liked Ed Bradley.

Hassan: Thank you. I had to get past the grief in order to write this. I appreciate the tribute that appears on your site.

Dennis: I, too, have watched '60 Minutes' for as long as I can remember. I join you in feeling sad, but I won't own up to feeling old!

I'm long overdue for commenting on your site. You are not forgotten. I promise to pay you a visit soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Rose said...

I enjoyed reading your views on Bradley. I posted on him but not my feelings. He was the ultimate and I like that photo.

Belizegial said...

I did not know about the passing of Ed Bradley and feel a sense of loss. Some faces in the media become so familiar to one, they are almost like one's family. That's how I feel, as if family has passed away. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Tubby said...

Winning nineteen Emmys was an incredible accomplishment. He was a distinguished journalist indeed. It is sad to see him leave, Ed Bradley will be missed.

Deb S. said...

Rose, Belizegial and Tubby: I couldn't have said it better. Thank you.