It’s odd how things can pass you by. I’ve been moving this weekend, packing boxes, loading stuff into a storage unit in nearly hundred degree heat; you know, everybody’s done it. And since my Jeep’s FM radio is dead and I’m only getting the AM band, I didn’t have NPR on like I would’ve normally done, so all’s I heard was a short blurb on CNN (The Most Busted Name In News) that Daniel Schorr had died. It sorta blew right by me- AM radio is background noise…Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura and Michael Wiener aren’t worth paying much attention to. It wasn’t until last evening that I realized with a start that Daniel Schorr had died. The Daniel Schorr, possibly the very last trustworthy name in journalism. Shit.
I write crap. A political satirist is by nature a liar, Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Beck, all those guys, call themselves “commentators”, but they’re satirists too…they just don’t have a sense of humor. We all do the same thing though; they just make money at it. We lie about the news to make a point about what we believe is the truth, or at least what we want you to believe. But Mr. Schorr made a career of figuring out what the truth really was and telling us, no matter whether it got him in trouble, or fired, or really anything. He could also be called a “commentator”, but he was actually an analyst who wrote commentary, which is how NPR correctly referred to him. If I could’ve been anything in my life, choosing to be like Daniel Schorr would’ve been in the top three. Archeologist, Historian, Daniel Schorr.
I’ve led an interesting life…New York City nightclub owner, Brooklyn construction supervisor, years living in a cabin with no running water and a wood stove for heat in the mountains, concert lighting designer, truck, bus and limo driver… you know, stuff. Been rich and dirt poor several times each. But in the end, it was only interesting (at least to me), it didn’t really matter. What Daniel Schorr did mattered. I stopped everything when his broadcast segments came on so I could hear the voice of wisdom and experience. It made me with my cheap shot writing feel small and insignificant, but I loved every second of it.
Daniel Schorr understood the 20th Century as no other newsman could; he lived through nearly all of it…the Roaring Twenties, The Crash, The Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War, Korea, Kennedy’s assassination, the Sixties, Vietnam, Nixon…all the Bubbles and Bursts, the social changes, everything that brought us to 9/11 and where we are today. And he paid attention. He could put history in context. How can anyone duplicate that knowledge?
So, I’ll keep writing my crap and wishing I could’ve been a real journalist, the Right Wing pudnits will keep spouting out their’s too. News outlets will continue reporting whatever governments and corporations tell them to. No one will actually try to figure out the truth or put anything in perspective (I still do trust NPR, but without Mr. Schorr…I don’t know.). And I’ll continue my slow withdrawal from the world and the lies it feeds us.
Because, you see, now there’s one less person to trust.