As the JFK 50th anniversary comes to a close it is former Secret Service agent Clint Hill who may have had the last public word at a Washington event commemorating the assassination. Hill, who jumped on to the back of the presidential limousine moments after the shots were fired in Dallas, appeared Sunday at Cafe Milano for a private party for his latest book, "Five Days In November." He told his story once again as guests watched corresponding photos and video on large screens.
Looking back over the last couple of weeks of remembrance, if I had to pick one media opportunity that stands out from all the others, it would be to commend CBS News, which is live-streaming the actual "live" coverage of that November weekend 50 years ago ... and in real time. It's riveting. In fact, if you go there right now, and do go there right now - CBS News JFK Assassination - you will watch as the public file by JFK's casket in the Rotunda (just as I did and wrote about on New York Social Diary) as Samuel Barber's Adagio mourns with them. That went on all day and night 50 years ago. Tomorrow, you will be able to watch the funeral in full. Trust me, it's a must watch.
Here's what else stands out from watching the CBS coverage: how intelligent, mature and composed the CBS News correspondents were as they told about unfolding events. Never once was it about them, as so often happens with reporters today. They don't fawn, they don't sensationalize, they don't inject themselves into the story. My God, a reveltation. There are so many ways the profession of journalism has eroded and declined since then. Watching the coverage reminds me of why I chose a journalism careeer all those years ago and why today I rarely if ever identify myself as being in that line of work. "Media outlier," is what I prefer.
It's sentimental to watch Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Charles Collingwood, Eric Sevareid and others do their jobs. I'm so proud that early in my career I got to work with all of them and for a long time. They do a splendid job of providing straight, clear and responsible journalism.