LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A. Something happened on Friday but it was not discovered until the next morning when I turned on the car radio as I do most every Saturday. As my wife and I drive to the local diner for breakfast we listen to Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR with Scott Simon.
What we have always liked about this program is the kind of week in review commentary of veteran news analyst Daniel Schorr. But he was not there in person this time like he usually is. Instead Scott Simon was giving about an eight minute piece in remembrance of Dan. At the age of 93 Dan Schorr had died on Friday. Yes I cried, but not because I was sad. I cried because deep down inside I felt privileged to have been mentored in a way by this man's thirst to share what he believed to be the truth.
In 1976 for example, my military career was taking me from California to the European country that was then known as West Germany. In that same year Dan Schorr was appearing before a Congressional comittee because he had leaked to the press a special report he had been given about the CIA. Dan was going to be asked to reveal his source and he was not going to tell them. He could have been found in contempt of Congress which was no small matter and it could have resulted in a couple of years in prison. But he successfully stood on principle and his First Amendment rights and he made it through the hearing. That was just one episode in his sixty some years of what he called "investigatING journalism."
So on Saturday when I had begun to write this blog I had opened a brand new spiral writing pad. On the front cover I had written "Remember Your Leaders..." and "July 24, 2010" in pen. I had sharpened a new number two pencil and put a new pencil cap eraser on the top end. An internationally known investigative reporter had died on July 23rd, 2010. But his life and work had helped to inspire at least one Mentor in Training to perhaps write with more accuracy, more dedication, and yes, maybe even with some more chutzpah.
For more of what is inspiring about Daniel Schorr please go to National Public Radio and explore a bit. If I may suggest a starting place try the following link:
Journalism Legend Daniel Schorr Dies At 93 by Alan Greenblatt
It starts with a 23 picture photo gallery and along with the printed story it has several audio and video links. Two of the audio links recommended are different lengths, one short and one longer:
NPR's Scott Simon Remembers Daniel Schorr [8 min 25 sec]
Dan Schorr Memorial Special [54 min 52 sec]
Thank you Daniel Schorr for your example :-)