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Thread: Newsman Ed Bradley Dies

  1. #1

    Default Newsman Ed Bradley Dies

    CBS newsman Ed Bradley dies

    BY DIANE WERTS

    Newsday Staff Writer

    November 9, 2006, 1:43 PM CST

    Ed Bradley was a pioneer on "60 Minutes." Never mind that he was the legendary CBS News broadcast's first black regular when they added his correspondent's chair in 1981. Among a reporter corps renowned for their collective, uh, experience (OK, let's say it, their advanced age), Bradley, then 40, was definitely the young turk. He even wore an earring, off-camera only, until his "60 Minutes" presence was established enough to chance the on-air flak of the time.

    Bradley was widely heralded as the first "new blood" at a program born of the World War II generation and grown into a TV institution that would belatedly grasp the need to refresh itself. By the time Bradley died Thursday at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital of leukemia at the age of 65, he had become one of the old guard himself, criticized earlier this year for fawning over golfer Tiger Woods in a softball "60 Minutes" interview.

    Over the intervening 25 years, however, Bradley distinguished himself journalistically with reports on a wide range of topics, from sexual abuse in the Catholic church to the Columbine school killings to reopening the murder case of civil rights era victim Emmett Till, which won Bradley his 19th news Emmy last year.

    "He certainly was a reporter's reporter," fellow "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace told CBS News Radio as word of Bradley's death spread Thursday. ABC's Barbara Walters said in a statement, "He was a great journalist who did the most serious work without ever seeming to take himself seriously."

    Like Walters, Bradley was a master of the big "get," landing "60 Minutes" interviews with such hard-to-snag names as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh (another Emmy-winning report) and entertainer Michael Jackson at the height of controversy over his child molestation charges. More than the program's previous correspondents, Bradley mixed his hard news investigations with celebrity profiles, chatting easily with old-timers like Liza Minnelli and Lena Horne and such younger stars as Bono and Derek Jeter.

    Bradley had grown up working class in Philadelphia, where he was born June 22, 1941, and where his parents sometimes worked two jobs apiece, he later recalled. "I was told, 'You can be anything you want, kid,'" he once told an interviewer. "When you hear that often enough, you believe it." After earning an education degree in 1964 from nearby historically black Cheyney State College, Bradley took a job teaching sixth grade. He was already moonlighting at local Philadelphia radio stations, and made a big-time leap in 1967 to reporting for New York's WCBS radio. CBS News hired him as a stringer in 1971 and sent him to Saigon during the Vietnam War, where he was wounded during an assignment in adjacent Cambodia.

    By the time Jimmy Carter became president in 1976, Bradley was covering the prestigious White House beat for CBS television, but he itched to return to globetrotting reporting. He did that two years later in award-winning fashion with the longform specials of "CBS Reports," delivering in-depth programs on "The Boat People" (earning Emmy and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards), "Blacks in America: With All Deliberate Speed?" (another Emmy and duPont), and even a historic symphony visit in "The Boston Goes to China" (Emmy and Peabody).

    Bradley stepped up to CBS' flagship magazine "60 Minutes" in 1981 when correspondent Dan Rather moved to the network's weeknight evening newscast. (Bradley had himself been anchoring "CBS Sunday Night News" for five years.) Among a cast sometimes perceived as stodgy, he quickly earned an aura of pop-culture cool. Bradley played himself on early '90s sitcom sensation "Murphy Brown," guested on HBO's sketchfest "The Chris Rock Show," and even made a self-parody short for David Letterman's 1980s NBC late-night show.

    Among Bradley's 19 Emmys is a 2003 award for lifetime achievement. He received a similar honor last year from the National Association of Black Journalists. In accepting it, he remembered being present at some of the organization's first meetings. "I look around this room tonight and I can see how much our profession has changed and our numbers have grown," he said. "I also see it every day as I travel the country reporting stories for '60 Minutes.' All I have to do is turn on the TV and I can see the progress that has been made."

    Bradley, who lived in New York, is survived by his wife, Patricia Blanchet.

    This story includes information from the Associated Press.


  2. #2
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Its a shame.

    Leukemia? Was he a smoker? (Are the two at all connected, or am I saying something silly?)


  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Don't know if he smoked.

    Seems to be some correlation between smoking / leukemia:

    Risk Factors

    http://www.novartisoncology.com/page...44950363921339

    Certain factors can make one person more likely to get leukemia than another person. These are called risk factors. Although such risk factors do exist, a person who has one or more risk factors will not necessarily get leukemia. In fact, a person can have all the risk factors and still not get leukemia, or he or she can have no known risk factors and still get the disease.

    Smoking. People who smoke are more likely to get AML than people who do not smoke. Scientists estimate that smoking causes 20 percent of all AML cases.

  4. #4

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    I ignited all my search engines to find out if Ed Bradley was a (tobacco) smoker. When nothing conclusive returned, I posted the question in Yahoo! Answers. Under the celebrities section, this was my exact question:

    Was Ed Bradley a smoker?
    Please provide documentation. Thank you.

    A member of Yahoo! Answers reported me for breaking the rules, and my question was taken down.

    Yahoo! Answers sent me this notice:

    Date: 11 Nov 2006 21:19:04 -0800 From:"Yahoo! Answers " <answers-abuse@cc.yahoo-inc.com>
    Subject: Violation Notice Email To:<Rapunzel>@yahoo.com Hello <Rapunzel>

    You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines. As a result, your content has been deleted.
    Deleted Question: Was Ed Bradley a smoker?
    Question Details: Please provide documentation. Thank you.
    Reason of Violation:Chatting & Personal Communications
    If you have feedback on this violation, please contact Customer Care.
    Yahoo! Answers Team
    _______________________________

    I just wrote back to Yahoo! Answers:

    Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 00:21:06 -0800 (PST) From:<Rapunzel>
    Subject: Re: Violation Notice Email - I was unfairly reported To:"Yahoo! Answers" <answers-abuse@cc.yahoo-inc.com> Yahoo! Customer Service:

    I feel that I was unfairly reported for abuse and that my question was unfairly removed.

    As you can see below, my violation was "Chatting & Personal Communications". I did not chat or have personal communications with any member of Yahoo! Answers from the time I posted my question thru the time recorded on this email.

    Your logs will confirm this. You will see that my Yahoo ID has not sent email to or instant messaged with any other ID in at least 24 hours.

    I do not wish to be unjustly recorded as a violator of rules on Yahoo! Answers. I would appreciate your looking into this matter. Thank you.

    <original violation letter here>
    _______________________________

    Notes: "Rapunzel" is in lieu of my real email account name. Also, I can't provide the links because they are my email account (lol), but I can forward these letters to anybody on the WNY staff.

    I saved the "best" for last. Before I logged off my Yahoo account for the rest of Saturday, I checked my Yahoo Answers. I saw that my question had 5 responses (no answers), 3 of which were abusive; the question received 4 thumbs down ratings.

    For just a moment I'll put myself in the shoes of someone who is viscious and vindictive: yes, if I hated a question, I would report the questioner on a fake abuse charge.

    OK, I'm back to being Rapunzel.

    Somehow I get the feeling that Ed Bradley, regardless of his personal habits, would have disapproved of my question being taken down so swiftly.



  5. #5
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Criminally Ironic.

    What did they hate about your question?

    Were they accusing you of bashing blacks, smokers, or Ed personally?

    Would you have been banned for asking about Steve Irwin and his use of Stingrays?

  6. #6

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    Wow. That is pretty interesting. I remember once when I was part of a motorist enthuisiast email group. One member managed to roll over their vehicle on a flat road without anyone around, they were making solicitations for his medical bills. In retrospect, perhaps asking about alcohol as a factor was insensitive, but one has to wonder. No details were presented, I felt bad about him being injured, but I wasn't planning to pony up cash to help out a drunk driver. Backlash was overwhelmingly negative, I was quickly removed from the group.

    Now I _really_ wonder if he was a smoker.

  7. #7

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    60 Minutes devoted the entire program yesterday to Ed Bradley. It was metioned that he liked cigars, but not as a link to the illness, just one of the things he enjoyed.

    From what I've read, there is evidence that tobacco is contributory to contracting leukemia, but not as clear cut as say, that for lung cancer. The most common risk factors mentioned are environmental (radiation, chemical) and genetics.

    It was stated that Ed Bradley did some 500 reports/interviews during his career. I don't know how many of them I've seen, but I had seen all that they showed clips from. Some of them were classics.

    The customary final thoughts from Andy Rooney were brief:
    Ed Bradley's death Thursday morning dominates all our thoughts here at 60 Minutes. It's difficult to keep our minds on our work.

    When people are involved in a successful venture, they're happier together than when it's a failure. 60 Minutes has been a uniquely successful television broadcast and Ed Bradley has been a dominant part of that success for 26 years. Those of us lucky enough to have worked to help make the broadcast what it is have been unusually happy working together. We played together, too.

    My work didn't have any direct connection with Ed's work on 60 Minutes. We each did what we do as well as we were able, but we did it separately. I'm glad so many people liked him for the work he did but it wasn't why I liked Ed. He wasn't someone on television to me. He was my friend.

    I don't have enough years left myself to ever get over missing Ed Bradley.

    Not ever.

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    As posted above, smoking seems to be a factor in about 20% of cases, leaving other factors (genetic, environmental, etc.) as possible linkage / causation in the majority of cases.

  9. #9
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Most television newscasters were smokers 20 or more years ago and gave up when they found out about cancer, or when they could...

    I was just curious, not that I am deeming his death as appropriate or deserved if he did....

  10. #10

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    Understood, but it was further back than 20 years ago.



    Standard issue for scribes and dicks: a hat and a Chesterfield.

  11. #11
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Nah, I am talking about when most of them stopped.

    I know that, during my lifetime, they were smoking on these shows. Maybe in the early 70's?

    Then in the later 70's they stopped smoking no the tV, and after a while, many quit.

    But I hear these stories about people having problems now, later in life, because of the 20 odd years they smoked when they were young.

    It is a shame. And the fact that we still allow them to be sold freely in so many places, and advertised, is just shameful!

  12. #12
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    ... sold freely ...
    HA! They're taxing my butt off

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    Most television newscasters were smokers 20 or more years ago and gave up when they found out about cancer, or when they could...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    I know that, during my lifetime, they were smoking on these shows. Maybe in the early 70's?

    Then in the later 70's they stopped smoking no the tV, and after a while, many quit.It is a shame. And the fact that we still allow them to be sold freely in so many places, and advertised, is just shameful!
    Since we are trying to determine if Ed Bradley smoked cigarettes...

    You would not have seen him smoking on TV; it was before his time. TV ads were banned in the US in 1971. News reporters were definitely not smoking on the air after that date, but I think they stopped some time in the 60s, when the first Surgeon General's warning was issued.

    I remember it was strange seeing old TV news clips from the 50s, with reporters puffing away.

    Another 60 Minutes correspondent, Mike Wallace, smoked like a chimney. In his early TV years, he had a late night interview program called Night Beat.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...94984326849079

    Wallace even did cigarette ads for a time in the 60s.

    Don't know when (or if) he stopped, but he's 88.

  14. #14
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I think he did, but he is gravelly as ever in his voice...

    I guess I was not seeing actual broadcasts then, mayybe it was just films of some classic reporting and I misplaced the time that they happened....

    But enough about smoking, any memorable interviews you guys would like to share?

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