Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Still Call It The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

Okay, okay, it's officially The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. It USED TO BE called The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. MacNeil left the newsprogram in 1995! Whoops ... a little bit behind, Halley. Wikipedia had an interesting write-up on MacNeil:
On November 22, 1963, MacNeil was covering President Kennedy's visit to Dallas. After shots rang out in Dealey Plaza, MacNeil followed crowds running onto the Grassy Knoll (he appears in a photo taken just moments after the assassination). He then headed towards the nearest building and encountered a man leaving the Texas School Book Depository. He asked the man where the nearest telephone was and the man pointed and went on his way.

MacNeil later learned the man he encountered at about 12:33 p.m. CST was Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald, recounting the day's events to the Dallas police, described MacNeil as a Secret Service agent because of his suit, blond crew cut, and press badge (which Oswald apparently mistook for government identification). This conclusion was made by historian William Manchester in his book The Death of a President (1967). For his part, MacNeil says "it was possible, but I had no way of confirming that either of the young men I had spoken to was Oswald." On the phone, MacNeil relayed the first report of the shooting for NBC Radio. He then headed to Parkland Hospital where he arranged a phone connection with Frank McGee, who was anchoring the developments with Bill Ryan and Chet Huntley from NBC-TV in New York.

At approximately 1:40 PM CST, MacNeil relayed to McGee that White House acting press secretary Malcolm Kilduff made the official announcement that President Kennedy had died at 1:00 CST. (Kilduff was press secretary because the main press secretary, Pierre Salinger, was travelling to Japan with Secretary of State Dean Rusk and five other Cabinet officers.)