Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Was I Saying?

Dan Rather

You may remember that I recently promised more about my visit to the National Press Building. Here are a few pictures I took from a special Kalb Report on "Anchoring 9/11." The panel, hosted as always by Marvin Kalb, included Charlie Gibson, Britt Hume, Dan Rather, and Frank Sesno. Of all the 9/11 memorials and events that were held in DC, NYC, Pennsylvania, and around the country--even around the world, this was probably the only one that could be considered "enjoyable." Most of the television specials seemed to be a mix of morbidity and sensationalism. The Kalb Report took a deeper look at how the media dealt with the events at the time, and how journalism changed in the decade that followed.

Marvin Kalb

To share some of my favorite moments of the evening...Charlie Gibson talked about how he and Diane Sawyer were anchoring Good Morning America on 9/11 and made a pact that if one of them broke down on air, the other one had to take over. They both felt an obligation and responsibility to be a voice of not only information, but also reassurance and comfort to America. On a complete different note, Charlie Gibson is hilarious. He seems completely good natured, friendly, and funny. It was also great fun to watch his face twitch, politely smile, and obviously turn completely away from Britt Hume while Hume defended the journalistic integrity of Fox News.

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson (l) and Britt Hume (r)

The other thing that I found really interesting throughout the course of the evening was the obvious generation gap on the stage. Marvin Kalb was the last journalist hired by Edward R. Morrow. Dan Rather quoted poets and philosophers on stage, referenced his time covering the Vietnam War, and sounded like the wise old sage of the group. Frank Sesno, on the other hand, talked about the technological changes--his iPhone, iPad, and Twitter addiction--that have developed since his days as CNN's Washington Bureau Chief.

Frank Sesno


  1. Wonderful candid shots, and it must have been very, very enjoyable!

  2. Good post, Lorin. Gibson must be funny if he thinks that his version of journalism is the only kind that has integrity. "What you see depends on where you stand."

  3. Thanks, Kate, yes it was!

    Thanks, Jack. Gibson didn't say anything negative about Fox News; he was quite gentlemanly about it. In the context of the larger conversation, it was about the role of journalistic interpretation in reporting news. Hume had defended Fox News as unbiased, saying that his show was a news show, while other programs are for entertainment value, but the audience can tell the difference--a statement which undermines the necessity of integrity in journalism. The personal chemistry was as interesting as the content sometimes.