Just found, via John Podhoretz at Commentary, that the first Republican to break what we would now describe as the Gray Lady’s red state color barrier passed away today:
William Safire, who died today, was a breakthrough figure—the first professional Republican ideologue of his time to become a mainstream fixture in journalism. Indeed, when he was hired by the New York Times to write a column after his tenure as a speechwriter and intimate of the president in the Nixon White House, the shock and horror with which his new position was viewed in the Times newsroom and in the journalistic corridors of Washington were unprecedented in their ferocity. Safire himself said that people would barely look him in the eye in his place of employ for years.
A trend that continues in MSM newsrooms to this day. The latest issue of Newsmax quotes this exchange between Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, when O’Reilly asked Beck, then-newly arrived at Fox, what life was like at CNN, his former employer:
Do you know what a pariah I was? The [CNN] management was always very good, but going around what I called ‘the pit of despair,’ the people in the newsroom that are just typing…
I was walking through the newsroom one time and [a reporter] looked up and said, ‘yuhhck!’
I said, ‘That’s not necessary.’ And she said, ‘Oh, you expect it.’ And I said, ‘I do — and isn’t that sad?’
Just another day amidst the nattering nabobs of negativism.
Update: Orrin Judd has a lengthy round-up of obits and related links under a very Safire-esque title: “Heavenly Hosts Hasten Hack.”
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