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John Palmer Dies, Professional Journalism Was His Foundation

August 4, 2013


I would be totally remiss if I did not pay respects to one of the truly professional journalists who passed away this weekend.

There are many memories I have of John Palmer as I watched him stand countless times on the lawn of the White House to report the news being created in the building behind him.  But there is perhaps no more vivid reminder of his abilities than when reporting a major scoop in 1980.  Palmer reported the news about the Carter administration’s failed attempt to rescue the American hostages being held in Iran.  It was a major international event, and also had tremendous political significance for President Carter who was waging re-election.  I recall seeing the story on television before heading off to school, and knowing there would be much to learn once I was home again.  (It is amazing the odd little things we recall about the days when we were younger.)

Over and over Palmer would be the source Americans turned to for the latest insight and facts about the power players inside the Beltway.  There are many reporters in Washington to be respected and admired.  But there are then a few who stand above the rest for the seasoned, balanced, and objective reporting they offer to the nation.  Palmer was such a man.

With forty years of knowledge and background as a reporter Palmer would have made for a most amazing dinner guest.  The stories he could have told, along with the insight he contained about not only politics but even more important how the media does its job would have made for countless hours of enjoyment.

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