With humility and professional Bob Schieffer said goodbye from the Face The Nation news desk this morning. Following an interview with likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush and a thorough review of the various angles of national defense with CIA Director John Brennen the broadcast ended with Schieffer, who anchored the program for the past 24 years, standing alongside all those who helped make the program possible each week. It was a classy send-off from one of the best journalists I have had the pleasure of watching over all these years.
By allowing his last program to about the topics of the week, and not about him, he made the statement in clear terms that he had been making each week during his long career. The news business is about informing the nation on the happenings that we need to be aware of.
He spoke this morning of wanting to work with Walter Cronkite, and his other aspirations concerning broadcast journalism. Cronkite was one of those mightily respected faces of the news business and Schieffer can rightly stand alongside him. That is why Schieffer was so important.
People trusted him.
At a time when some reporters and politicians and celebrities failed to be forthright and above board there was always Bob Schieffer who could be counted on to be honest. We did not know him personally but was sure he would be a gracious guest should he ever really come to our home. We did let him in over the decades to inform us when we needed to better understand the world, and also to be calmed when events erupted and he provided insight so to allow us ways to cope with tragedy. As was his standard he was diplomatic in making sure those who were reluctant to answer a question in the end did so. We thank him for that, too.
There are many sound and professional men and women in journalism. You and I turn to them every day. But there are only a select few who have traveled with us week after week over a large swath of life and as such are like family. Bob Schieffer was one of them. He loved the news, politics, and reporting. And he showed us why we needed to care, too.
Next week will arrive and I will tune into another edition of Face The Nation. I am sure to like John Dickerson as I already respect his political analysis. But I will know under the desk that the anchor is not wearing purple socks.
It just will never be the same.