David Halberstam wrote in “The Powers That Be” that Murrow was “one of those rare legendary figures who was as good as his myth.”
CBS-based Murrow was a newsman who forged his beliefs and reporting in the fires of World War II, heroically broadcasting radio reports during the Battle of Britain in 1939 to an America still hiding behind an isolationist wall. Murrow embodied integrity, fairness and principled reporting.
With Fred Friendly in the 1950s, he broke new ground with “See It Now” and helped end Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s crusade against Communism.
He trained generations of newsmen, steeping them in his vision of what journalism should and could be. The last of those newsmen is just recently gone, and TV news is now a bottom-line-driven beast looking to entertain, not inform, but Murrow’s spirit can still find its way on air.