On Wednesday, one of the Giants of TV news has died, Don Hewitt the creator of long time pioneering CBS News Magazine 60 Minutes. Hewitt was 81. In 1948 Hewitt first television accomplishment was directing journalist Douglas Edwards with 15 minute national newscast “Douglas Edwards and the News.” Edwards was the veteran radio newsman who brought the world to millions on the radio during The Great Depression and World War II.
Hewitt went on to do other shows for the Network in the critically acclaimed documentary series “See It Now” hosted by Edward R. Murrow who co-created the program With veteran television producer Fred Friendly in the 1950’s.
Hewitt produced the CBS Evening News with Walter Chronkite in the 1960’s The show Don Hewitt will be remembered the most “60 Minutes” created in 1968 the series garnered eight Emmy Awards. The show earned a reputation if you are on 60 Minutes you must be in trouble. That’s because it after went those who were alleged in wrongdoing.
The program also profiled news makers in arts, literature, busisness, science, education and entertainment.
Hewitt retired from the show in 2004. He wrote two books Minute by Minute a history of “60 Minutes” and a second book “Tell Me a Story:50 Years and 60 Minutes in Television. Hewitt received the Edward R. Murrow Award of Lifetime achievement in Broadcast Journalism by Washington State University in 2008.
Hewitt is survived by his wife Marilyn Berger and four children.
On Tuesday, Robert Novak died. Novak was the conservative journalist who knew the in and out of politics in Washington,DC. was 78. Novak was covered politics since the 1950’s. By early 1960’s he became columnist with Rowland Evans which was the Evan and Novak Political Report. Evan and Novak was so popular they moved to television with Evan and Novak (which would become Evans , Novak, Hunt and Shields.(Al Hunt columnist and editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal and Robert Shields also longtime sydicated columnist) on CNN. The weekly series focused on politics. Novak was also on the nightly series Crossfire and The Capital Gang.
Novak was moderate to conservative supporting Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and Republican Ronald Reagan.
He wrote stories that was critical to the left and the right. The Valerie Plame affair where Novak revealed that Plame was a CIA operative. He obtain the name from Karl Rove assistant Lewis “Scooter” Libby; Rove the first White House Chief of Staff under George W. Bush. It is a federal crime to reveal covert officer identity. But the actual person that revealed Plame and her husband Joe Wilson who investigated Iraq use of “yellow cake uranium from Niger” for its nuclear ambitions was Ambassador Richard Armitage; whom Novak learned of.
Novak wondered how a person with no Foreign Service bona fides.would investigate But it’s Wilson who served in the George H.W. Bush administration and had extensive knowledge of the African continent. The left use this to beat up on Novak and conservatives.
Novak angered conservatives by being critical of Middle East Peace. Novak believed peace between Israel and Palestine could take place. And He didn’t understand conservatives die hard devotion to Israel and supported Palestine’s right to exist.