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Annals of Journalism Open Thread: Bob Schieffer



Another of the former Tiffany network’s correspondents whose career was made by the Kennedy assassination — in the aftermath of the shooting, he gave Marguerite Oswald, Lee’s mother, a ride to the Dallas police station, where he pretended to be a detective in order to be able to work the phones and file dispatches back to his paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Of such luck and gumption and guile were great journalistic careers once born:

By the time I got to the city room every phone in the place was ringing, and I just picked up the phone. The, the city editor had literally panicked when news came of the president being shot. He had sent everybody in the city room to Dallas and there was nobody there to answer the phones on the rewrite desk.

So I just answered a phone and a woman said, “Is there anybody there who can give me a ride to Dallas?” And I said, “Lady, you know, the president has just been shot, and besides, we’re not a taxi service.” And she said, “Yes, I heard it on the radio.” She said, “I think the person they’ve arrested is my son.” And it was Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother.

Folksy, smart and funny, Schieffer’s down-home Texas persona was a welcome contrast to that of his fellow Texan, “Kenneth, what is the frequency,” who also came to national prominence on that fateful day in Dallas.

Too bad, at 73, he doesn’t know when to retire:

That darn Internet!

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