Editor’s Note: I meant to do this a few days ago, but job, grad school, etc. got in the way again!
Media personalities come and go, and few leave a lasting impression on their audiences. Today I salute the passing of two significant ones, who passed away last week: The first was a national icon, the other a regional favorite. Each had the ability to persuade their audiences to take action, which gives them an ‘A’ rating in my book.
William F. Buckley, Jr., 82, who was the first modern conservative media star via four outlets: The National Review , On the Right, The Firing Line, and over 50 books. Unlike bombastic commentators of his time and today, like Alan Burke and Michael Savage, Buckley was a true Northeastern hightone, refined in his comments. Since I’m a moderate, I liked some of his views, but disagreed with others. His media outlets were places conservatives turned to when they needed to know details of an issue. Politicians sought his endorsement, and he helped swing a few elections along the way. Here’s a Firing Line clip.
Myron Cope, 79, the radio voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1970-2004. I heard him only a few times while passing through western PA on the occasional fooball Sunday. He had a unique style of calling a game. His influence came in the form of the Terrible Towel, which he waved from his booth to jinx the opponent. He encouraged fans to bring their own garish yellow dishrag to Three Rivers Stadium. This caught on big with fans, who bring them en masse to Steelers games. These towels cause nightmares for Browns and Bengals fans (but not us NY Giants fans…we’ve got seven NFL rings to the Steelers’ paltry five). Click this link to see his profile in the Radio Hall of Fame and click the “Play” button to hear some samples. BTW: I hate the Steelers, but I give “props” to radio guys who deserve it. And Myron certainly qualifies. Anyone who can hold a major play-by-play gig for over 30 years is an “automatic.”
When media giants such like them pass on, it’s important to remember their contributions.