Thursday, September 16, 2010

TV correspondent Edwin Newman dies at 91

Comment #47

My family told me Mr. Newman had read a eulogy for my cousin George Murray at the U.N. Chapel, a number of years ago. He later wrote me a nice letter describing that he had been a good friend of his and that George Murray had been an award winning news producer. I enjoyed sharing the letter with his kinfolk, who after a tour as an Army Captain in the Korean War had worked for the US Army Signal Corps making training films, before taking a film editor job at the news department at NBC. The original director, the story went of "Huntley and Brinkley" was sick and George Murray filled in for him and they liked him, eventually producing award winning news at NBC Nightly News. One I heard of, was a documentary on Native Americans called "Vanishing Americans".

The letter Edwin Newman read at the UN Chapel, was one George Murray wrote. He had passed on in Mexico City. Years before he had to write to a crew in Vietnam that had been there trying to get the "common soldiers view" of that conflict, as it had been cancelled by "higher ups". It seemed at the time they had put themselves at risk and spent time there for nothing. I sometimes wonder if the military, perhaps General Westmoreland, who would later sue CBS for $10 million, over their hindsight report after the end of the "war" (or "debacle" as it came to be known in the media) on the accusation of the manipulation of "body counts" had been the "higher ups". Former General Westmoreland settled for an "undisclosed" amount and "hopefully" (a bane of a word according to Edwin Newman) did not end up owning CBS, over its news department. George Murray I heard last produced the news for CBS's coverage of both national conventions in 1976.

He made television look smart, and will be missed.

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