Maybe you have to be a newspaper person to understand why it’s sad to see people like this go, but this morning I’m thinking about Jack Germond.
I didn’t know him but I read his stuff, saw him on TV and always liked his style.
I suspect he was like some of the others — my first editor, for one, John R. Bott, he of the New York Post and later The New Mexican — who would work long hours to do their trade right and brush off inevitable criticism with a, “Whadda they want for 25 cents?” (Probably a nickel when Bott started).
You’d be a fool if you thought these guys didn’t know their business and how to do it well. Bott set me straight more than once.
“If this was a real newspaper, you’d be fired,” the old New York newspaperman, who started as a copy boy on the Post’s Lindbergh kidnapping desk, told me in a New Mexican episode that still makes me shake in my boots.
Bott, who chomped on cigars and was fond of martinis, died at 70 in 1984. Germond made it to 85, despite reported bad habits, and finished a novel before he departed Aug. 14.
There’s a pro for you.
Here’s a little of what the AP said: “WASHINGTON — Jack W. Germond, the portly, cantankerous columnist and pundit who covered 10 presidential elections and sparred with colleagues on TV’s “The McLaughlin Group,” has died . . . He had recently finished his first novel, “A Small Story for Page Three,” about a reporter investigating political intrigue, being published Friday.”
Here’s a commentary from Germond’s friend Walter Mears.
And here’s a video interview with his friend Dan Balz.