mentors


I am not a conservative. Although I do like Mary Matalin (cause I know and respect James Carville and well, she can’t be all bad if he married her).

My memories of Buckley are limited to his introductions to BRIDESHEAD REVISITED which I watched on a very small B and W tv when it aired in the early 80s (think grad school poverty). I never followed FIRING LINE (regret that now).

However, I did watch the Charlie Rose tribute Wednesday night (you can see it here) and read many articles and obits. Rose spoke of the graciousness that Buckley showed CR when he first started his NY show… but that they really connected after CR’s near death health scare. Rose was clearly emotional at the end of the broadcast Friday night and stated that he regretted all the invitations he had been too busy to honor – concluding that you can’t count on there being another time (to get together etc).

Especially moving was David Brooks tribute to WFB on the NEWSHOUR Friday night – he spoke of a man who was impressed by a younger man’s intelligence and wit; hiring him and then introducing him to a world which Mr. Brooks says he would never had had an entree to if not for WFB. Brooks attributed his career to WFB. 

DAVID BROOKS: I was an editorial associate, writing small editorials and things like that. And when you work for him, even if you were 22, 23, 24, he welcomes you into his home. He takes you sailing; he asks your opinion; he really edits you hard, so he teaches you how to write.

And he brings you into this incredible lifestyle, which was overwhelming for any young person. And it was the big break of my life. I wouldn’t be sitting here today if he hadn’t done that.

And how many people of that stature take somebody who’s made fun of them and said, “I want to give you a job”? We know a lot of people who aren’t quite that secure who would never have done that.

But Buckley did that because, a, he was secure, but also because he had the capacity for friendship and bringing people in. And even if it wasn’t the politics, he didn’t care about it. He saw someone who might make a living as a journalist, and he wanted to hire me for that reason.

That reminded me of my first mentor – a man whom I recently discovered is working in the Hudson Valley – maybe I should get in touch, even if we haven’t spoken in years.

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