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as in black america reflections of the black experience in american society and i live here in washington the details of your elevens liberation remain unclear as chris and tony indicated the question remains whether he escape to when he was released and we continue to emphasize that for obvious reasons every weekday evening and eight and ten eastern time for night shoppers as the top news stories of the day for washington dc to view was of cable news networks prime news as washing your anchor for not shop belongs to a very select group is the only black journalism major television network anchoring the evening news when i shot a former cbs news senior capitol hill correspondent and miami bureau chief
for abc news mr sha so the white house is you know the prices weren't good and the assassination of dr martin luther king jr this week focuses on our job and it was a challenge to compete with those people and i never viewed myself as and still well i regard myself as a reporter who happens there were no problems it uncovered no problems because there were times no one like color did play a role in an interception or in people's reactions to the nineteen nineteen seventy one he was a reporter for the westinghouse broadcasting company's web based in chicago in nineteen sixty eight or not shock over the fastener ministrations
and the president's decision not to seek reelection as a white house correspondent that same year you report on the aftermath of the assassination of dr martin luther king jr in memphis tennessee from october nineteen seventy one to march of nineteen seventy four the night show work as a reporter for cbs news this was the bureau as a correspondent for cbs news conducted an exclusive interview with former us attorney general john mitchell at the height of the watergate scandal in april nineteen seventy seven but now charge on the abc news team as is miami bureau chief a latin american correspondent in june of nineteen eighty one i shall resign his position as abc news' singing capitol hill correspondent to join cable news network at its inception i spoke with images shot in his office at cnn washington bureau it was all intentional i wanted to do a new analysis of city growing up in chicago there were a mile cbs pain was my idol he was
the kind of journalist a kind of interview with a kind of naked and i wanted to be and i felt that rather than major in journalism and that was more important get a perspective on this planet and how mankind is about and i thought that history would be a good major for that end i knew that i could write and wanted to learn how to write better i was an accelerated free classes when i was going through the chicago public school system and in my hometown and they're taking special writing courses iconic things always had the encouragement any indication that if i pressed on what i would develop further so that's why i majored in history rather than journalism assuming that the writing and getting like jobs and sweeping out radio stations and working in newspapers would have it that would come later as did you work in journalism why attending
university of illinois what is puzzling degree in history i was somewhat yes i'm somewhat of a freak idea was working full time at all those radio station wu in us full time and caring know what we go for both a forty dollars and the court system or the ritual or a couple times the station was on by text and gordon clinton and then i would leave of the campus it to the afternoon and i would work go from four o'clock until midnight and my off days were regularly goes off or something like tuesday or wednesday has a worse time to be off but that was my career that's what i wanted the opportunity was there and i just felt that i should make the sacrifices i was working full time at the un us at and then i went to work the marshall field tv station in chicago the ufo the channel thirty two and in nineteen sixty eight i
went to work for what the thirty two i went to work for westinghouse broadcasting in chicago to be windy which at that time was the best radio news department in the whole city and as you and your listeners know that chicago's are highly competitive news town whose history goes back to the days of well even hemingway used to be a reporter in chicago i've been hacked people like that sandy that open all of them have come out of the chicago shop i were there and now i'm westinghouse and sixty eight to promote me and transferred here to washington i covered the white house for you in the last year the johnson administration and which meant a lot of needs to texas to austin and to san antonio especially like last weekend in austin because of the president going all we get in seventy one cbs network ard near washington a lot of work for cbs had worked here in washington as a network correspondent for about six years and after that i'd always wanted
to cover latin america and it's my favorite place in the swirl outside the united states an abc news said well if you come work for us you can go down and the bureau chief covered latin america which i did for three years and i came back here in nineteen seventy nine and then after doing some duty and mia iranian hostage crisis over in iraq and i left abc because there's something called cable news network was starting up and they asked me if i was interested in becoming the principal washington editor cnn and because a different mind george watson who was a navy security and as well abc washington bureau chief in kabul we are temporarily to start up his beer goes to it was here i came on board and then sure i used to work with at cbs he was here and i felt that was good enough reason to join cnn and that's why we're sitting in office talking you mention that you covered the white house what was it like
being a black reporter covering the white house for america you could be a green reporter covering the white house and it is an extraordinary experience from lyndon johnson was a character as you know everyone knows he was finishing out his term he would not run again but he still was a man who could drop a lot of interesting people around him and create news as he did the last year was very interesting covering lyndon johnson i think of the best reporters per beat are at the white house regardless of whether they're wire service reporters is that report magazine reporter radio reporter television reporters the best the cream of the crop and there and it was a challenge to it to be a part of that group and compete with those people and i never viewed myself as
and still i love myself as a reporter who happens to be black rather than a black reporter there were no problems i encountered no problems because of color there were times though when my color did them play our role in end and perception or in people's reactions to me let me be more specific lyndon johnson the last six months of the administration was the guest of many people wanted to say thank you mr president we know you're leaving office a note there were series of farewell parties it became very morning near washington because that's all we did was go to parties to watch on the first couple being offended by their friends but one friday night he was invited up to new york the plaza hotel this beautiful sumptuous ballroom and he was being vetted by all kinds of people for example
lady astor if she was there with all her diamonds and this woman at least we estimated about four hundred thousand dollars worth of gems under an actor here's what happened a she brought from one of her mentions of these silver herbs and there were fifty earns in a ballroom with each color long stemmed roses and nine and getting his comedy tour for a reason people in the nba and the audience included people like woody allen of the urban league in all kinds of leaders duke ellington was there a lot of authors were rob paulsen was there people from the arched people from industry in the fortune five hundred hp board chairman whether but i was a pool reporter in the poll is that a group of reporters at smaller group number not more than ten people who physically gold where the president is
and they reported what the president does to the larger group a white house correspondents scott you can have a hundred fifty people going everywhere while i was the pool reporter i was clear that this might have a very strong civil rights and the signatures have brought their ms johnson the president to the entrance that they were going to take them through to get into the ballroom and i there was a there was a strong civil rights scene that night and president and mrs johnson came up and they were held by the secret service until they were getting ready to go through this curtain which had not been part of us and are standing there with my pencil and notepad and president reached out and touched me on the head and said it's good to see again and i know as a human being that he did that one because i was black and because of the abuses that night i just a small city another thing
was before us johnson left office earlier had occasion of the year and richard nixon's white house not before he left office but when president nixon was an hours at the white house again on a temporary basis and armor were some of the office and when you go into the oval office to try to get as close as you can to hear what the man is going to say because a lot of times when people are speaking in low voices in the oval office get here so i screwed it it is the office and immediately went around the side of the desk and i came up to live far corner left hand corner of the debt so that i was closest to the president and the other reporters were you know going in trying to getting closer while and then just dropped a bombshell its he announced an appointment to the supreme court and i think it was judged clement haynsworth described him as a lawyer's lawyer and a judge's judge that kind of thing
well as we all know mr haynesworth did not make it and there's a lot of controversy but there we had had indications at their hands worth might be might be a candidate for the highest court the land and there were some pieces that had been done in the day in the press and the artist to his words background was not very conducive to a black americans would consider a butcher is too would have their best interest in hart and as the president was praising his nominee mr haynesworth professionally right hand was copying down every word but my mind was thinking clement haynsworth supreme court justice what i felt very interesting i was the only black person in the oval office and i was standing as close to richard nixon as you and i are sitting and
the president never once looked at me never once it's a kind of a major survey couldn't document in court we human beings awful want another riot it was a body english kind of day and i know what was in the president's mod i know what he did not look at me i could not prove that i just knowing instinctively you've covered a love national events civil rights movement dr king's assassination question the march on washington has the climate for black american your opinion changed that greatly it depends on the size of your pocketbook it depends on your job if you have a job if you're educated you have a profession i should think that you have continued doing very well but if you are not
educated if you're a black teenager who hasn't had a job in a long time i don't see how you can say that things have improved it depends on the size of your pocketbook airworthy indeed you have a pocket book they and the major anchor for cnn here in washington is it difficult for you to decide what should be the major stories to white house automatically the lead in story in which you would have on a particular day audio of the issues here and why stick that you may want america to know that it's not going to go to washington and it is a deuce capital of the world it has a life all the charm and the news stories that leads that newscasts are decided by the importance or the weight of the news its importance it could come out of the white house the lead could be on the latest consumer price index figures believe today a state department reaction just one paragraph
written statement put out in response to something that happened in the kremlin believe could be a demonstrators farmers demonstrating on pennsylvania avenue and being a busted up bubble is it all depends on the weight of the story within the context of other stories that are happening not only in washington but across the country and around the world and it is not it is not a unilateral decision by me i'm just one of many persons you'd see it and i did not make the final decision and no generally whatever story is she is decided on it gets a number one ranking or number two or number three writing because of its importance within the context of the news for what type of fact the war gate have on new reporting it and also saying what it was doing to this country that was the most frightening period i had known since being
in washington and i've been here since nineteen sixty eight covering the watergate story was totally exhausting it was not a ninety five story a simple one afternoon on saturday i was assigned to cover the rhythm come back in time and was having a lot that pro market demonstration and the production demonstration on the grounds of the washington monument and at this point at the other guy like to say this to people interested in becoming reporters are more cronkite only winners and wrinkled it nineteen sixty one he and i got together and we were talking and he said you should learn about any and everything you should always be you're talking now about the washington monument i was covering this rally and it produces and on cbs radio network it to me that they want to do a spot as we call it that one of us on our report from me for two o'clock so i covered john mcentire for about an hour and a half and i
have enough and i started walking back towards the white house or is going to file a report from the white house that was at a new year's relay point that we have physically and as i was walking back thinking about howard's been white the lead i got close to the white house dr assaf dr gordon around the back of the white house and i noticed his candidacy and i knew that the president richard nixon had all the white house correspondents out in the rose garden for some kind of ceremony that was the focus that was what the white house wanted the press corps in the middle of watergate to concentrate on the white house press corps so as i was walking towards a white house southwest gate to get it in writing from our reporter mcintyre is demonstration i notice as cargo plot the only thing i saw was the back of a guy's head in the back seat with a wall spot and i thought that's john micek the attorney general was he doing politically
i got tested are showing the my secret service that's what had a white house press pass and they don't like iran on the grounds the white house but i had to make certain that that indeed was john mitchell he has at that point in the war against or there was a major controversy about mitchell's involvement whether he knew about the plumbers and certain things well and affect my senses tell me that was richard nixon has a white house press corps in the rose garden this guy the attorney general of sneaking into the white house one importantly about watergate these were you know these were my theories are in my mind so i ran up the walk and i say well you know i can run a hundred yards up there and look into this limousine the guy will have gotten out and gone into the building so i stopped a plan to my seat on the sidewalk my feet on the sidewalk and i waited to see who was getting out of his car in d the man got out the the receding hairline the pipe in the mouth it was just that you and he went through a side door i got into our booth
at the white house were dan rather and bob pierpoint normally work and they were out the white house rose garden and i call this on the desk and i said i i will do my report on coral mcintyre but guess who just leapt into the white house john mitchell and the morning broke out of the euro we said forget about paul mcintyre we signed a courier to watch that shows an amazing we had to find out where he was going well the courier followed islam as a once he left the white house to national airport meanwhile we asked ron ziegler we were to him privately and said is the attorney general in washington is the attorney general here in the white house would not confirm or deny that the attorney general said the white house
kerry told us that he was getting on shuttle to new york then you're sure not race to national airport gotten the same plan on playing with a crew that was were born walked up and said we don't want it i'm roy you're disrupt your flight to new york or we would like to talk to you any promise that he would talk to us and new york and recorded it would get off the play between shore and i asking him about fifteen washes that's all he would take it was clear to us that there was a major meeting at the white house and he said that when his time came to testify he would testify and he would be cooperating with the watergate prosecutor i need to take so much time so my point was that as a reporter the slightest thing can be the tip of an iceberg of a major story and by seeing this bald spot in the back of the head by knowing who the washington had these are what is your responsibility was nothing profound that i did i was merely do my job
cbs at the time were able to get a major story which led to our show that night why is removing bulletins and other newspapers picked it up but it was a major development at that point during the watergate story an indication of how exhausting it was in her walking across the sell side of the white house i ended up in new york that and came back down and the shuttle and robin weber was to ensure that i talk about art and i got better and one in the morning one sunday morning but that's an indication of how about the watergate story was having worked at three major networks are the news operations that different from their work and their work no end of a lawyer listeners will say well he is huge right out how many of us have what had occasion to know to look at one network's news program and switch the channel and see
the same story well people cover the news generally the same way aside from what we call the enterprise reporting were you doing in bed you know your listeners and austin or elsewhere that people listening to the longhorn network know about a certain story but generally here that there's no mystery about covering the news you know that if the president's going to have a news conference they didn't report the major things out of it if mr washington in chicago is having one of these typical flights with alderman edward only actor and suddenly that i have a major summit you know that's going to be a major story that evening on the evening news it's such a such a you do the obvious and south africa are is a major the issue here in washington
that the president was seeing covering and i have the real true issues surrounding south africa and the reason for the protest actually being known to the american pope oh we're covering a story you're in as best we can we thought it was very important that there are cameras be outside the embassy when stevie wonder was a rest but with those important report that along with other people been arrested members of congress would have a lot of the story is not just our of course outside the embassy grounds we've had the ambassador and an artist and a half hour an hour programs within their view the ambassador without reports out of the honest work with that devon listeners who have viewers of call them in expressing opinions about south africa in covering this other african stories for suit is concerned it's important to be balanced and to be fair and that
always sought to do two part question your duties there was possibility here it's a meander and how do you go about the premier nightly newscast well my responsibilities basically our to hang loose and i'm a principal washington anchorman which means i'm on call twenty four hours a day for example when the savage murder of more than two hundred american servicemen occurred in a room guys usually the interaction where i when that happen when a show while it's happening daniel schorr our walking into this bureau ago quarter of five sunday morning it wouldn't leave until later the interim one resident was shot at by john w hinckley here in washington we just carried mr reagan's address to this labor groups law to write back there i
get out of the anchor chair until ten o'clock at night when air florida flight ninety crashed into the potomac and to the fourteenth street bridge here in washington and amazon here at nine hours so when major stories recur my responsibility is to be on call and get ready and be prepared to come and help cover them preparing for the evening news starts early in the morning what is on the news budget year washington meaning what news stories are we going to cover and it unfolds that impulse rock the day and uncertain on how things go as to what is in the evening newscast we have a big conference call eleven o'clock in the morning the participants on the evening news program and this is just one of many conferences in meetings that occurred throughout the day not only in washington but in atlanta as we can correlate what's coming from our bureaus around the country and around the world so it's it's a series of nonstop meetings discussions conferences along with reporters out of the beats covering stories
the day here in washington or elsewhere and we were unaware down until we decide what's important what will be in the first dark hard news and what will be in the second hour of evening this and the process goes on and on sundays week see unwashed tin bureau anchor bernard shaw if you have a comment a like to produce eggs that cabinet is from a ride at the addresses and black america long one radio network ut austin austin texas seventy seven twelve when black americans technical producer david alvarez i'm janice you've been listening to like america or reflections of the black experience in american society in black america is produced and distributed in the center for telecommunication services and does not necessarily reflect the views of the university of texas at austin where this case
In Black America
Bernard Shaw
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KUT Radio
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KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
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Cable News Network's Washington Bureau Anchor Bernard Shaw
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Race and Ethnicity
University of Texas at Austin
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Copyright Holder: KUT
Guest: Bernard Shaw
Host: John L. Hanson
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Chicago: “In Black America; Bernard Shaw,” 1985-02-22, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 6, 2022,
MLA: “In Black America; Bernard Shaw.” 1985-02-22. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 6, 2022. <>.
APA: In Black America; Bernard Shaw. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from