Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor
One of the great television news writers of our time passed from the scene recently, and sadly, very little attention was given to his death. Then again, it was typical of John Mosedale not to attract any attention.
It's hard to remember when I first saw John Mosedale. I didn't know his name at first—but as a boy, watching the CBS Evening News and carefully studying the background and the people in the room, (for all I knew, they were black-and-white in person, as they appeared on our TV) he was one of the writers I saw. Always in a bow tie and white shirt, always working away at something. In adulthood, when I worked at CBS on 57th Street here in New York, I remember seeing him in the hallway. It was akin to spotting the drummer from your favorite rock band—the guy behind the front man, the guy who helped make the music great.
John Mosedale was known around CBS News Headquarters for something I'd never seen someone do, and haven't since: he was always reading a book. He never walked down the hallway or to the cafeteria without an open book. He lifted his eyes from the page only long enough to see where he was walking. Later in life, I got to know his daughter—and actually had the thrill of meeting John. He was one of the people who shaped the way we saw and remember history. The history of our industry will record that John Mosedale spent a part of every day trying to make himself better and smarter—so he could do the same for us.
Additionally, we learned over the weekend that Liz Carpenter is gone. Having listened to hundreds of hours of the recorded phone conversations of President Johnson—I can attest to the fact that she was one of a handful of people who stood up to that giant man from Texas. She knew how. She was from the same place, and spoke the same way. I got to meet Liz at the Johnson Library in Austin, and she was such great company. Lyndon Johnson once said, "Liz would charge Hell with a bucket of water." She called herself, "a foot-washing, Psalm-singing, total immersion Democrat." Liz Carpenter was an event—a life force big enough to live on in all who knew her, and many who didn't.
My thanks to Ann Curry for allowing me two days off last week. I'm back, and we hope you can join us tonight.