RIP Ben Bradlee

Ben Bradlee, longtime editor of the Washington Post, died yesterday at the age of 93. He will be missed in a thousand immeasurable ways, not the least of which is how he inspired an entire generation of aspiring journalists. You see, Ben Bradlee, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, and the Post, through their flawless reporting on the Watergate scandal, brought to light the sinister and illegal actions of the Nixon administration and also fueled a young Georgia boy’s dreams of being a reporter. That boy was me, and Ben Bradlee is one of the main reasons I decided to major in journalism and become a newspaper scribe. Watching the movie version of “All the President’s Men,” I was transfixed, realizing for the first time in my life that there was nobility in reporting the news, in telling truth to power, no matter the price that had to be paid. I was a member of the Fourth Estate for four years, and the experience I gained as a result has influenced my worldview ever since. Now I am more likely to question those in authority because, as the Founding Fathers and Ben Bradlee understood, this is the right and the responsibility of all citizens if they are to serve as the final check and balance on those in power. Ben Bradlee may be gone, but his influence will live on for generations to come. He will indeed be missed. Godspeed, Ben.

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