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Dick Scaife’s legacy: A tribute from Mike Huckabee | TribLIVE.com
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Dick Scaife’s legacy: A tribute from Mike Huckabee

Dear Mr. Scaife:

My heart sank when I read your message “What matters most” (May 18 and TribLIVE.com).

Your candor and courage about facing cancer is what one might expect from a man who has lived life with an all-out dedication to whatever the task before you.

When so many people of wealth would have been content to guard it and be risk averse, you have lived in quite the opposite way — you gave generously to your community to take it from a place where people thought of rust and smoke and make it one of the most hospitable and habitable cities in the world.

That would not have happened had you not stepped forward and contributed generously to your city. Clearly, you did not gain personally. But every family in Pittsburgh did and I hope the people of your fine city truly appreciate what you have done to give their grandchildren a great city.

As you spoke passionately of your love and respect for newspapers, I reflected on how much I could hope that your message would be required reading to every journalism student in America.

Even though I read a lot of content online out of necessity due to travel, I still subscribe to four traditional newspapers for home delivery and the paper-and-ink version remains my favorite way to consume news.

And when I speak to students of the electronic generation who get their information from blogs, websites and social media, I try to remind them that they have a responsibility in not only what they write but in what they read.

I fear that too many of them fail to understand that in “my day,” a newspaper not only delivered information but that information had been put through a critical process called “editing.” “Facts” were not considered facts until the sources had been verified and the story fully vetted.

The mark of a great journalist is that after reading his or her story, one cannot determine by the story the opinion of the writer.

There was a time when the news and the opinion were walled off from each other. The wall is gone and if today’s consumer of news doesn’t act as his or her own editor, anything goes as to what the perception might be.

You have been the consummate newspaperman. You took strong and courageous stands and spoke truth to power in your editorial content. But you kept the integrity of the art in reporting the news.

My prayers are with you in these challenging days ahead.

God bless.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor of Arkansas, is host of “Huckabee” on Fox News Channel (Saturdays and Sundays, 8 p.m.).


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