"David S. Broder: Reporter.
Of all the epitaphs that might fit him - journalist, columnist, commentator, author, teacher, student of politics - we think our friend and colleague Dave Broder, who died Wednesday at age 81, would likely be most pleased with the one-word description we offer above. Mr. Broder was a columnist for many years, but he started out as a reporter and remained one for a lifetime. Like most reporters, he clearly learned , from the time of his first job on the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph, a basic lesson of the business: that the story you expect to write when you set out on an assignment never quite matches up with the one you find when you get there. Or, as he put it in one of his books, sometimes "the moment comes when the disappointed reporter has to tell an editor, 'It doesn't check out.'"
When [my eldest son] Carl was at the Baltimore Sun, a young reporter complained that one of the prima donnas in our business had treated him shoddily. Carl told him to forget it and to think instead of the example set by Broder. "Don't ever think it's necessary to be puffed up," Carl advised the young reporter. When I was a teenager, he said, David Broder never came to our house and didn't ask me what I was doing or how I felt. He is the greatest of them all, and he never had a swelled head."And, from colleague Joel Achenbach:
"A number of ideologues, particularly in Blogworld, hated him for his political leanings, which were very close to being perfectly vertical. But that was enraging: He anchored himself in the political center, and religiously espoused good government, compromise solutions and bipartisanship. Naturally, the true believers viewed him as a dangerous moderate, a dinosaur, a centrist crank."Outside the Beltway:
"His name became something of an epithet on the Left, with “Broderism” used to describe a neutral and bland form of commentary that refused to call out truly bad conduct in the name of bipartisan objectivity. But Broder was simply a holdover from an era where journalists–even columnists–thought they were in the business of covering the news rather than making policy."
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