ALL BRUDS, ALL THE TIME. Here's a treat for fans of the late David Brudnoy: a short film of him getting his photograph taken with Harvey Silverglate in the studio of Cambridge photographer Elsa Dorfman, Harvey's wife. It's by longtime Boston television journalist Chuck Kraemer. Click here and scroll down.
Brudnoy's friend Jon Keller had a nice tribute last night on WLVI-TV (Channel 56) - some highlights of appearances by Brudnoy on Channel 56 over the years. Keller is putting together an all-Brudnoy Keller at Large, so stay tuned.
Brudnoy's on-air home, WBZ, has posted an audio tribute alongside the interview that Gary LaPierre did with him on Wednesday. You can listen to both by clicking here.
Mark Feeney's front-page Brudnoy obit in the Globe is well worth reading, as is Dean Johnson's piece in the Herald.
And here is where you should send your check: The David Brudnoy Fund for AIDS Research; Massachusetts General Hospital; Development and Public Affairs Office; 101 Merrimac Street M01410; Boston, MA 02114-4719.
What were the odds, when Brudnoy was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, that he'd still be around in 2004? This is a sad day, but in many respects Brudnoy beat the odds. What he gave to this city and this region is incalculable. Dean Johnson's sidebar today on who might replace Bruds only serves to emphasize what a void David leaves.
No one, as they say, is irreplaceable. Except David Brudnoy.
It's not nice to talk of replacing David. But truth be told I've thought of it,only because health woes made you ponder WBZ's post-Bruds programing.
I'm not one who really believes in the "nobody can replace" phrase, but there is such a dearth of quality that unfortunately it probably does apply here. But it's a different time in radio and word is that Bruds was losing to the Savage-Ingram-Hannity Neo types. The point is that tastes have been shaped to accept bomb throwers. Programers feel conservatives will listen to one of their own, only. WBZ is a business, not a public trust. They are not know for paying big bucks. I'm concerned about their choice but I hold no allusions that it neccessarily must be a good one. Not in the current climate.
By the way the BBC was faced with the loss of Alistair Cooke last winter. They have yet to replace him and didn't try to continue "Letter from America."
It isn't inconcievable that talk will never be the same at BZ again. Perhaps an era is passing along with David, as it did with Cooke?
When Ronald Reagan died, his near-unanimous lionization in the media drowned out discussion of the negative parts of his record as well as the positive. The same is happening in Boston following the death of David Brudnoy.
Brudnoy was brilliant and an asset on the Boston radio scene. Like many, I was entertained by his witty intellect, rapier-like sarcasm and eloquent commentary. Unfortunately, there was another side that is not being mentioned. Instead of using his microphone to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” as journalist Finley Peter Dunne suggested, David often did the opposite. I found his peevish critiques to be disproportionately directed, for example, against African-American culture, concerns and sensibilities. Eventually his elitist mockery of those less he saw as less brilliant and worthy made me sour on him.
Brudnoy also liked to cozy up to the powerful and it’s no surprise to see top local politicos from Kennedy to Romney to Finneran to Menino to Silber praising him. While he savaged the Clintons for years from a safe distance, he seldom went after the nearby powerful. That does not bespeak journalistic courage in my book.
One doesn’t want to speak ill of the dead but it’s even worse to let the public record go unchallenged when that record is omitting some less salubrious truths.
Funny, Lovell Dyett spoke at length about Brudnoy on Saturday night, and not once did he indicate that Brudnoy was hostile to "African-American culture, concerns and sensibilities."
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