Here is my column I wrote on the passing of Paul Harvey for the Northwest Arkansas Times:
I was surprised how little the online media covered the death of radio news legend Paul Harvey. Even on the conservativeleaning Drudge Report the mention of his passing was so short-lived that I couldn't find it in their archives. National Review had a few short notes on its blog. I only found a frontpage Web link on ABC News' Web site, which I assume was because Harvey brought in hundreds of millions of dollars of ad revenue for ABC/Disney over the years. Ironically, I found out about Harvey's passing only after my wife saw it on a posting by one of her Facebook friends.
Even if the new media didn't understand him, Harvey (even through his 80s) had no problem understanding the tools of the digital age. The old school radio newsman could speak via iPod and the World Wide Web with the best of them, and he certainly covered the rise of new media on his "News and Comment" radio program.
His ability to remain germane was what kept him successful for generations. His radio format was old-fashioned, and his style was quaint, but his commentary was always relevant.
In many ways, Harvey has been a role model or hero of mine. He was someone who was wildly successful but never forgot the core values that made him who he was. Harvey was certainly conservative, but he was not partisan. He certainly was no shill for any party. Through his radio broadcasts, however, his belief in a world with real good and evil, his classic American work ethic, and his faith in the common decency of the common man provided a stable voice for our country through both good and bad times.
I also liked Harvey because his radio broadcasts were poetic in nature, both in terms of the words he used and how he delivered them. As a writer, it was obvious to me how much he handcrafted each sentence.
I wish I would have had a chance to meet Harvey in person; in 1996, he even paid a compliment to one of my columns on his radio show. Being mentioned on the show certainly was a personal and professional highlight for someone just graduating from college, and something I still am somewhat proud of.
Harvey had an Arkansas connection through John Brown University. Both John Brown (the university's founder) and Harvey were radio pioneers and shared similar values, so Harvey crossed paths with John Brown Sr. and John Brown Jr. (JBU's second president). And Harvey's wife and producer, Lynne "Angel," sat on the JBU board of trustees. At that time, the student newspaper was sent to the board, and apparently Angel marked up copies and passed them on to her husband. Both Paul Harvey Sr. and his son, Paul Harvey Jr., have lectured at JBU and attended various groundbreakings over the years. It's likely that growing up as a boy in Tulsa, Okla., he was aware of KUOA, a radio station owned by JBU for most of the last century.
For my generation, Paul Harvey is a voice we grew up hearing on the radio. But for older Americans, he was a pioneer in television news as well. Harvey Jr. put it best: "My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news. So, in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today millions have lost a friend."
I wonder if Paul Harvey is in heaven now, sitting with Jesus, getting the ultimate scoop on the rest of the story.