Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

R.I.P. Ed Bradley

   I was saddened to hear on the news last evening of the death of Ed
Bradley from leukemia. I have enjoyed a great many of his fine reports
on "60 Minutes" over the years. There was extensive and most favorable
press coverage of his career today and I learned several things I didn't
know. Among his many awards was a George Polk Award for coverage of the
Cambodian refugees. He covered the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. The
Washington Post reported that while in Cambodia in 1973 "he was wounded
in the left arm by mortar fire and shrapnel peppered his back. The
soldier standing next to him was killed." He returned to the area in the
spring of 1975 to report on the fall of Saigon and the earlier fall of
Phnom Penh.
    My sole personal encounter with Bradley was on the latter occasion.
It was not a happy encounter but it was memorable, and I included the
anecdote in my oral history of my Foreign Service career. Here is the
relevant paragraph. The date is April 12, 1975, the day we evacuated our
diplomatic mission, including our Cambodian employees and their
families, plus some foreign diplomats, a few senior Cambodian officials,
and any other Americans we could gather up to depart the city on twelve
U.S. Marine helicopters. We had earlier received authorization to
include American print and TV journalists and their Cambodian and other
foreign staffers in the evacuation, as we informed them at 7:00 a.m. on
the day of the evacuation. This encounter took place at about 9:00 a.m.
The evacuation concluded at about 11:00 a.m. after Ambassador Dean and I
boarded the last helicopter to lift off from Phnom Penh. Bradley was on
board the same helicopter, filming our haggard faces for his report to
CBS News.

Begin Quote:

The morning of the evacuation came. We told the press at 7:00 a.m., and
they were furious. I ran into Ed Bradley, now of "60 Minutes," in the
chancery compound that morning and he gave me literal hell because he had not had
enough advance warning to get some extra film into Phnom Penh so that the
evacuation could be captured on TV tape in extenso. That got me rather
upset and I told him that if he preferred to be left behind, he could
call for his film; by the time it arrived, we would be gone. He said that if he had been
advised one or two days earlier, he could have had the film. I told him
that if I had warned him earlier, we would have had a mess on our hands--sheer chaos.
He was absolutely furious; he said he could not explain to his superiors
his failure to capture the evacuation thoroughly on film. In the end we
did a big favor for Bradley and the other TV people. They got the story
of the week, live, with lots of great action shots, and they got flown
out with us on the Marine helicopters to the carrier Okinawa. They were
stuck on the carrier until it got to port in Thailand, but (Ambassador
John Gunther) Dean and I and our Public Affairs Officer--Jim
McHale--took their TV film with us to Bangkok, to which we flew
immediately courtesy of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force, and the TV
story of the evacuation (including Bradley's story) was featured
nationwide on the evening news that very night.

End Quote.

Robert V. Keeley
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.