One of my heroes died today. Gwen Ifill, an astute, funny news reporter, host of PBS’ “Washington Week in Review” and cohost of the PBS “News Hour” died at 61. I’m just sooo sad about this. Bob and I together watch very little TV. I need someone to narrate the visuals, so can’t do it independently, and Bob rarely watches anything regularly. However, he’s been caught many times in random acts of watching, using with the sound muted, standing, planning to take a 10-minute break which turns into a half hour—all the time standing.
But “Washington Week in Review” was our show. We scheduled around it on Friday nights. Recently I attended a conference that began on Friday night, ruining our mutual sharing of the show. A friend offered Bob her hotel room while he waited for me, and uncharacteristically he accepted, because the bar he waited in didn’t have “Washington Week” on the TV.
We loved Gwen. Without fail, at the end of the panel discussion, Bob and I stepped away, saying, “She is sooo great.”
She was insightful and incisive and energetic and wonderful at drawing out the four journalists asked to appear that week. She kept the discussion humming along and managed to add a point or clarify or correct, all with rare brevity. And she was delightfully humorous and just so respectful.
In the past six months I’ve lost three dear friends, and today I’ve lost a hero. All who have appreciated the best possible fair, accurate news coverage must share my sadness. RIP, beautiful soul, beautiful Gwen.