Archive for May, 2015

Tom Cassidy — journalist

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October 19, 1987 was such a bad day on Wall Street that we call it “Black Monday.” It started in Hong Kong, where their stock market shredded 45% of its value, and it slowly followed the sun to frontiers of Wall Street. The US market went down 22.7%, the largest one day crash in the history of our stock market. By comparison, the first day of the Great Depression of 1929 showed a loss of only 11%.

Tom Cassidy (1950-1991)

Tom Cassidy (1950-1991)

Enter TOM CASSIDY of CNN. He was their business and financial anchor. On Black Monday, Cassidy stuck to facts, rejecting OMG/Chicken-Little stories. Other news outlets went bonkers, but Tom Cassidy kept CNN calm. Journalistic.

What most people don’t realize is that Tom Cassidy got news from his doctors that he was HIV positive. He was diagnosed with AIDS on Black Monday, the same day the country needed him to be calm on the air.

In fact, the disease had already progressed to AIDS before he was diagnosed. In 1987, having full-blown AIDS was a death sentence.

Tom Cassidy, hosting Pinnacle on CNN

Tom Cassidy, hosting Pinnacle on CNN

So Tom Cassidy anchored Black Monday on the very day he found out he was dying of AIDS, and he anchored coverage calmly and factually.

He died on May 26, 1991.

Everyone would say Rest in Peace, with feelings of gratitude on his coverage of a scariest day ever on Wall Street.

Not so much on CNN.


If one of my employees covered Black Monday with the class Cassidy showed, I’d be screaming his praise as loudly as I could. To CNN, it’s like Tom Cassidy never existed.

I don’t understand what was (and continues to be) CNN’s failure to acknowledge. AIDS fears? Homophobia (Cassidy died when DADT and DOMA were being formulated by so-called gay “friend” Bill Clinton. Why haven’t Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon done anything? The whole thing continues to be weird.

Rest in peace, Tom. Thank you for being a real journalist.

RIP Jim Wright

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My friend Jim Wright died today. He was old (92), and I know he was tired of fighting health issues like the cancer that popped up from time to time.

He and I drifted apart slowly and quietly lately. We didn’t even exchange our Christmas letters this year.

Jim Wright was a member of Congress, absolutely a Democrat of the Yella-Dawg ilk. That said, he was always ready to schmooze. and horse trade with anybody, even GOPs, to get stuff done.

He was aware of the guy who adopted me, Mr Republican. Dad would drag me out to Ridglea Country Club for Sunday buffet. No, I am basically the opposite of a country club belle. Often as not, the club would have to lend me a sport jacket to bring me up to the dress code.

And Jim Wright would see us. The plot was set. He’d sauntersaunter
➤ (n) a careless leisurely gait
➤ (n) a leisurely walk (usually in some public place)
➤ (v) walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
over — along with the eyebrows that alw

U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas

U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas

ays needed to be braided — and after some preliminary greetings, he’d want to talk politics, as dad’s comfort level sunk lower and lower.

Watching the old man squirm inside the country club was more fun than you’re supposed to have on Sunday in Texas.

Jim Wright was in Congress for more than 30 years. He was also Speaker of the House… until Newt Gingrich figured out some weird ethics charges. I heard Jim beat himself up for resigning. He should have stayed and made Newt famous as the sociopathsociopath
➤ (n) someone with a sociopathic personality; a person with an antisocial personality disorder (`psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath')
he really is.

Fort Worth and the US lost a good one. Please keep Jim and Betty (wife) in your prayers.