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Fleeting Fame

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fleeting Fame

November 29, 2005

When Ted Koppel signed off as host of “Nightline” last week he told a story. He said he gave a quiz to new interns at nightline to see if they have ever heard of some of the great names in broadcast journalism: Eric Severeid (not a hand goes up); Chet Huntley? John Chancellor? Howard K. Smith? No again. David Brinkley sometimes gets a hand or two and Walter Cronkite some recognize as a person who once worked in television news.

At one time virtually everybody in the country knew these names. When they appeared in public they were hounded by autograph seekers. I saw it myself because I knew, or worked with some of these men. Now, to a new generation, these giants of broadcast journalism are not only gone – and all are dead except for Cronkite – few in their teens and twenties even recognize their names.

It should be a sobering thought. Fame, like life, is fleeting. Scripture says our lives are like vapor, or smoke, quickly blown away and forgotten. Even many of the famous are forgotten. But while they live, they and we are deluded into believing in their importance.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.

Fleeting Fame