Marvin Olasky
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Orville Schell, dean of the University of California, Berkeley's graduate school of journalism, told the Mercury News that Halberstam on his final journey gave "a truly inspired talk here at Berkeley," and afterward stayed late in a restaurant discussing similarities between the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Indicating the veneration that Halberstam received, Schell recalled that "No one wanted to leave. It was kind of like the last supper."

Halberstam was the best and brightest of the old journalistic era, which will not be resurrected. He elegantly wove tales of government and corporate mendacity. He orated brilliantly about oppression. He worked hard, gained disciples and received not only numerous honorary degrees but something more important -- articles upon his death with headlines like "Halberstam was my journalistic hero" and "Saying goodbye to a mentor."

According to song, the day Buddy Holly's plane crashed in 1959 was the day the music died. When a car broadsided the one Halberstam was riding in, he died almost instantly as a broken rib punctured his heart. The journalism he was the heart of, one where reporters claimed to possess gnostic wisdom, is also dying. We've entered an era of citizen journalism, where everyone has a camera and YouTube replaces You Believe What I Write.

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Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit www.worldmag.com.
 
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