Editor’s Note: What I Meant By Ed Bradley’s ‘Pimp Years’


Yesterday, during FishbowlNY’s coverage of Ed Bradley‘s death, I linked to a vintage video of Bradley I found on CBSNews.com. I entitled the post “Video: Ed Bradley: The Pimp Years.” Judging from my inbox and voicemail today, it seems that my choice of words may have offended some readers of this blog. First thing’s first: I loved Ed Bradley. A guy who actually fit the word “legend” — a word that probably gets tossed around too much. In terms of television news journalists, he was it for me — more than Rather, Brokaw, anybody. If there was a fantasy league for TV news, I’d trade up to get him on my team.

I thought our coverage of Bradley’s death reflects such reverence. For those of you who missed, here are the other posts:

  • How Katie Handled Ed Bradley Death News
  • Ed Bradley Dead At 65
  • Video: CBS Evening News EP: ‘This Is A Family Devastated By The Loss Of Ed’
  • mediabistro.com’s special coverage
  • On the word “pimp”: To me, it is an endearing, descriptive term that I often substitute for “cool” when I need an extra kick to it — “motherf*cking cool,” if you will — though as I have been reminded today, it isn’t always used that way. My headline was merely referring to Bradley’s 1970s wardrobe in the clip I selected. Bradley was also one of my sartorial heroes, although it hasn’t quite translated the way I had hoped.

    I suppose I could’ve gone with “Ed Bradley: The Motherf*cking Cool Wardrobe Years,” but he was always that way. As I learned in a writing class once, your first, gut instinct is usually best. In this instance, perhaps it wasn’t. I apologize if the post offended anyone.

    A few years ago I started a list — one that now lives on my hardrive somewhere — of people I’d like to meet at some point. A few actors. Directors. Journalists. Mookie Wilson. Maybe interview them. Have a beer with them. Whatever.

    I never got to meet Ed Bradley. But hopefully we’ll all continue to encounter the spirit of his work.