Veteran anchor Jim Gardner had some parting words about the state of journalism in the country during his last newscast.
The legendary 74-year-old anchor, who is retiring from Philadelphia ABC owned station WPVI after 44 years, told viewers he is concerned about the future of the freedom of the press.
“Permit me a final word, if you would. The American free press has been under attack, not by forces from other countries, but from elements embedded in our own society, and even our own government. It worries me deeply,” he said.
Gardner went on to quote Thomas Jefferson’s words to John Jay in 1786, “Our liberty can not be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”
“We are not the enemy of the people. Serving the people, you the people of the tri-state area, with responsible and unbiased journalism. This is our mission now and in the future. And if we falter, you damn well better let us know, for your benefit and for ours.”
As part if his farewell, Gardner also told viewers “”What I need you to know is how much I’m going to miss you,” he said. “We have long had an unstated agreement, you and I. I like to say that we formed a covenant years ago. We give you respect, and our commitment to reporting in a no-nonsense way, those things that are important to you and making sure that what we tell you is accurate and fair.”