This Morley Safer Quote Reveals His Surprisingly Complex Relationship With the Medium That Made Him Famous
Iconic CBS journalist Morley Safer died Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84. Safer had worked with the network since 1970. He was known for his reporting as a war correspondent, after which he authored the book Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam in 1990. However, although Safer was a beloved and revered broadcast journalist, he actually had an unexpected dislike for appearing on television.
A CBS special in honor of his retirement, Morley Safer: A Reporter's Life , which aired Sunday, included a clip of Safer revealing his true feelings about being on television:
I really don't like being on television. I find it intimidating, discomforting. It makes me uneasy. It is not natural to be talking to a piece of machinery.
He ultimately didn't mind this, adding, "But the money is very good."
The Toronto-born journalist had announced his retirement from CBS just last week in response to his failing health. His career, which spanned more than 60 years, earned him multiple Peabody Awards and Emmys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He worked everywhere from London to Saigon.
“He was an extraordinary writer and reporter, and a true gentleman," said CNN anchor and fellow 60 Minutes contributor Anderson Cooper. "From his work during the War in Vietnam to his completely unique and evocative pieces for 60 Minutes, he set the standard for what we all want to be as journalists. His kind shall not pass this way again."