Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Goodbye to a friend

Today, WBZ announced that long-time talk show host David Brudnoy was near death, and tonight's show would feature an interview taped at his bedside in Mass. General in the last day or so. I didn't know him personally, but everybody in New England knew him anyways.

To describe Brudnoy as "a talk show host", though, is like describing Godzilla as "a lizard". Brudnoy was the rarest of creatures: a civil voice on airwaves that carry far too much hate, vitriol, and shock. He actually read books before inviting authors on to discuss them. Though a moderate libertarian (much like myself), he never kept opposing views off his show, never shouted people down, and let his intellect do the defending, rather than rely on empty rhetoric.

Health problems over the last decade (beginning with a near-fatal bout of AIDS in 1993) forced him to cut back his broadcasting schedule in recent years, and he moved his studio to his Back Bay apartment (where he'd serve cocktails to his in-studio guests) as well. Last winter, he developed Merkel cell carcinoma, a fairly rare form of the disease, and was able to drive it into remission for a time. Unfortunately, late last month the disease again got the better of him, and he signed off for what turned out to be the last time a couple of weeks ago.

I think he hung around this long just so he could anchor the Election Night coverage one last time. Farewell, David - you will be truly missed.

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