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November 22nd, 1963. The date alone brings to mind a thousand images and a rush of emotion even to people who were not alive at the time of John F. Kennedy's assassination. As news director and anchor of KRLD-TV, Channel 4, then the CBS affiliate in Dallas, Eddie Barker stationed himself at the Trade Mart where Kennedy was to speak. Of course, the...
November 22nd, 1963. The date alone brings to mind a thousand images and a rush of emotion even to people who were not alive at the time of John F. Kennedy's assassination. As news director and anchor of KRLD-TV, Channel 4, then the CBS affiliate in Dallas, Eddie Barker stationed himself at the Trade Mart where Kennedy was to speak. Of course, the president never arrived. And so, Barker found himself ad-libbing on the air, knowing that something terrible had happened but not exactly sure of what it was. When a doctor acquaintance from nearby Parkland Hospital whispered the awful news in his ear, Eddie made what has been called "the greatest snap evaluation of a source in broadcasting history." Eddie Barker became the first reporter to announce to America that John F. Kennedy was dead. Certainly Barker's reporting on the assassination and all the other events closely associated with it are at the heart of this book. But this is also a book by one of the true pioneers of local television news. From the enbryonic days of local TV news, swiping stories from the local newspapers and holding up wire-service photos on camera, to the days of true electronic news gathering, Eddie Barker was there. Barker is one of the handful of broadcast journalists who shaped what we take for granted today as local news. In doing so, his face and voice became as familiar in Dallas-Fort Worth as any family friend or relative, perhaps more so. Judy Jordan, a popular Channel 4 anchor in the '60s and '70s, says, "If Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America, Eddie Barker was the most trusted man in Dallas." This book, then is also a rich memoir of Dallas from the '50s to the '80s, as it grew into the international city it has become.
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