A Very Un-Ratherlike Sign-off

BBC foreign correspondent Stephen Sackur makes a somewhat shocking admission in his Ifarewell broadcast. Sackur reported on all manner of international stories, but his remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001 serves as a reminder that for many professional journalists there’s only one side of the story that matters – theirs.

I was on assignment in Nicaragua, far from my base in Washington DC. I watched the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on a flickering TV. a

And then I called my wife back home. She was tearful and distraught. Our kids had been rushed out of school in an emergency drill. It felt, she said, like war had broken out.

“God this is awful,” I said with feeling. “I know,” she replied, “there may be thousands dead”.

“I don’t mean that”, I snapped. “I’m talking about me. I’m missing the biggest story of my life.”The only surprising part of the story is that he had the guts to tell it publicly.

Update: Pennywit chastises me for quoting out of context. I agree with him to an extent, but in this case the only “context” missing is that Sackur uses the story as an example of the callousness and vanity that prevalent in his former profession, and is sorry about it. Given copyright issues, Wizbang will always limit our quoted sections to the bare minimum (usually 4 or fewer paragraphs) to make a point. We do expect that readers will read the linked story, as his tale was told in the context of relating his best and worst moments.

Also, the term “Un-Ratherlike” was used as a compliment to Sackur. His sign-off was introspective, touching on the highs and lows of the experience in a candid manner not normally associated with his profession.

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  1. arb April 17, 2005
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