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Special Event

A Farewell Tribute to Bernard Shaw

Aired March 2, 2001 - 5:30 p.m. ET




BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: You can depend us on being here all of the time. And please pass the word.



SHAW: Minutes ago, approximately four shots were fired at the president.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get back! Get back! Get back!



SHAW: In my 26 years in this business, I have never seen anything like this.



SHAW: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.

This is thunder. This is lightning. This is death. This is hell.



SHAW: Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer? GOV. MICHAEL DUKAKIS (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't, Bernard. And I think you know that...






SHAW: The camera lens I am looking into does not lie. It shows everything.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One-hundred-two, sound beat.

SHAW: This is CNN.



JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: And what a career it has been.

Well, as many of you may know, we had planned this tribute to Bernie Shaw on Wednesday, his final day at the anchor desk. But we were diverted by breaking news: the earthquake in Seattle. And that is as it should be.

You see, during his two decades at CNN, and his entire career in journalism, Bernie has believed the news is and should be the star, and that his job has been to report it fairly and accurately, with credibility and a healthy dose of humility. Today, however, we have brought Bernie back to the newsroom that he knows so well -- and there a lot of people standing around him -- because we're going to give him a bit of the star treatment.

Bernie, we, your colleagues, want to remind you and our viewers how much, how very much we value you, your work and your friendship. What a tremendous contribution you have made to our profession and to our lives. In the next hour, we are going to hear from a number of people who have worked with you over the years. Now, as you know, Bernie, we even sat down and talked with a few of them: Sam Donaldson, Clarence Page and Gwen Ifill.

We are going to hear from them. But what I want to know is: Are you ready for all this?

SHAW: I guess so.


SHAW: I will have to be.

WOODRUFF: I will hold you up. You can hold me up. So let's get started back at the beginning.


SHAW: One of the reasons why I came to CNN is that I wanted the challenge.


SHAW: I came to cover a summit. I walked into a revolution.



SHAW: Details are very sketchy at this moment. We are told that shots were fired at his party as he left the hotel.



SHAW: The first question goes to Governor Dukakis.



SHAW: As you know, there has been an earthquake out here, at least 6.5 on the Richter scale.


SHAW: The most devastating story I've ever covered at CNN was the bombing of the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.


SHAW: Whoa! The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.

This is thunder. This is lightning. This is death. This is hell.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was straight, to the point, asked a tough question.


SHAW: Many people say you should have finished him off when you had the chance. Why didn't you?

(END VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I don't know what they are going to do there at CNN. But I think they must know that in losing Bernard Shaw, they have lost an icon.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Much as he dislikes the term, Bernard Shaw is an icon. After 38 years on the air, he has emerged as one of the finest broadcast journalists of his generation, among the very few faces and voices instantly recognizable across America and around the globe.

So how do you get to the top? Start by asking someone who is already there.

WALTER CRONKITE, FORMER CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I was in Hawaii doing a story about Pearl Harbor. And we were registered in the hotel. And the very first day we were there, I started getting notes in my box at the hotel to please call this Bernard Shaw.

The second day, I came in, and the man at desk said that: "That man has been calling you -- Mr. Shaw. He is sitting right over there waiting for you to come in." Trapped me, you know.

So there he is. And he turns out to be this sergeant in the Marine Corps, for heaven's sakes. And right away, he said: "Mr. Cronkite, I have to talk to you. I have to be a journalist. And I have to find out how I do that."

RAY LOPEZ, FORMER U.S. MARINE: On weekends, when the rest of us were running around Waikiki Beach chasing girls, Bernie spent a lot of time in the cubicle where we slept next to our bunks at a desk reading.

WOODRUFF: Determination evident from the start -- Ray Lopez remembers the focus and intensity of his Marine buddy.

LOPEZ: He'd come up to me with a towel or a coffee cup or whatever, mimicking a microphone, and he would -- he would stick it in front of me and start asking me all kinds of questions. And the guy could -- the guy could talk for -- endless.

CONNIE CHUNG, FORMER CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bernard Shaw, Leslie Stahl and I were so low on the totem poll when we first came to CBS News, we didn't have desks. And we were very upset about it. So we complained. And they finally put these little kiddie desks -- believe me, they were little kiddie desks in a hallway.

And then the other correspondents -- the senior correspondents -- would complain that they were cooking chitlins and egg rolls and knishes. I mean, they had the audacity to say that. But then when we starting getting good assignments and breaking stories, that shut them up.

WOODRUFF: Good assignments like Watergate at CBS and breaking stories like the mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Covering that story for ABC, Bernie and his crew came dangerously close to stalling their plane as they captured the images that brought the horror home. From ABC: a leap of faith to Ted Turner's wild experiment, CNN.

GEORGE WATSON, FORMER CNN VP & MANAGING EDITOR: I had been the ABC bureau chief. And when I left ABC, I had my eye on a few -- very few good men and women. And he was at the top of my list.


SHAW: The No. 1 challenge is not just to tell you what and why things happen here, but to explain what developments mean to you and how they will affect your pocketbook.


WATSON: Bernie was just an extremely solid journalist, correspondent, who I knew had this anchor itch.


SHAW: President Carter says the housing and automobile industries, in fact, the entire national economy will be stimulated by a reduction in the inflation rate.


WOODRUFF: The qualities that made him our anchor, our rock: a manner and a voice that make every word believable; the coolest demeanor in the hottest situations; the cut-to-the-quick interviewing style; and, at his core, a powerful combination of journalistic integrity and pure instinct.

SANDY KENYON, SHAW'S FIRST CNN PRODUCER: This I'll never forget. We were in the newsroom, and you heard the crackling of the radio. All I heard was, "down." I believe the transmission said, "Rawhide down." And Bernie is saying, "Let's get on the air now."


SHAW: Minutes ago, approximately four shots were fired at the president as he was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel.


WOODRUFF: With Bernie at the anchor desk, CNN proved that it could compete with the networks on the biggest story of the year, and then beat them by getting it right.

KENYON: All of the other three networks, their anchormen went on the air announcing the death of Jim Brady. Bernard Shaw did not do so.


SHAW: We're told that White House Press Secretary Jim Brady was shot in the head. What his condition is, we just don't know at this point.


KENYON: I am below him, writing these increasingly desperate notes, saying, everybody says Jim Brady is dead, including CNN sources. And I am passing them up -- didn't phase him. He wouldn't do it. He wouldn't say Jim Brady was dead.


SHAW: He says it does not look that good. It does not look good for Jim Brady.


KENYON: Twenty hours after the shots were fired, I say to Bernie, "I have to ask you: why didn't you kill Jim Brady, why didn't you say he was dead?" And he looked at me and he said, "Simple. The source that was telling us and everybody else that he was dead wasn't at the hospital."

WOODRUFF: Bernie has proven himself a master of breaking news. But when the situation also called for careful thought and preparation, no one is more thorough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess in order to illustrate Bernie's ranking among fellow journalist in terms of his credentials to cover politics, it might be best to look at his question of Michael Dukakis.


SHAW: By agreement between the candidates, the first question goes to Governor Dukakis.


KENYON: Bernie worked for days on the right question. With one mission in mind: he wanted those two men to commit news. He finally hit upon a question so powerful that it helped in many minds to sway their decision about who to vote for.


SHAW: Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

MICHAEL DUKAKIS, GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I opposed the death penalty during all of my life.


TOM HANNON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: As soon as he got the answer out, he was done for the debate. I think that you can make a very plausible case that it was maybe one of the most revealing questions ever asked in the presidential debate.

WOODRUFF: Fellow journalists will recall Bernie's ability to deliver the news fast and straight, and ask tough but fair questions.


SHAW: If you had not allowed missiles in Cuba, would relations with the United States be different, better?


WOODRUFF: But for many viewers, he will always be known as a calm voice in times of chaos.

Tiananmen Square, 1989.

MIKE CHINOY, FORMER CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: We had all been up for days. Bernie had been on the air with me and the rest of us hour after hour reporting on the drama in the square.


SHAW: The situation in Tiananmen Square is that it is a standoff.


CHINOY: Suddenly, word came that marshal law has been declared, and that the Chinese were ordering us off the air.

Outside, troops were surrounding Beijing -- the outskirts of Beijing. None of us had any notion of whether they might at some point simply show up in the hotel, bayonets drawn, and force us.


SHAW: We were just told by the government of China that about 58 minutes from now, the government will pull the plug.


CHINOY: And at the final moment, before the plug was pulled, we were able, after much brow beating and negotiating, back and forth with the Chinese, to give Bernie a chance to sign off and close this whole operation down.


SHAW: In my 26 years in this business, I have never seen anything like this. For all of the hard-working men and women of CNN, goodbye from Beijing.


CHINOY: It was just an absolutely class act. Cool under fire and on top of the subject.

WOODRUFF: That experience proved invaluable. Nearly two years later, Bernie, along with reporters John Holliman and Peter Arnett made television history from the ninth floor of Baghdad's Al Rashid hotel.

PETER ARNETT, FORMER CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first moments of the bombing, when the skies were lit up, I was in the room across the hall. I raced for the microphone, and here was Bernie. Atlanta, come to Baghdad, come to Baghdad!


SHAW: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminating, and we're seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.


ARNETT: He had the microphone first. The instinct to broadcast, to be there. He didn't waiver. He didn't hesitate.

WOODRUFF: No one knew whether our boys in Baghdad would survive that night. A billion people watched around the world. And CNN as we know it was born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They really were a terrific combo, Bernie and John and Peter. Bernie brought that calm, that stable approach you look for from a consummate anchor who is a consummate journalist.


TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: How does CNN manage to stay on the air during all of this?

SHAW: I'm just thinking about whether I want to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to answer your question.

BROKAW: All right.


BROKAW: I remember saying that before the Persian Gulf War, CNN was a little engine that thought it could, but that night it demonstrated that it was a full-fledged network and a first-class news gathering organization in the eyes of just about everyone.


COLIN POWELL, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: And I think the best source of how careful we have been is listening to the CNN reporters, who were watching it unfold.


POWELL: His job was to get as much out of me as he could to tell the story to the American people of what we were doing, and I always knew that in working with Bernie, it would be that kind of professional friendship, where when I needed a hit, and when I earned a hit, when I deserved a hit, friendship had nothing to do with it. It was business, it was professionalism.

WOODRUFF: And like Colin Powell, Bernie is a pioneer.

CHUNG: Bernie's legacy, and we cannot ignore it, is that he is an African-American who broke the barrier, who became one of the big four.

He paved the way for so many people, and I am not talking about just African-Americans. I think that all of us, all the minorities, Bernie was there for us.

KENYON: When Bernie was a young radio reporter in Chicago, he was interviewing Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. And after the brief interview was over, Dr. King took him aside and encouraged him to pursue the profession of journalism, saying to Bernie Shaw, we need more like you.

WOODRUFF: A quiet word of encouragement from Dr. King to a young radio reporter, and from a famous anchor to a new technician.

MAURICE GEORGE, CNN CAMERAMAN: I passed him in the hallways. He took one step past me, turned around and said, excuse me, is this your first day here? And I said: "Yes, sir. How are you doing, Mr. Shaw, my name is Maurice."

He shook my hand and said: "Welcome, welcome to the team. Look forward to working with you." And it meant a lot, made me feel welcome here, and that is how Bernie was.

WOODRUFF: Bernie's legacy: a shining example to young journalists of all backgrounds. The man who tamed a chaotic new medium -- 24 hours news. The first voice we heard in times of the crisis.


SHAW: I do not think one terrorist bomb, with all of the carnage, will shatter either the faith or the future of the people of Oklahoma.


WOODRUFF: Bernard Shaw set the standard, then upheld it. Through earthquakes, political conventions, impeachment, debates and all-night election dramas.


SHAW: It's not over, it simply is not over.


CHUNG: Nothing could shake his foundation. He was always calm, clear, concise. If you told him the world was coming to an end, he would still report it factually.

CRONKITE: You got to have it in the gut to be a good journalist, a good reporter -- and a good editor, a good writer, a good broadcaster, and he did all of that.

ARNETT: Cronkite was a great broadcaster, Edward Murrow -- great broadcasters.

But look at what Bernie Shaw has done, the hours he spent on the air, Bernie has done it all. I mean, he is the complete broadcaster.

WOODRUFF: We are still in shock. On the day Bernie announced his plan to step back, the entire newsroom, writers, producers and editors all stood to applaud. Some cried.

Many of them are young. They, like all of us, look up to Bernard Shaw, as that Marine once looked up to Walter Cronkite. That inspiration is a gift we can never hope to repay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie built this network. As long as CNN's on the air, that's going to be Bernie's legacy.

ANNOUNCER: Up next, Bill Schneider surveys the Shaw experience. And later, some of Bernie's friends in the news business join our tribute.




TOM JOHNSON, CHAIRMAN, CEO, CNN NEWS GROUP: This newsroom will never be the same. You have brought great, great talent, loyalty, and unbelievably high standards of professionalism to CNN, to the broadcast industry. And certainly you've made such a major personal difference on all of the lives you've touched. Thanks for everything, my friend.



JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: The loss of Bernie Shaw here at CNN is going to be an extremely difficulty loss to bear. I'm not entirely sure it is constitutional to hold political conventions or elections or primaries without Mr. Shaw; it's our misfortune that we're going to have to find out in the years ahead. But speaking as the new kid on the block at CNN, I think the fact that Bernie Shaw's aspirations always were aimed at what journalism is supposed to be about is the highest compliment one can pay him, and we are going to miss him profoundly. Bernie, best of luck.


WOODRUFF: It may be unconstitutional.

Well Bernie, Bill Schneider is here now, and for old times' sake, he wants to do what he usually does when the three of us gets together: he want to talk about a poll -- Bill. WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. This just in: We have the results of our exclusive CNN poll, in which we asked Americans across the country to answer the following question: who is your favorite Shaw?

Now, the candidates were as follows: George Bernard Shaw, Bernie Shaw, the Shaw of Iran, and Ariel Shaw-Rone. I can report that our own Bernie Shaw squeaked out a narrow victory, even though Mr. Shaw- Rone received nearly unanimous support in certain Hasidic Jewish communities in upstate New York.

Now, in that same poll, we asked our viewing audience, who will you miss most on TV? This time, it was 60 percent Bernie, a landslide over second-place finisher Elian Gonzalez. Gonzalez, however, did take Florida. Former President Bill Clinton ran third at 15 percent, and our exit poll reveals that most of those voting for Mr. Clinton were the recipients of presidential pardons on the last day of Clinton's term in office. Taking last place: Pat Buchanan, with less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the vote; that's approximately the same number of votes he got in the presidential election.

But you know, here at CNN, it was no contest. Bernie will always be our favorite Shaw. The Shaw of Iraq and the mother of all anchors. Oh, and one more thing: we need to clear up a mystery. For years now, Bernie has referred to me as "Governor Schneider," or sometimes just "The Governor." Now what's that about?

It all goes back to March 3, 1992...

SHAW: Oh no...

SCHNEIDER: Super Tuesday, when Paul Tsongas defeated Bill Clinton in the Maryland Democratic Presidential Primary -- big news. And Bernie was interviewing Maryland's Democratic Governor William Donald Schaeffer. Now, in one of Bernie's rare lapses, he introduced the governor as "William Donald Schneider." Bernie quickly apologized, corrected the error and proceeded with the interview; whereupon a few minutes later, Bernie addressed him again as "Governor Schneider." Well, since it's widely known that Bernie never makes mistakes, he decided to correct the record and confer upon me the honorific title of governor. I was pleased to accept, and as my final duty in office, I issue to Mr. Shaw a full and unconditional pardon.

SHAW: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

SCHNEIDER: Congratulations.


WOODRUFF: That was the only mistakes he ever made -- the only mistake he ever made.

Well Bernie, as you can imagine, so many of your friends and colleagues want to be a part of this tribute. We have a conversation we did a little -- a few days ago this week with Sam Donaldson, Gwen Ifill and Clarence Page, and that's coming right up. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie, even though I'd like to pay you back for all those tough questions you've asked me over these years, I want to say today, congratulations on a job well done. We're going to miss you, we know you've got a bright future in whatever you choose to do. Come back and see us often.



JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One of my earliest memories of Bernie is nearly four years ago now, when I first started this job and was still petrified to stand here in front of a camera. And I could hear Bernie -- we can often hear the anchors in this silly earpiece they give us, and Bernie was reading the copy he was supposed to read before he threw to me here at the White House. And he said, I can't read all this, what will that reporter have to say, then? And I thought then, from that moment, I was going to like working with this guy. Bernie has always been considerate, and Bernie is always consistent. He is a gentleman first and a journalist second, and he will be sorely missed. And I must say it has been a high honor to work with him. Goodbye, my friend.



CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie was what I always thought of as a compassionate anchor. He'd say, Charles, before you run inside to get warm, let me ask you this; or Charles, I know you want to grab a sandwich, but what about -- maybe it's because Bernie wasn't born in the anchor chair, he'd been a correspondent like the rest of us. So Bernie, from all your tired, hungry, shivering correspondents, we thank you for that. Now I want to get a sandwich and get out of the cold.



CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So it is mid-December, the year 2000, the presidential election is not yet decided; I have not been home for about 2 1/2 months. I finish up my live shot, no doubt it was in the rain, and I toss it back to Bernie who says, our Candy Crowley, who we hope someday soon will sleep in her own bed. Bernie, I haven't told you this, but my mother is still trying to explain that to her colleagues at church. Bernie Shaw, I salute the professional. Bernie Shaw, I treasure the friend. I will miss you both.


WOODRUFF: And now to continue with our tribute to a remarkable journalist, three other remarkable journalists are joining us. Now, they are prominent journalists in their own right and good friends of Bernie Shaw's. Let's talk to them now.

Clarence Page, a columnist for "The Chicago Tribune." Sam Donaldson of ABC News. He's co-anchor of their Sunday morning show, "This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts." And last but not least, Gwen Ifill, who hosts PBS's "Washington Week in Review" and is also a correspondent for "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."

All right. Has anyone of you figured out yet why Bernie is retiring? Would you please tell me, if you have?

CLARENCE PAGE, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE": I think he's got writer's block on his memoirs there. He finally had to just leave the air in order to get it done, right?

SHAW: Yep, yep.

SAM DONALDSON, ABC NEWS: I think it's punishment for running off and leaving us at ABC -- what, 20 years ago?

SHAW: Yes, it's 21 you.

DONALDSON: Yeah, you were with us, and all of a sudden you turned around and you went with this new outfit.

WOODRUFF: And what did you think, Sam, when he did that?

DONALDSON: I thought he was nuts, you know...


But it worked out, didn't it?

SHAW: Yep, it did, it did.

GWEN IFILL, PBS'S "THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER": We came here hoping that we could ask him that question actually why he's doing, because there is no other anchor who actually is leaving. I won't name any names, but nobody else will go away. And Bernie finally says, oh, you know, this is the sane thing to do.

And when he says he wants to go spend time with his wife and family, for some reason, unlike what we -- how we react when we hear this from politicians, we actually believe it.


PAGE: We know.

SHAW: That's part of the reason. But there's a voice in here and a drummer, and they say, "Bernie, it's time to go."

IFILL: As long as they're not screaming at you, that's the key.

SHAW: Exactly, exactly.

DONALDSON: Yeah, but you're not just going to sit around. SHAW: No.

DONALDSON: I know you.

SHAW: No, I couldn't. It's not in my constitution to do that. I'll get the autobiography written, because Random House has waited patiently for nine years. But the main thing is that my best friend and I will be together uninterrupted, Linda. We've got our 27th wedding anniversary coming up on March 30th.

PAGE: Congratulations!

SHAW: Thank you. And our daughter, Anil, and our son, Amar, we're looking forward to being reunited, not that we have been distanced, but every woman and every man in this business who has a family knows that those family members sacrifice. And guess what? I've decided, concluded that it's not worth the price.

When I think about all the precious times I was away from my daughter when she was growing up, my son and Linda, in retrospect, it was not worth it.

DONALDSON: Well, can I...

SHAW: Do you sound bitter?


WOODRUFF: Not at all.


DONALDSON: But I want to ask you a very personal question.

SHAW: Yeah.

DONALDSON: When you went off, as others have done, you went to Baghdad, you went to all of these places, how come Linda stayed with you? I mean, why didn't she say, look...


It's a serious question. Look, if you want to lead your life that way, I can understand it. But I'm sitting here by myself, taking care of the family.

SHAW: Well, she did it because she loved and loves me, obviously, and she is from this business. She used to be a producer at the local ABC outlet here in Washington. And she knows this business, and she knows that I loved journalism and had been committed, and also that was the way the family earned an income.

DONALDSON: There is that.

WOODRUFF: Clarence, what is -- what is Bernie's being here at CNN -- we think of him at CNN as the face, the persona of this place. What do you, I mean, as somebody who's not part of this news organization, how does he...

PAGE: That's right.

WOODRUFF: What's his presence?

PAGE: I knew Bernie first as a fan and then I'm -- I'm delighted to say...

SHAW: I'm a fan of yours.

PAGE: ... as a working colleague.


Oh, Shaw, as they'd say! No, seriously.




Absolutely. No, I'll never forget, though, the night at the Apollo Theater, the National Association of Black Journalists, 1989, when they honored Bernie Shaw. You know, when this man came up to that stage -- I mean, first, you know the Apollo, Judy. This is a temple of African-American history, and it couldn't have been more appropriate. There was our Bernie, and people with tributes and tapes were rolling, et cetera. To me it showed so much.

You know, we forget in this business how in many ways we cover history. Some of us make history. Bernie is a history maker, he's a pioneer. He's somebody who so many folks just kind of look upon as a role model and as -- as someone who was really a guiding light professionally and as a great American.

IFILL: Well, I can piggyback on that, because one of the interesting things about being in this business, especially being African-American in this business, is that there are so few of us. And people walk up all the time to you and say, I want my daughter to be like you. And you remember when you were 9 years old and you wanted to be like someone who was on television, who was the lonely only, as I call it.

PAGE: Yeah, yeah.

IFILL: Bernie managed to just be in his place. He didn't say, "Hi there, everybody, I'm a black journalist." He just had to do his job and do it well, and showed people how to do it without forcing it down their throats. It was obvious what he is; it was obvious who he is. And first and foremost, he's an honorable journalist, and that's what we all want to be -- when we grow up.


(CROSSTALK) DONALDSON: I don't know what's going to be on people's tombstones. Let's hope that, you know, it's a long time from now.

SHAW: Doesn't have to be!


IFILL: It could be arranged.


DONALDSON: The Dukakis question, I know you've talked a lot about it. I think that was a defining moment in journalism, and from my standpoint a good moment. The question you asked at that debate was so blunt and so straight, but so accurate from the standpoint of having a man justify in not only a rational way, but an emotional way, which he failed, one of his key positions. I don't know how you did it.

SHAW: Well, I -- I worked two days on that question. But the question was relevant to the issues in the campaign. Bush had accused him of being the iceman, called him the iceman twice. Clearly capital punishment was an issue in the campaign. All of our polling had shown that the American people knew that this man was a very capable executive, having been governor of Massachusetts, but they couldn't feel anything. And Americans like to feel something from their president.

And I tried in the question to pierce the armor, the facade that all politicians put up, especially presidential candidates to see whether this man would address these questions, these umbrella questions, emotionally.

IFILL: You did the same thing in the debate. I'm sorry, Judy...

WOODRUFF: No, go ahead...


I want you to talk.

IFILL: You did the same thing in the debate this year when you asked about racial profiling. But they way you asked it was to ask, the vice presidential debate, was to ask them, pretend you're black, or something probably more blunt than that.

SHAW: I said, "You're black"...

IFILL: You're black.

SHAW: ... for this question.

IFILL: It took them several minutes to figure out where you were going with that. But the interesting thing is then last night we see on the president's message to Congress a Republican president making a special point of talking about outlawing racial profiling and bringing John Ashcroft to his (UNINTELLIGIBLE), which was so controversial in his nomination process.

I think that the questions you ask affect the outcome, and that's why what we do is such a special craft and why you do it so well.

DONALDSON: Yeah, but you know, it takes a -- I don't know that courage is the right word. I don't think reporters are courageous or anything by asking a question. But it takes a certain self- assuredness to say, I can ask this question, because it's the right way to ask it. And never mind that people say, oh, how mean question, how could he put it that way -- and go ahead and do it.

And when you did it with Dukakis, and in other instances, that was what was a defining moment to me. You asked the right question, and you didn't care, because you thought it was right, to get an answer. You didn't care what people thought.

SHAW: Well, it took me a while, and very candidly, I was up until 2:00, 3:00 in the morning in my Holiday Inn room at Westwood there near UCLA's campus for two nights. And I said, if you ask this question, you're going to catch hell. And if Dukakis hits it out of the park, then you're going to be accused of having served up a softball. And I got lots of hate mail and phone calls after that, and still get people criticizing me for it or praising me. And I really don't want either.

But I finally reached a point, I said: Damn it, Bernie, you're a reporter, do your job.

PAGE: I got...


WOODRUFF: Go ahead, please.

PAGE: No, I just have to wonder, you know, you're -- you're -- you are a reporter. You know how to ask the right questions, and there's a question hanging out there and you're going to ask it. How are you going to feel now retired when you're watching TV and you know that this person needs a certain question? Are you going to feel like...

WOODRUFF: And -- and you see me ask a...

PAGE: ... wishing you were back there again?

WOODRUFF: ... really dumb question on INSIDE POLITICS.


You can't pick up the phone. What are you going to do?

SHAW: First of all, there's not a dumb question you could conceive.

IFILL: Right answer.


SHAW: And secondly, I'll -- I'll bite my lip and resist the temptation to call the control room unless I see something that I sense that my colleagues are not aware of. And of course, being the team player I am, I would call unabashedly.

DONALDSON: I know, Bernie. When Ben Bradlee retired as executive editor "The Washington Post," I asked Sally Quinn, "How is he going to feel when a big story comes along?" She said looked at me and said, "He's going to die!"


SHAW: It'll be hard. I'm not fooling myself. It'll be hard.

PAGE: It'll be hard to watch it.

WOODRUFF: Well, it's hard for us to have you go away, and we want to thank three of your dear friends -- Clarence Page, Sam Donaldson and Gwen Ifill -- for being here for this last and very special day.

SHAW: I thank you, Judy.

DONALDSON: If you change your mind, there's always a job at ABC.


WOODRUFF: We'll be back...


... tribute.



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, your career has spanned much of the golden age of journalism, and as I stand here in Kuwait on the 10th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War, how could I, or anyone for that matter, forget your voice announcing the start of that war 10 years ago?

It was not just a historic world event, but it was a dramatic turning point in CNN's story as well. And so now, on the occasion of your retirement, I salute CNN's eminent elder statesman.



BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernard Shaw has sat in anchor chairs like this since CNN was just an idea in Ted Turner's head. He's watched it grow from that to a network the whole world watched when it wanted to learn what was going on. It'll be hard keeping it up to your standards, Bernie. We'll try. But we're going to miss you a lot.




FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: How do you bottle class? All those great questions you have asked in that reassuring manner, and totally authoritative and knowledgeable reporting you've done through the years. And through it all, just a great guy, feet on the ground.

Bernie, you will be missed, but you will never be forgotten.


It's always hard to see one of the originals leave CNN. And it's not just any original; it's the original -- especially when there are so few of us left behind. We'll miss you terribly. It will not be the same here without you. Have a great retirement. And hoist a martini for the rest of us left behind. We hope to join you soon.

KAREN DENICE, PRODUCER, INSIDE POLITICS: Bernie, you may not remember this, because you have only known me as a producer on IP, but I actually met you in a bar in Houston when you were covering the convention, and I was a lowly runner for CNN at the Houston convention. But talking with you helped to encourage me to even apply to CNN to become a veejay.

And look where I am now. I actually get to work with someone who I respect so much on INSIDE POLITICS -- as a producer, no less. So I just wanted to thank you so much for talking to me, and spending time with me, and basically helping me to be a better producer.


WOODRUFF: Karen, our producer in Atlanta.

Well, even though we expect to see Bernie back with us from time to time, we've always known that it would be really hard to say so long. We never imagined we were going to have to do it twice. Bernie ceremonially passed the torch -- actually it was a gavel -- to me on Wednesday, as he closed his final hour at the anchor desk with our breaking news coverage of the Seattle earthquake.

And then Bernie headed out to the newsroom, where he was greeted by appreciative colleagues and a special guest.

SHAW: Very special.





SHAW: Thank you.

TURNER: So we sailed together like Christopher Columbus. You know, you would have signed on with him if you had been born a few hundred years earlier.

SHAW: Yes. Yes, indeed.

WOODRUFF: So what did you see in this guy, Ted? I mean, what was it that you...

TURNER: He was qualified -- something I wasn't.


TURNER: He had -- he knew something about journalism. I didn't. I mean -- except my sole experience with journalism was selling newspapers at the street car stop in Cincinnati when I was 6 years old after school to help pay my way through kindergarten.


SHAW: You know what I love about this man, aside from his humanity: the fact that you hired us and then you got the hell out of the way and you let us do our jobs.

TURNER: Well, I watched pretty carefully. And I'm sure you were doing the job properly. We were being honest and unbiased, as much as we could be, and fair on everybody. And you were always that way. And you really were qualified. I mean, well, you were our prime time anchor. Was it you and Mary Alice Williams at the beginning, right?

SHAW: Yes.

TURNER: I mean, when we started off, all the other guys had white males as their lead anchors. And our lead anchor was a team of a woman and a black man. So I thought it was real good.

SHAW: I did, too.


WOODRUFF: And what does it mean -- and what does it mean, Ted, finally that he's walking out the door now after 20 years?

TURNER: Well, it's going to be hard to visualize. But my role has changed with the company now. I mean, CNN doesn't report to me anymore. And I'm just kind of a figurehead right now as vice chairman. So I know what it's like. And nothing lasts forever.

We did a movie about the life of Crazy Horse. And whenever he was threatened, they told him was going to -- if he went into battle, he might die. He said, "Only the rocks live forever." Nothing lasts forever. We've got -- change is part of life. I mean, here we are in the news business. Every day there is a news story somewhere. People are being born. People are dying. You know, so we'll just have to live with the transition. But it's going to be difficult.

And I hope I'll see Bernie. When we started out, we didn't have any gray hair. And now we're both pretty gray.

SHAW: Yes.


WOODRUFF: Well, we're going to miss Bernie a lot. And we're really glad that you are here with us today, Ted, to tell him that. And I just want everybody in the newsroom -- we are standing here surrounded -- I don't know if you can tell from these cameras -- by people who work at CNN and who love you and respect you, and who send you off with just the highest and best wishes.

And we -- you know, you're the best. Lots of love.



TURNER: All right. Hey!


SHAW: Thank you, Ted. Thank you. Appreciate it.


SHAW: Thank you! Thank you. Thank you.


SHAW: Thank you. Thank you.



NATALIE ALLEN: Bernie, I use to watch you long before I ever came to CNN or thought I would ever work at CNN. And I would think, during breaking news: How does he do that?

You always had such a steady calm and a sense of strength while you were on the air, while chaos was all around you. Now I've been here eight years and I'm still wondering: How do you do that?

J. STYLES, VIDEOTAPE EDITOR: What Bernie does on a daily basis is allow the troops behind the camera to understand how important their job is. He's always reminding us that he couldn't do what he does without us. And that's always been important to me, and I'm sure to the other folks in the hallways of CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How's the control room doing today?

CONTROL ROOM EMPLOYEES: Better for knowing you, Bernie.

TOM GAUT, DIRECTOR: Bernie it's been more than 20 years that we've known each other. I've really enjoyed working with you and knowing you personally. But I do have a question for you. I've been assigned to work on INSIDE POLITICS -- started last Monday. A week- and-a-half into the show, you leave the company. Are you trying to tell me something?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie loves good food, doesn't he?

BILL COSBY, ACTOR: Yes, he does. And he loves other people who'd pick up the tab. This is why I eat alone. When I hear Bernard Shaw is in a nightclub or in a restaurant, I usually just say, I'm not here because Bernie will find a way over and try to charm you by saying things like, have you heard the latest?



AL GORE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie, congratulations on a magnificent career with CNN. From Baghdad to the beltway, you've been the best. I heard them announce that you've had a distinguished 20-year career. I just want you to know that I insisted on a recount, and I have determined that it's been 20 years, 254 days and 10 hours. Now there was some controversy on how to count the days in Baghdad. There were some sleepless nights that some have said should be counted twice. But I'm going with 21 years, because I'm rounding up. Your the best, Bernie, congratulation.


WOODRUFF: He's got a real sense of humor. And is Cosby right, your a cheapskate?

SHAW: No, I just don't pay it.

All right, Bernie, we're letting you hear from all these famous people because we want it to go to your head for a change. And I'm going to read this because I'm going to have a hard time if I don't:

You don't like to acknowledge it, but you are very well-known, yourself. But you've never rested on your laurels; for all you've achieved, you've always believed that personality should take a backseat to the news. Journalism has always come first for you, and that's why I and so many other people in this room and around the country and around the world, for that matter, have so much respect for you.

Just as important -- just as important, you have never stopped being supportive of all the people who work behind the scenes here at CNN, and that comes through loud and clear, Bernie, when you read, as you will a little bit later tonight, the comments of hundreds of your colleagues in this album that we've put together over the last couple of weeks. What they say to you in personal notes, I think speaks volumes about what you've meant.

For me, it's not going to be the same; we're going to retire your anchor chair. But I want you to know, what an extraordinary privilege it has been for me to be at your side for the last eight years.

SHAW: Thank you.


SHAW: Thank you; thanks very much.


SHAW: Thank you; thank you.

Well, I have some thoughts I want to express to everyone.

As I think about it, I've teetered on the shoulders of giants, trying to measure up. Through the years, I have believed that you, our viewers, need only reliable information and facts of relevance to know and to decide the truth. You don't need me telling you what I think is the truth. Many times this journalistic hot seat rightly draws critical fire, as it should: we must have your scrutiny and be answerable. Why? Because you have placed in our keeping your trust.

Not always have I been at my best and thankfully, rarely was I at my worst. My quiet honor has been standing the watch, carrying the baton passed by those giants I mentioned just seconds ago. The women and men of CNN are among those giants. A very tall one is standing right next to me. The best part of my leaving is that Judy Woodruff is staying, so you know we won't skip a beat here. My favorite network and I are working on having me back from time to time.

So for now, this is not goodbye, I'm just stepping back. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: That's right, and Bernie, before we let you go.

SHAW: Yes?

WOODRUFF: You got through it!

SHAW: I didn't think I was going to get through it.

WOODRUFF: You said you wanted to do a little gardening...

SHAW: Oh, wonderful!

WOODRUFF: .. so we have something we want to give you for the Shaw garden.

SHAW: Thank you!

WOODRUFF: And in this little bag here, a trowel, because we know you want to dig around those roses. And for a man who loves roses, some special rose pruners -- these are special -- they're for the roses, I don't know about the peonies; I'm not a gardener myself. And some gloves -- extra large...

SHAW: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: ... they say a man with a big heart has extra large hands.

SHAW: Well, actually, I've got a yellow, climbing rose bush in the driveway on the fence -- I've got to prune off some things.

WOODRUFF: We're going to come back on INSIDE POLITICS and check out his garden soon.

We love you, Bernie.

SHAW: I love you, too; all of you.

WOODRUFF: You're coming back soon. All right.

SHAW: Thank you; what a tribute!



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