EXCERPT9/24/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt started his career at the Associated Press in 1946 and was honored by the organization during the Radio-Television News Directors Association convention earlier this month. Above is a sampling of Hewitt quips; below, an excerpt from his speech:
"Before Ed Murrow and Fred Friendly's See It Now and Mike, Morley, Ed, Steve, Lesley and my 60 Minutes, the accepted wisdom was that what television writers do is put words to pictures. And one day, I said: That's ass backwards! What we should be doing is not putting words to pictures, but putting pictures to words. ...
"What has served us in such remarkably good stead is the belief that it is your ear as much as your eye that keeps you in front of a television set. ... And that bad writing will drive a discerning viewer away from the set faster than a jump cut or a cut away that doesn't work.
"And that the worst-the absolute worst-writing in television are those meaningless phrases that show up like clockwork on everybody's newscasts and don't make any sense. As in, unless you're talking about the NFL: 'Team coverage.' Unless you're talking about Jacques Cousteau: 'In depth.' Unless you're talking about Bob Dole: 'Hard news.'