(image from DemocracyNow)
Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling, From glen to glen and down the mountain side. The summers gone and all the roses falling, its you, its you must go and I must bide. But come ye back, when summers in the meadow, or when the valleys hushed and white with snow, it’s I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow, oh Danny boy oh Danny boy I love you so.
But when ye come and all the flowers are dying. and i am dead as dead i well may be. ye’ll come and find the place where i am lying. and kneel and say an ave there for me. and i shall hear though soft you tread above me. for all my grave will warmer sweeter be. for you will bend and tell me that you love me. and i shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
The author, filmmaker and media reform activist Danny Schechter has died at the age of 72. Schechter rose to prominence as “The News Dissector” on Boston’s WBCN radio in the 1970s. He went on to work as a television producer at ABC’s 20/20, where he won two Emmy Awards, and at the newly launched CNN. But he left corporate media to become executive director of MediaChannel.org and co-founder and executive director of Global Vision. He authored 12 books, including “The More You Watch, the Less You Know.” He was also a leading activist against apartheid in South Africa and made six nonfiction films about Nelson Mandela. Schechter appeared on Democracy Now! multiple times. In this 2013 interview, after Mandela’s death, he reflected on his own activism as part of a project called “Sun City: Artists Against Apartheid.”
Danny Schechter: “This was not all about lobbying Congress. This was about informing America about what was happening. And in some cases, it was cultural figures, 58 of the world’s top artists who indicted the system of forced relocation in South Africa. That’s what Sun City was all about. It was a part of an effort to promote a cultural boycott alongside an economic boycott. And it was very successful and worldwide in its impact. And I think that was important. And then, you know, I helped start the TV series, South Africa Now, that ran for 156 weeks, every week, in the United States, reporting on South Africa through the eyes of South Africans. It was their story.”
Schechter died in New York City after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.
I corresponded a few times with Schechter. While I disagreed with him on several occasions, I found him to be a modest, kind, thoughtful, receptive guy–and a great journalist. Rest in peace, Danny.