Sunday, December 7, 2008

Please pray for two writing legends

By Rick Morris

Two giants of journalism, from different genres, are currently suffering from severe health problems.

SI's Peter King made public the struggles this past week that Paul Zimmerman, the famous "Dr. Z," is currently undergoing. He has suffered two strokes this autumn and they have silenced, for now, the work of the man King rightly calls the best football writer of our generation. I grew up reading Dr. Z and his keen insights on the game in SI. On the page where King provides the news about the Doc, he also includes some excerpts of his writing so that younger readers can get a sense of just how great he has been. Also on that page is a link to Dr. Z's email so that you can send a get-well wish to this fine gridiron mind.

Robert Novak's issues have been known for a few months now -- a vicious brain tumor that he is fighting through bravely -- he has unexpectedly returned to work -- despite a harsh initial prognosis.

Whether on TV or in print, Bob Novak has long been one of the most important political voices in America, delivering news and opinion in a compelling trademark style. I identify very closely with his politics, but my true admiration for him comes from a story I heard long ago.

Two of our FDH Lounge Dignitaries, Burrell Jackson and Chris Galloway, are friends of mine dating all the way back to our days at Ohio University. Shortly after I graduated, Burrell, Chris and a few left-wing folks created a public access cable TV talk show called "Chew The Fat," essentially a small-scale version of Novak's CNN program "The Capital Gang." One day, Novak came to Athens to deliver a speech at the university and the fellas from "Fat" managed to get ahold of his phone number at the hotel where he was staying. They called him up and asked him if he would like to appear on their show that night. Now, they couldn't possibly have expected that this important Washington insider would take the time to appear on their program -- but he did! He basically said, "What the heck," went down to the studio and mixed it up with these guys as though they were Pat Buchanan and Al Hunt. How many people of his stature would have the humility to do something like that?

In this interview, he asks that people of faith pray for him at this time. I pass this along with the hope that you will pray for both he and Paul Zimmerman and their families during this holiday season.

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