What they're saying about Jack W. Germond

August 14, 2013

Political journalist, author and TV pundit Jack W. Germond, whose half century covering Washington included two decades at The Baltimore Sun, died today at 85. Here's what other media outlets are writing about him.

With Germond, goes untold institutional knowledge, and one of the last of a breed, Walter Mears said in the AP's obituary.  

// "Before politics was fed into computers and moveable maps came out, Jack Germond had it all in his head," said Walter Mears, the former political writer for The Associated Press and a Germond friend and competitor.

"He was a walking encyclopedia on politics and politicians," Mears said. "He worked the telephones -- before they were cellphones -- and the opening usually was pretty much the same: What do you hear? His style of political reporting was an art form. Sadly, it is becoming a lost art." //

On his media blog, Politico's Dylan Byers, too framed Germond's death as the end of a journalistic era.

// I'm not sure the old days were so perfect, nor do I think the new days are all that bad. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the likes of Germond and [R.W.] Apple [Jr.], to be sure, but I take great comfort in knowing that they can be learned and, more importantly, applied — even on the Internet. But if you're still feeling sentimental, I recommend bourbon. //

True to new era to which Byers alludes, Politico also rounded up reaction to Germond's death from Twitter, including this post by USA Today Executive Editor David Colton.
// Best of all, #JackGermond showed you could be cynical without being snarky, honest without being nasty. //

As his successors adapt online, The Washington Post's obituary notes how well Germond adapted to the big platform shift of his day, becoming a TV regular.

// While reveling in the persona of an ink-stained wretch — down to the poker playing and whiskey drinking — Mr. Germond was among the first of his breed to make the transition to television. He cut an unlikely TV figure, with a pugnacious manner, bald head and generous stomach, but his knowledge was unquestioned. //

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