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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | October 2, 1993
So, let's get to the real reason for watching the premiere of the 23rd season of "Masterpiece Theatre" tomorrow night at 9 on MPT (Channels 22 and 67): the debut of humorist Russell Baker as Alistair Cooke's replacement as host.There's no other way to say it: Baker is not very good.Actually, there is another way to say it: Baker's pretty bad.Baker knows it.In an interview shortly after his first performance was taped, Baker said, "I suspect I'm going to need a thick hide to survive the first few weeks of comment when all these people say, 'Well, it's not Alistair Cooke.
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By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN and FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN,SUN REPORTER | July 29, 2006
Last week's column about presidential cussing brought an unusual amount of e-mail from readers who either agreed with the column or were annoyed by its subject matter. Some were strictly reflective of the correspondent's political persuasion, while others raised that old complaint about the liberal bias of the press. Of the sources that I contacted for the column, Russell Baker, former Sun reporter and noted columnist, author and Pulitzer Prize-winner, came in for the most drubbing. "A reading of the body of Ronald Reagan's correspondence and speeches over the years demonstrates that he personally scripted the overwhelming majority of it," wrote Robert Loskot.
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FEATURES
By Tim Warren and Tim Warren,Book Editor | March 28, 1993
Leesburg, Va. -- Russell Baker has this theory about success. When good things happen to good people, it can be bad for you."I think that comes from my upbringing, ever since I was in the cradle: You don't expect anything good to happen," he is saying. "I always thought it was peculiar to me, but this Jewish girl I knew told me that if you were Jewish, you have this giant-thumb view of life. Just when things really start going well for you, this giant thumb emerges from the sky and crushes you."
NEWS
April 13, 2004
On April 9, 2004, RUSSELL C. JR.; beloved husband of Doris A. Young Baker; devoted father of C. Russell Baker and the late Robert J. Baker and wife Mary C. Also survived by three grandchildren, Timothy, Michael A. and Valerie E. Baker. Survived also by his two sister La Rue Fox and Anne Gunning. Funeral from the E.F. Lassahn Funeral Home P.A., 11750 Belair Road (Kingsville), on Wednesday at 11 A.M. Entombment Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden Mausoleum. Visiting on Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | July 28, 1993
LOS ANGELES -- Russell Baker met the press here yesterday in his new role as replacement for Alistair Cooke on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre." And Baker was at his self-deprecating best."
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By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Sun Staff | January 31, 1999
Is it a mark of how provincial Baltimore is, or how successful Russell Baker has been, that we still claim him as ours? A little of both, one suspects. Besides, Baker has encouraged the sentimental attachment with his two memoirs, "Growing Up," which won a Pulitzer Prize, and "The Good Times," which centered largely on his career at The Sun.But when Baker announced his retirement on Christmas Day, the news stories reminded us that Baltimore is essentially a footnote in Baker's illustrious career.
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By Theo Lippman Jr. and By Theo Lippman Jr.,Special to the Sun | July 7, 2002
When Baltimore's Murray Kempton died in 1997, I wrote for Johns Hopkins Magazine an appreciation of his columns in various New York newspapers over a long career. I said he was the second best at it that the city -- and the nation -- had ever produced. The best in both cases was H.L. Mencken. By "best," I meant the newspaper columnist whose work was most enjoyable and meaningful not only when the ink was coming off on a reader's hands, but also decades later. I said Russell Baker, a Hopkins man as was Kempton and a Sunpapers man as was Mencken, was closer in writing skill to those two than any other columnist and that his New York Times columns "may endure," but qualified that by saying it was because he was a humorist.
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By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | September 25, 1997
Russell Baker's name has been invoked at least once to defend programs such as the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater. If writing majors can produce writers like Baker, the argument goes, they must be doing something right.One small problem: Baker didn't actually attend the Writing Seminars. Do the math. He graduated with a B.A. in English literature in 1947, and has been invited back this week to speak as part of the program's sedate 50th anniversary celebration.
NEWS
March 15, 1993
RUSSELL Baker, who began his career at The Sun and went on to win two Pulitzer Prizes at The New York Times, seems to us the perfect replacement for Alistair Cooke as the host of "Masterpiece Theatre" on public television stations. Not the same accent, certainly, and not the same personal style. A man who claims he cuts his own hair, Mr. Baker is not your typical television personality.But in our opinion he's something much too rare on television these days -- he exudes authenticity. (We can almost hear him taking that remark and spinning it into one of his fanciful columns that almost tricks readers into discovering some insight into life.
NEWS
April 12, 2004
On April 9, 2004, RUSSELL C. JR.; beloved husband of Doris A. Young Baker; devoted father of C. Russell Baker and the late Robert J. Baker and wife Mary C. Also survived by three grandchildren, Timothy, Michael A. and Valerie E. Baker. Survived also by his two sister La Rue Fox and Anne Gunning. Funeral from the E.F. Lassahn Funeral Home P.A., 11750 Belair Road (Kingsville), on Wednesday at 11 A.M. Entombment Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden Mausoleum. Visiting on Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M.
NEWS
August 28, 2003
On August 24, 2003; ROBERT J., dear companion of Angela S. Miller. Also, survived by his parents Russell C. and Doris A. Baker; his brother C. Russell Baker; niece Valerie Baker; nephews Timothy and Michael Baker and sister-in-law Mary C. Baker. A Funeral Service will be held at the Lassahn Funeral Home, Inc., 7401 Belair Road on Friday at 11 AM. The family will receive friends Wednesday and Thursday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM. Interment Woodlawn Cemetery.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2003
Henry John Knoch, a retired Sun editor who helped put out the paper for nearly half a century, died Thursday of leukemia at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va. The former Academy Heights resident was 89. An assistant sports editor for several decades, he retired in 1978 as a veterans affairs columnist, copy and makeup editor. Born in Baltimore and raised on Warwick Avenue, he left Polytechnic Institute to help support his mother. He took a job as a copy boy at The Sun's old headquarters at Charles and Baltimore streets.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Theo Lippman Jr. and By Theo Lippman Jr.,Special to the Sun | July 7, 2002
When Baltimore's Murray Kempton died in 1997, I wrote for Johns Hopkins Magazine an appreciation of his columns in various New York newspapers over a long career. I said he was the second best at it that the city -- and the nation -- had ever produced. The best in both cases was H.L. Mencken. By "best," I meant the newspaper columnist whose work was most enjoyable and meaningful not only when the ink was coming off on a reader's hands, but also decades later. I said Russell Baker, a Hopkins man as was Kempton and a Sunpapers man as was Mencken, was closer in writing skill to those two than any other columnist and that his New York Times columns "may endure," but qualified that by saying it was because he was a humorist.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler | January 26, 2000
Every big storm brings forth recollections of the snows of yesteryear. Every generation seems to have its own memorable blizzard. We recall some that are worth looking back at on a snowy morning. After surviving the Superstorm of 1993, Russell Baker, columnist, essayist and memoirist, asked if a storm of the century was worse than a mother of all storms or a world-class storm. He forestalled calamity by rushing out to buy wine to drink by a roaring fire.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | October 10, 1999
Russell T. Baker Sr., founder of the Russell T. Baker & Co. real estate firm and an advocate of open housing laws, died Thursday of heart disease at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 85.Mr. Baker, who recently had moved into the Roland Park Place Retirement Community, had lived for more than three decades on Tunbridge Road in Homeland.Mr. Baker's career as a salesman had an inauspicious beginning. After earning a degree in German from Hobart College in 1935, Mr. Baker took a job as a salesman with Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in New York City, where his boss told him he'd never become a successful salesman.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Sun Staff | January 31, 1999
Is it a mark of how provincial Baltimore is, or how successful Russell Baker has been, that we still claim him as ours? A little of both, one suspects. Besides, Baker has encouraged the sentimental attachment with his two memoirs, "Growing Up," which won a Pulitzer Prize, and "The Good Times," which centered largely on his career at The Sun.But when Baker announced his retirement on Christmas Day, the news stories reminded us that Baltimore is essentially a footnote in Baker's illustrious career.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler | January 26, 2000
Every big storm brings forth recollections of the snows of yesteryear. Every generation seems to have its own memorable blizzard. We recall some that are worth looking back at on a snowy morning. After surviving the Superstorm of 1993, Russell Baker, columnist, essayist and memoirist, asked if a storm of the century was worse than a mother of all storms or a world-class storm. He forestalled calamity by rushing out to buy wine to drink by a roaring fire.
FEATURES
By Jacques Kelly | December 12, 1998
I WAS INTO a good book Tuesday night when the ringing phone disturbed the quiet of a December evening. The caller summoned me to a meeting the next night, down the street at the former Pratt Library branch that had been closed a year before.The next day turned soggy; there was rain outside, but the building was full of people and it was warm, thanks to some trusty clanking radiator pipes.I looked around at the old green shelves so chalky you might think the painter had mixed a stomach antacid into his pigments.
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