Mark Shields, longtime voice of reason has passed

For the longest time, my Friday ritual was to end the news week watching the commentary of conservative minded David Brooks and liberal minded Mark Shields. Their banter exemplified the civil discourse of their host PBS NewsHour, whether the discussion was led by Judy Woodruff or the now deceased Gwen Ifill or Jim Lehrer.

Sadly, I learned Mark Shields passed away last week. Shields was an affable historian and shared his opinion and added context to any discussion. He commented on PBS NewsHour for thirty-three years, the last twenty of which with Brooks. As Brooks noted in a piece in The New York Times:

“We’ve had thousands of disagreements over the years, but never a second of acrimony. Mark radiates a generosity of spirit that improves all who come within his light.” We all could learn from this.

Judy Woodruff, “PBS NewsHour” anchor and managing editor, tweeted that she was ”heartbroken” to share the news of Shields’ death, and noted his wife Anne was at his side at his death. For decades, she said, Shields “wowed us with his encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, his sense of humor and mainly his big heart.”

Shields retired from the show a couple of years ago. Brooks would continue on with the terrific Jonathan Capeheart, but it is not the same. It is like one of a long time couple has passed and the new spouse is nice, but you don’t have history with the person. Rest in peace, Mark Shields. You were one of our lights on the hill.

23 thoughts on “Mark Shields, longtime voice of reason has passed

  1. My wife was the first to lament his retirement saying it is not the same. He was like the mentor and friend you longed to have. Someone who would shoot straight with you, but tell you why and do so in a constructive fashion.

  2. Although you never knew him personally, he was like a part of your life. Peculiar feelings when such people we appreciated from far pass away.

  3. Note to Readers: One of Shields’ characteristic approaches to argument included equal parts humorous and contextual positions. Even though Brooks may have disagreed with Shields, he still was bemused by his style.

  4. Note to Readers: I read where QAnon will be out with a new set of conspiracy stories for the election. It reminded me Shields and Brooks are lack the anti-venom to QAnon, InfoWars, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity et al.

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