Although I have lived in Arizona for the last nine years, I still read the Post-Gazette regularly and was deeply saddened to hear of the great loss to the city of Pittsburgh with the passing of former Post-Gazette Editor John G. Craig Jr.
During my tenure as chairperson for the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, I had the opportunity to appear on his television talk show twice and had a few discussions with him at the PG editorial board during my campaign for state Senate. Although we seldom agreed on many points ... well ... actually, we never agreed on any points, but somehow I got the feeling that he saw validity in some of my perspectives while playing devil's advocate so skillfully that the reader or viewer could get a broad and balanced perspective on the subject at hand.
Much of the media today has been compartmentalized into liberal, conservative and few spaces in between. Some of the most popular journalists and talk show hosts are predictable in their opinions. They cater to a certain "target" audience, so you know which perspective they will have on an issue before they open their mouths.
While Mr. Craig was editor of the Post-Gazette, I don't believe you could put him into any of those boxes. I can recall reading editorials and smiling, saying, "Wow, that was right on point!" and the very next day reading an editorial and saying, "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!"
I am an admitted junkie for news and information, 95 percent of which I read. The 5 percent I watch on television is just to see what the masses are being fed by the mainstream media. So I really have an appreciation for good journalism.
Never has anyone disagreed with me so much, while I have admired him more, than John Craig. And because of that I send my heartfelt condolences to his family, the city of Pittsburgh and journalism for their loss.