Steve Kornacki describes Jack Germond as “a throwback character” whose passion was politics and his love horse races—”the real ones and the political ones.” A man who “wasn’t driven by ideology,” but instead by a passion for politics, getting a good scoop, and reporting it well.
“He had no problem with horse race journalism—as long as it was good horse race journalism,” Kornacki said Sunday.
Jack Germond passed away last week at the age of 85.
Germond’s passing reminds us not only of great journalism, but how much has changed in political reporting in the social media age. Although the quality of coverage is arguably better, and the sheer quantity of available information is surely greater than before, the intimacy of the political reporting Germond and those like him practiced is gone. Campaigns fear unguarded moments that can be recorded by anyone with a smartphone and go viral.
Walter Mears, former Associated Press reporter, Eleanor Clift, who worked with Germond on The McLaughlin Group, from Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and Bob Franken remembered “old school” journalism Sunday with Kornacki. TheGrio’s Perry Bacon Jr. contrasted current methods of political reporting and working the political arena.
“There’s a big difference between what you hear and what you know is reportable fact,” Mears said. “You heard a whole lot of things. What you report needs to be provable.”
Watch the Up panel remember Germond, and the era of news reporting he embodied, below: