David Halberstam, R.I.P.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam was killed in a car accident Monday in Menlo Park, California. He was on his way to interview a former football player for a book he was writing on 1958 championship game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts, according to the New York Times. Although he wrote frequently about sports, he will most likely always be remembered for his seminal book on Vietnam, The Best and the Brightest. Along with Neil Sheehan, who would go on to write another Vietnam classic, A Bright Shining Lie, Halberstam was one of the first American correspondents in Vietnam to question the nature of the military’s role there. This brought a fair share of enemies, who, according to a 2005 speech Halberstam gave at Columbia University, included JFK himself. Anyone interested in the importance of a free press should check out the speech (which for some reason contains some typos, also indicating the importance of competent copy editors in a free press). -- Craig Malisow