Dakota Datebook

Eric Sevareid

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Eric Sevareid was born on this date in 1912 and grew up in Velva, ND. He became legendary for his journalistic essays first on the radio and then on the CBS Evening News. Sevareid was a protégé of Edward R Murrow, and he was condemning Senator McCarthy’s reign of terror long before Murrow took the bold step of opposing McCarthy in a special broadcast – a turning point in the public’s non-acceptance of McCarthy’s obsession with communists in America.

Vice President Spiro Agnew once berated Sevareid for opposing his administration’s policies. Sevareid fired back. “Nobody in this business,” he said, “expects…that the full truth of anything will be contained in any one account or commentary, but…the central point about the free press is not that it be accurate…but that it be free – and that means…freedom from any and all attempts by any power of government to coerce it or intimidate it in any way.”

Source: Wooten, Jim. Museum piece: The American Journey of Eric Sevareid. Columbia Journalism Review. May 1995.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

« Go Back

Award-winning radio, television, and public media services that educate, involve, and inspire the people of the prairie region.

Donate Now

Breaking News

Follow Us On Social Media