OTM regular Scott Shuger died last weekend in a scuba diving accident near his home in Los Angeles. Scott wrote the Today’s Papers column for Slate.com, and was one of our most frequent guests. Mike remembers.
Ludwig von Beethoven's Pastorale Sonata, 1st Movement
Artist: Wilhelm Kempff
June 21, 2002
BOB GARFIELD: We're back with On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
MIKE PESCA: And I'm Mike Pesca. In sad news close to home for us here at OTM, Scott Shuger died last weekend in a scuba diving accident near his home in Los Angeles. Scott wrote the Today's Papers column for Slate.com, and he had been on this program almost 30 times over the years, making him by my count OTM's most frequent guest. Scott was the kind of guy who trekked through Berlin at midnight to get to a studio for us. You'd call Scott to book an interview and wind up in a 25 minute conversation where he'd be asking you the questions. Scott's nominal job was to summarize the 5 national newspapers each day in Slate. Going by that definition alone, it sounds like the whizzes at Microsoft could easily come up with a computer program to do the job. But Scott had great news judgment, a finely honed sense of the ridiculous, and the skill to convey it all in 900 words or less. In particular the last paragraphs of each column were where you'd find great bits of criticism or Scott's take on the tellingly strange story of the day. If I ran a journalism class, I'd collect those paragraphs and have my students study up. Scott's job since September 11th was writing the war stories column, and in his way, in the way of journalists who ask the tough question or point out the uncomfortable fact, he was certain that he was contributing to America's defense as surely as when he served as an intelligence officer in the Navy. On a medium as inherently ephemeral as the internet, Scott Shuger left an indelible legacy. [MUSIC]