Paul Harvey died over the weekend. He was 90 years old. Many of us remember Harvey’s mid-day radio broadcasts: “Hello Americans! This is Paul Harvey. Stand by for Neeeews!” Aaron Barnhart at the Kansas City paper has nice remembrance of Harvey and his relationship to rural audiences.
“Never again will conservative values be espoused by a major media figure who doesn’t feel the immediate need to rip viciously into those who believe differently — though Paul Harvey was a backer of Joe McCarthy,” Barnhart wrote. “Never again will rural ways be celebrated so sincerely as superior to city ways — though Paul Harvey became rich and famous broadcasting from the heart of America’s third-largest metropolis.”
Harvey was born into a family of fundamentalist Oklahoma preachers and for most of his working life rural radio was his strongest supporter. He supported marriage and he backed biofuels. He was never shrill and in time his style lost favor. But, as Barnhart explains, Paul Harvey lives on in the most popular radio and television news programs of the day.