OLD Media Moves

Where is Rukeyser when we need him the most?

October 16, 2008

Mary Pitman Kitch of The Oregonian in Portland writes Thursday about how much she misses Louis Rukeyser and his business news show on PBS that ran for three decades.

Rukeyser died in 2006.

Kitch writes, “But the dapper host of ‘Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser’ was also a very shrewd business reporter. He was one of the best interlocutors the world of high finance ever had. And while the economy’s been tanking the last several Fridays, I’ve fervently wished the PBS host would magically appear on our TV screen, assemble his chums, wizards and elves, and merrily call them to account.

“Rukeyser could have given them the drubbing they deserved, and then sent them on their way. True, he might not have been able to absolve them of their sins. Or even explain everything that had gone wrong. But he would have pushed past their jargon-laden hocus-pocus and feeble explanations, and ultimately helped to restore confidence in the market. I can’t quantify the role he played after Black October of 1987, but he did cancel his show’s normal fun and games to hold a post-mortem. Black October of 2008 will require months, even years, of dissection.

“But doomsdayer, Rukeyser was not. Princeton-trained journalist that he was, he had a distinct bias. Although he never let his guests off the hook, he always promoted optimism. Through thick and thin in the market, his show inspired investment. Watching it sparked a strong wish to get in on the action, if you had any kind of regular paycheck — and a pulse.”

Read more here.

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