Commentary: Paul Harvey was a broadcast pioneer

This editorial appeared in The Rock Hill Herald.

Anyone who ever heard a radio broadcast by Paul Harvey is unlikely to forget the experience. The mellifluous voice, the theatrical – almost hammy – delivery and the eccentric catch-phrases made him one of the most recognizable and distinctive radio personalities ever to grace the airways.

It's accurate to say that Harvey was a precursor to Rush Limbaugh and talk radio as the hugely popular medium it is today. But Harvey, though an often forceful commentator, came from a gentler tradition.

He preferred telling us the news with a twist or "the rest of the story" to pounding political adversaries over the head with a rhetorical sledgehammer. In a way, that made him a more widely popular and respected sage with what undoubtedly was a more diverse audience than Limbaugh's.

He was reliably conservative on most issues but not completely doctrinaire. For instance, in 1970 he announced his opposition to President Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War, stunning some loyal listeners.

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