On June 3, 1986, “Eyewitness News” interviewed Harry for a segment on WDVM TV in Washington, DC. The clowns in the first scene were his long-time friends who managed a timely surprise! Click here for the video on YouTube. Or you can watch it here (though it may not appear on your mobile device):
Here's the video transcript:
"Early Bird Editor Steps Down"
MAUREEN BUNYAN: The publisher of one of Washington’s best read dailies and most influential newspapers is stepping down. Harry Zubkoff, editor of the Defense Department’s most popular publication, is calling it quits after nearly four decades. Andrea Roane reports.
ANDREA ROANE: The atmosphere at the Pentagon is usually much more subdued than this, but an exception was made today for Harry Zubkoff. After 36 years as chief of the Pentagon’s news clipping and analysis service, Zubkoff is retiring. In that position, this man who thinks of himself as just another government clerk served as publisher of the Current News, Early Bird, and other source information for high-level Pentagon officials. In 1950, when Zubkoff started with the Early Bird it was just one or two pages long filled with pertinent news clippings for a half dozen officials. But it has grown substantially over the years.
HARRY ZUBKOFF: We now clip probably 65 newspapers every day, well over 300 periodicals a month, and we provide literally hundreds of pages of things, clippings, stories, for the people to look at who are in a – are decision makers.
ROANE: Almost 20,000 people here and abroad read Zubkoff’s Early Bird edition. Defense Secretary Weinberger starts off his day with it. So do the folks in the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
ZUBKOFF: What the media are saying about defense policy, strategies, doctrines, programs, weapons acquisitions, everything that they have to take into consideration in the formulation of our national defense policies.
ROANE: Modestly, Zubkoff believes his stepping down won’t change anything in his department, but his colleagues disagree.
MAN: Harry is so good. For me he’s a genius, honestly. He’s a tremendous man and very impressive, really very impressive.
ROANE: Can he be replaced?
WOMAN: I don’t think so. No. Not in my mind.
ROANE: In retirement, Zubkoff says he plans to write a book or two. They won’t be the kiss and tell variety about the Defense Department but rather about something he knows very well after 36 years, the media. Andrea Roane, Eyewitness News.
Print news stories
"Our mission has become incredibly important as the press devotes more and more time and energy to covering national security issues ... ."
"You can always predict what's going to happen ... if you read carefully."
Army Times, June 16, 1986:
"I have no doubt, and I've read them all, that the people who cover the Pentagon beat [for the major newspapers] are doing a better job than their counterparts at the White House or the State Department. We have the best reporters in the business."
Doubting there will ever be the same kind of consensus toward military operations that existed during World War II, Harry said: "When I was a kid, there were 120 million Americans. Now there are 240 million. It's impossible to obtain more than a modest majority of opinion in favor of anything."
|Pentagon admirers published a Special Issue of his Current News ...|
|And created a caricature that featured his reputation as a pilot, poet, and cowboy hat wearer.|