Monday, January 21, 2008

Frances Lewine, The Real Life Veronica Corningstone

Frances Lewine, who covered the White House as the first full-time female White House correspondent, in a time when journalism was a boys club, died on Sunday on what would have been her 87th birthday.

She had to overcome a lot of gender bias. "Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies. I mean they rev my engines, but they don't belong in the newsroom," some in her time remarked. Others said, " It is anchorman, not anchorlady, And that is a scientific fact." And some even yelled that it was terrible, before commenting about her beautiful eyes and that her hair smelled like cinnamon.

She also had to overcome her own humble beginnings, and needed some luck:

"When President Reagan was shot, I walked over to CNN that day and asked to help," Lewine said in a 2005 article in a newsletter for Time Warner, the parent company of CNN. "My claim to fame was, I found out what type of gun was used. They paid me $80 for my work."
She always appreciated her place, though:
"I don't understand people who quit," Lewine said in the newsletter article. "We have the best jobs in the world. I have a front-row seat to history. What are you going to do that's possibly better than this?"
Man, I hope I didn't just put the whole blog at risk...


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