A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America

A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America

A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America

A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America

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Overview

“When Cal Thomas speaks, I try to listen. I’ve been listening to him for a LONG time!" — Mike Huckabee 

“For more than 40 years, Cal Thomas had a front row seat to some of America's most contentious public policy debates. And for more than four decades, Cal wielded his pen to speak truth to power and to advance traditional conservative values. Cal's stories and tales from that front row—as the watchman—are sure to entertain!” — Mike Pence

"A new bestselling page-turner." — Washington Examiner

“This is what I have done—and am continuing to do—as I seek to serve God first and then my country.”—Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas—one of the most popular syndicated columnists in the country—is America’s “Watchman” in the night.

In A Watchman in the Night, Cal Thomas takes the reader on a “road trip” through over fifty years of journalism and American life, serving as a “watchman” on culture and politics and seeking to conform it to a standard that never changes. 

A watchman “keeps guard over a building at night, to protect it from fire, vandals, or thieves.” Thomas is a believer that certain values and principles never change and has critiqued misbehavior and wrong-headedness by people on “his side” from the start. “If values and Truth mean anything,” Thomas says, “they must be applied equally. Hypocrisy and heresy cannot be ignored no matter the source.” In the book, Thomas does not stigmatize labels, such as “conservative” and “religious,” because Thomas says: “It allows people to define me and others by their perception of those labels. Ask me a question and I will give you my answer.

For over fifty years in journalism, Thomas has offered incisive, humorous and often corrective commentary to our social, political, and religious conversations. An early commitment to addressing publicly what he sees has marked Thomas’ entire career. Cal has always called both parties, both sides of the American political divide, to account, to take the high road and to honor our civic and religious ideals with compatible behavior to the very best of our ability. This increasingly “radical” approach to public life has won him many friends on both sides of the political aisle, hundreds of thousands of faithful readers of his columns, and a continuous barrage of accolades and “hate mail,” much of it charming when it is not too foul to repeat.

Cal came to the Christian faith while a young journalist at a dinner led by Dr. Richard Halverson, Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD, and later, Chaplain of the United States Senate. This experience informed the rest of Cal’s life as he hosted his own private dinners for members of the press and members of Congress from both parties leading to deep friendships with Senator Ted Kennedy and many others, friendships which became a hallmark of Cal’s life despite wide political differences. For over two decades, Cal has hosted the National Prayer Breakfast Media Dinner as a continuation of his commitment to the reality that a relationship with Jesus Christ can change a person’s life and ultimately change a nation, and that things of such import are best discussed over dinner. The book includes tones about faith, but focuses on American social, cultural and political currents.

A Watchman in the Night: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America is a living history of our times, of who we were then and who we are now and who we might become (for better or worse) in the future, and a remarkable chronicle of modern American life.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630062385
Publisher: Humanix Books
Publication date: 05/09/2023
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 22 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

CAL THOMAS is a journalist, pundit, author, tv & radio commentator and one of the most widely syndicated columnists in America. His fifty-year journalism career includes anchoring, reporting commentary for NEWSMAX, KPRC-TV in Houston, NBC News in Washington, and other outlets. For ten years he co-wrote the "Common Ground" column for USA Today with his colleague, Bob Beckel. Thomas began his journalism career at the age of sixteen and 2019 marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of his column. He is the bestselling author of America's Expiration Date, What Works, The Things That Matter Most, Common Ground, Uncommon Sense, Blinded by Might, The Death of Ethics in America, Book Burning, Liberals for Lunch, The Freedom Dream and Public Persons and Private Lives.

Thomas is a wide-ranging social commentator, not a "beltway insider," who supports traditional conservative values and the American "can-do spirit." A native of Washington, D.C. and graduate of American University, Thomas is married to Christie Jean ("CJ"). He lives and works in the Miami metro area.

calthomas.com


TOM JOHNSON is an American journalist and media executive, best known for serving as president of CNN, and, before that, as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Dallas Times Herald newspapers. He was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1976 to 1980. In addition, Johnson was a White House Fellow and aide to LBJ and is a long-time member of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation board of trustees and a former member of the Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees. He lives and works in the Seattle metro area.
TOM JOHNSON is an American journalist and media executive, best known for serving as president of CNN, and, before that, as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Dallas Times Herald newspapers. He was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1976 to 1980. In addition, Johnson was a White House Fellow and aide to LBJ and is a long-time member of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation board of trustees and a former member of the Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees. He lives and works in the Seattle metro area.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS to A WATCHMAN IN THE NIGHT: A JOURNALIST REFLECTS ON FIFTY YEARS OF REPORTING ON AMERICA by Cal Thomas


  • FOREWORD by Tom Johnson
  • INTRODUCTION
  • PREFACE
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1992
  • 1993
  • 1994
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • EPILOGUE

Preface

FOREWORD by Tom Johnson to A WATCHMAN IN THE NIGHT: A JOURNALIST REFLECTS ON FIFTY YEARS OF REPORTING ON AMERICA by Cal Thomas


During my active media years, a complaint I often heard was that mainstream media is not fair to Republicans, Conservatives, and evangelicals. 


As with many media leaders, my response most often was defensive. I discounted criticism.


However, my views changed over time. I saw there was merit to the criticism that we frequently were more liberal—especially on our editorial and op-ed pages.  


I observed the decision by New York Times publisher Punch Sulzberger to recruit conservative writer William Safire as a regular columnist. That was a bold and a very wise decision.


As I rose from a reporter on the Macon Georgia Telegraph to executive vice president of Texas Broadcasting in Austin, to executive editor and then publisher of the Dallas Times Herald, and then to president and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and finally to CEO of CNN, I had first-hand experience overseeing the news and editorial content of what I considered five of the most outstanding American news organizations.


When I became president of the Los Angeles Times in 1977, I oversaw the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. I felt that we needed to secure and to distribute a very highly regarded conservative balance. For four years, Cal Thomas had been the chief spokesman and writer for Reverend Jerry Falwell. It was his first and only departure from a journalism career that has spanned six decades. NBC’s John Chancellor once said that everyone in journalism should be allowed one trip to the “other side” and then choose on which side to remain. In 1984, Cal chose to return to and remain in journalism.

 

Willard Colston, president of that syndicate, asked me to “take a look” at several articles that Thomas had written. I did. Thomas wrote clearly and expressed his opinions intelligently. His views infuriated some of my more liberal members of the Los Angeles Times editorial page.  

 

Colston and I decided to take a chance. We were very disappointed when Anthony Day, editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial page, refused to agree to run Thomas’s column. When Day left, the Times picked up Cal’s column to the delight of conservative readers and the horror of liberal ones. Rarely has the letters section had so many responses to a columnist. 

 

Sales of Thomas’s columns began to soar. Newspapers in the US and abroad purchased it. Over time, he became the most well distributed columnist of all. He eclipsed such esteemed names as Art Buchwald and Bill Safire. 

 

I was very proud to have been a strong supporter of him. While our political views are very different, we became friends. His column added a much-needed conservative voice to newspapers, talk shows, and bookshelves.  

 

A WATCHMAN IN THE NIGHT captures so much of Cal’s life and times. I recommend it with enthusiasm, even to those of us who are more on the left-hand side than Cal.  

 

Tom Johnson

Former President/Publisher Los Angeles Times

Former President CNN

Atlanta, Georgia

January 2022

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