A Facebook Post To Celebrate A Huge Spirit


Posted Nov 9, 2014



“I know this is the reason I have come to really like, as individuals, some of the hosts of radio or television panel programs I have been on, and to respect their minds–because even if they have been almost steadily in disagreement with me on the race issue, they still have kept their minds open and objective about the truths of things happening in this world. Irv Kupcinet in Chicago, and Barry Farber, Barry Gray and Mike Wallace in New York–people like them. They also let me see that they respected my mind–in a way I know they never realized. The way I knew was that often they would invite my opinion off the race issue. Sometimes, after the programs, we would sit around and talk about all kinds of things, current events, and other things, for an hour or more. You see, most whites, even when they credit a Negro with some intelligence, will still feel that all he can talk about is the race issue; most whites never feel that Negroes can contribute anything to other areas of thought, and ideas. You just notice how rarely you will ever hear whites asking any Negroes what they think about the problem of world health, comma, or the space race to land men on the moon.”

Malcolm X,

The Autobiography of Malcolm X


Barry Farber Conducts
Tonight my father gets inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. My sister Bibi is there with him.

Countless spirits in bodies and no longer in bodies are cheering him on, I know, including my mother Ulla, who had a really rough ride, but I know she’s cheering from the spirit world where hopefully they have champagne and glasses.

He’s the spirit of a pre-monied “media” that operated from curiosity, generosity, fair combat, and spell casting through story telling. Plurality, diversity, worlds, cultures, everything in the rain drop. It has been a wide open door to a warm and wild continuous 54 year conversation made up of big big table where everybody is welcome so long as they bring some interesting moon rock of knowledge.

As he said to me, “When I started out, we called it “communications.”

(Phil Griffin, MSNBC….CNN….Fox….anybody?)

And his three word summation of the esprit of journalism is always on my wall: “Penetrate the ostensible.”

We’ll be listening live tonight on CRN.com, and I will be crying all the tears I have been holding back for weeks now.

It’s very deep and I can’t even broach it in a Facebook post. And sorry this is so long.

We’ve tossed the word “congratulations” around so much over the years that now when I really need it it’s a little worn.

In Prague in Novel 1989, the students had postured the town with hand painted signs that said, “Havel Na Hrad!” (Havel to the castle!”)

Well tonight, after 54 years of continuous broadcasting, never ever ever missing a show, unless he was literally in surgery, never faltering, never complaining, always making his way to the mike within at LEAST 3 seconds of showtime…always making his guests delighted, no matter what part of the political spectrum they fell on, always making it different, alive, interesting, and full of love and light, it’s:


Farber’s road to Radio Hall of Fame Started Here

2 thoughts on “A Facebook Post To Celebrate A Huge Spirit”

  1. I know you say “congratulations” may seem a little worn by now but it’s clear Barry was the source of all manner of inspiration to you and may be, in part, responsible for the objective, lucid journalist that you’ve become. So for that I do believe congratulations are in order.
    He has helped create that undeniable ethical continuity.
    Of the man himself; I shamefacedly admit that I know nothing of him except through your own revelation to me of his existence and obvious influence through his chosen media.
    The mere fact that he merits the honour bestowed upon him, this award of “fame,” is impressive indeed yet I am pretty certain that, to a very large extent, it is a misnomer as, even without knowing the man, I have a deep sense that his vocation was driven by that need to “penetrate the ostensible” rather than achieve any form of “fame.” But I understand, even though semantics may come into play here, the meritorius award is an acknowledgement of a dedicated, unswerving contribution to the American (and other) people who cared to listen to someone objectively penetrating that ostensibility.
    You have every right to be proud of your father and shed the tears that come with that visceral sentiment. His is no mean achievement in a world of jaded journalists.
    I salute him.

  2. With happiness for your pride, Celia, and with deep admiration for the virtuous work of one working man’s lifetime, congratulations to your Papa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.