Georgie Anne Geyer, whose syndicated column on foreign affairs was a regular feature of The Advocate’s opinion pages, died recently at 84, concluding a career that began in 1960 and offered her a front-row seat on some of the most momentous changes of the 20th century.
She’ll be missed in our pages and elsewhere, too, as we were recently reminded by journalist David Satter’s tribute to her in The Wall Street Journal. Satter recalled Geyer’s interview with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 1966.
“Every decent person has to support the revolution,” Castro told her. “Not journalists,” Geyer responded. Her point was that a free press isn’t supposed to be a mouthpiece for a political party. It’s intended to stand apart from civic institutions, covering them without fear or favor.
That reality is often lost in today’s culture, in which politicians question the patriotism of journalists who are simply doing their jobs.
Geyer had visited many countries without a free press, and she understood why press freedom was critical to a healthy society.
We hope the wisdom of that truth endures, even though Georgie Anne Geyer has filed her last byline.