Bill Plante, whose work as a correspondent for CBS News in the White House lasted throughout the administrations of both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, passed away
What Was the Real Reason Behind Bill Plante’s Death?
According to the network, Plante passed away on Wednesday due to complications from respiratory failure at the age of 84.
Plante left the news division in 2016 after working there for 52 years, during which time he covered events such as the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, in addition to each and every presidential election from 1968 to 2016. In addition to that, Plante served as the anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News from the years 1988 through 1995. Plante began his career in journalism in 1964 by joining the network as a reporter and assignment editor.
Two years later, he began working as a correspondent in Chicago, the city in which he was born. During the 1960s and 1970s, he covered stories such as the assassination of three civil rights workers in 1964, which was later depicted in the film Mississippi Burning, and he conducted an interview with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 while he was marching from Selma to Montgomery. Both of these events took place in Mississippi.
Plante reported from Vietnam on four separate occasions: in 1964, 1967, 1971-1972, and finally in 1975, when Saigon was finally overthrown. In 1972, his three-part study of the wheat trade between the United States and the Soviet Union earned him an Emmy award. Plante joined the CBS News Washington bureau in 1976 and was assigned to the White House when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president.
Bill Plante, legendary CBS News White House correspondent, has died at 84 https://t.co/6FMYvPQCB1
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 28, 2022
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During that era, he was well-known for the brief and straightforward questions that he asked. Plante confronted Reagan with the question, “Did you make a mistake in supplying armaments to Tehran, sir?” as the former president was dealing with the Iran-Contra affair. The president gave a response that suggested he was getting a little bit agitated by the question: “No, and I am not accepting any more questions.”
In 2014, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation presented Plante with a lifetime achievement award. In his acceptance speech, President Obama thanked Plante for providing the United States with the news that was necessary to hear.
Kelly O’Donnell, a journalist at NBC News, said the following about Plante on Twitter: “Bill was a pro, a class act, and a marvelous colleague.” I first encountered him when I was working as a reporter for a local newspaper, and I was thrilled to be able to call him a friend in the briefing room of the White House.
During his retirement, Plante gave an interview to CBS News in which he stated that despite the fact that presidential administrations are constantly changing, one thing that has remained consistent is the desire of presidential staff to try to bypass the media and communicate directly with the American people.
He explained that journalists still had a job despite the fact that social media had made things even simpler. He answered, “Yes, they can go over our heads unfiltered. Nevertheless, we still have to try to portray the tale from the point of view of individuals who are looking at it straight.”
He continued by saying, “We are not supposed to be safeguarding our right to know; rather, we are supposed to be protecting the right to know of the general public.” It has nothing to do with us.” He stated that his coverage of the civil rights movement was the most significant event he had covered, despite the fact that “politics is my love.”
According to CBS News, Plante began his career in 1956 when he was still a student at Loyola University in Chicago, working as a newscaster for a radio station in the city. After receiving his degree, he began working as an associate news director for the Milwaukee affiliate of CBS.
Bill Plante’s Family
Plante’s wife, Robin Smith, as well as his three brothers, Richard, Jim, and John, as well as his sons Michael, Dan, Christopher, Brian, and David, as well as eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all survive him. Barbara Barnes Plante, who was his first wife, and their son Patrick both passed away before him.
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