Dick Clark died yesterday, and the news of his passing is covered in the disingenuous and condescending lede — “Oldest Living Teenager is Dead at 82 from a Heart Attack” — and I just stand there and why why the lamestream media have to live up to their cloying, and earned, nickname every single day.

On January 2, 2006, I wrote about Dick Clark in Urban SemioticDick Clark Human Speech — and his amazing comeback from a stroke that adversely affected his speech:

We’re imperfect and sometimes human speech is breezy and sometimes you have to struggle to understand what is being spoken. There is no doubt, however, that Dick Clark was brave and daring to make such a bold return to television — brave and daring and bold are also hallmarks of Clark’s career — and the lesson many of us now know is if Dick Clark can risk his legacy, reputation and quality-of-life to show us just how devastating a stroke can be to a personality, a family and a man, then we’re all better off for having him triumphantly return to network television to stare down Death with us live on the air.

Dick Clark was a star and a really good businessman.  He created a radio network.  He bought a lot of land.  In 2007, he sold his production company for $175 million to the current owner of the Washington Redskins football team.

I have tremendous affection for Dick Clark.  He was a rich man because he knew the value of the human soul and of perseverance and of always doing the right thing.  During the Payola scandal, he testified before Congress and did well, and when the ABC-TV network asked him to sell his record company holdings just to make sure there would not be any future conflicts of interest between his American Bandstand television show and his record companies, he did so — and lost $8 million dollars in that decision to abide doing the right thing instead of protecting his own narrow self-interest.

Dick Clark will be missed.  We won’t ever have anyone else like him — and that’s why we must celebrate the life of the man and accept the death of the body.

6 Comments

  1. I grew up with Dick Clark, My sisters and I aways watched american band stand. Everyday after school we would go home turn on the t.v. and watch. and dance of course. He well always be here as far as I am concerned, there well never be another Dick Clark- Farewell to you from my sisters and I.

    1. Hi Mary!

      I love your memory of Dick Clark and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

      When I was younger, I worked at a CBS television affiliate and, on Saturday mornings, the weekend receptionist would always have American Bandstand playing on the television in the lobby so she could watch the show even though it was an ABC television program. When I asked her about it, she told me she’d never missed an episode of American Bandstand since it moved from Philadelphia, and sometimes tradition was more important than business allegiances. I guess management agreed with her, because they never made her change the channel in all the years I worked there. SMILE!

  2. I always associated him with fantastic radio and television and it is sad that he is gone — even sadder that there are kids out there that are utterly confused as to who he was and somehow had never even heard of him!

  3. I always loved dick clark he was funny, the bloopers should have stayed aired, other times the way he laughed n smiled made me happy n laugh, u cant live forever but hes with God now n GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY they gotta be just like him kind n nice.

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