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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Bell’

Steve Bell On His Network News Career: “More Than Anybody Had A Right To Ask For”

Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series

Bell_Steve.jpgAs we conclude TVNewser’s series “Where Are They Now?”, we talk with former ABC anchor and reporter Steve Bell.

For Steve Bell, it was quite a week at the office. On assignment for ABC News in Cambodia in 1970, he and his crew stumbled upon a major story when — along with two newspaper reporters — they discovered the bodies of 97 murdered ethnic Vietnamese. Bell filed the first report on the gruesome massacre.

One week later, Bell and his crew were held at gunpoint. “We thought we were going into a town controlled by the Cambodians,” Bell tells TVNewser, “and instead, it had been overrun by the Viet Cong.” The journalists were released unharmed within two hours.

“The Vietnam War was a life-changer,” says Bell, 73. “You can’t go through that kind of experience and see what you see and feel what you feel, and not be changed for the rest of your life…I think I’m more sensitive on the one hand, and at the same time, I’m less certain of the supposed certainties of life — it leaves you with a whole new perspective.”

It was a pivotal experience during a long career that formally concluded only last year, with his retirement as a university professor. “I went to college to be a teacher. I just got diverted for 35 years,” jokes Bell.

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Norma Quarles: “I Fought To Dispel Stereotypes. I Fought It In My Work”

Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series

QuarlesNorma.JPGAs we continue TVNewser’s ongoing series “Where Are They Now?”, we talk with former NBC and CNN newswoman Norma Quarles. Next week: former ABCer Steve Bell.

It was October of 1984, and then-NBC News correspondent Norma Quarles was resting in a New York hospital bed the night before elective surgery when she got a message from the League of Women Voters. Could she, they asked, be a last-minute replacement panelist for the George Bush-Geraldine Ferraro Vice Presidential debate in Philadelphia the next day?

“I had an agonizing time deciding,” Quarles tells TVNewser, and the hospital staff “didn’t want to let me out!” But she did check out, driving through the night to Philly, where she stayed up prepping until dawn. The veep match-up was watched by “the biggest audience I ever had”, Quarles says, calling the experience “daunting” but also “an honor”.

It was an unexpected opportunity, one of many along the way for Norma Quarles.

A native New Yorker, Quarles, 72, made her first on-camera appearance at the age of ten, as an extra in the 1947 classic Miracle on 34th Street. She and her father — a Macy’s employee at the time — appear in a scene at the store.

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