COMMENTS: The Life & Career of Billy Graham

ABC's Charles Gibson (subscription required) anchored from Charlotte NC where he attended the dedication ceremonies for the Billy Graham Library, a $27m museum about the 88-year-old evangelist. The building is designed to evoke his parents' dairy farm where he was raised--Gibson called the exhibit to Bessie the cow "somewhat incongruous"--with a 40-foot window in the shape of a Christian cross cut into the side.

Graham's preacher son Franklin told CBS' Byron Pitts that his father had resisted the project: "If this was going to be a monument to him he wanted no part of it." Well, Graham would have been disappointed with the coverage on all three networks. Almost all was about his life and achievements; very little about his gospel of salvation. NBC's Lester Holt noted that Graham has been "a spiritual advisor to Presidents" going back to Harry Truman. Graham's first revival to make a mark was in a tent in Los Angeles in 1949--the so-called Canvas Cathedral--but his ministry "came of age with television," CBS' Pitts noted. And ABC's Gibson reminded us about Graham's political stances: in favor of the civil rights movement and nuclear disarmament, staunchly anti-Communist and supportive of federal poverty relief. "I feel like I have been attending my own funeral," the preacher commented, as the center of attention.


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