ABC News journalists offer recollections of their colleagues at CBS News, hit in a roadside attack in Baghdad. Paul Douglas and James Brolan were killed, while correspondent Kimberly Dosier remains in critical condition.
Foreign Correspondent Jim Sciutto recalls traveling with Brolan, who had also worked extensively for ABC News:
In television news, we meet people who are professional and who are fun, but I have never met someone who combined both so well, adding in a one-of-a-kind flair for performance.
James was, simply, hilarious. He made you laugh out loud -- and I'm talking gut-wrenching, painful laughter -- in the worst situations: an endless stint in Kabul, a dusty embed in the Kuwaiti desert, a long nerve-wracking stay in Baghdad.
He was at his best with children. Along with his audio mixer, he carried a repertoire of silly tricks wherever he traveled: the missing thumb trick, the faked high-five and -- my favorite -- the gorilla walk. I have a picture somewhere -- I'm killing myself that I can't find it -- of James performing the gorilla walk for dozens of enthralled Afghan kids on a desolate road somewhere between Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. In their faces, I remember seeing pure enjoyment and certainty they were watching their first certifiably insane white man. He made them and us happy, when it was truly difficult.
James was a self-proclaimed master of useless information. I still find myself quoting cocktail party facts, and then quietly remembering I heard them from James first. Obscure things, like the origin of marmalade (a curative treatment developed when Marie Antoinette was sick, or in French 'Marie malade') or the way his old military unit the Royal Green Jackets was the first British unit to give up bright red uniforms for more camouflaged green. He was also absolutely unbeatable at Scrabble. Silly stuff, but when you're riding in a military convoy or killing time in Baghdad, it is priceless entertainment.
I can assure you that the world of news is less warm, less happy, and less fun without James.
Correspondent Dan Harris recalls spending time overseas with the three CBS journliasts involved in the roadside attack.
Kimbery Dozier: I've worked side by side with Kimberly in Afghanistan, the West Bank and Iraq. she's consistently impressed me with her courage, doggedness and professionalism. These are difficult, dangerous places to work -- and Kimberly did so with both poise and style. Few push harder or stay longer than she does. It's been a treat to watch her rise at CBS in recent years. I have full faith, given her toughness and tenacity, that she'll pull through this -- and be back, beating me on stories, very soon.
Paul Douglas: He was one of those guys you meet, and then never forget. He was a bear of a man -- which made the fact that he was so friendly an enormous relief. I saw him just a few months ago in Iraq at a news conference. It was the first time I'd seen him in years. He remembered me straight away and we got to reminiscing. When you work overseas, you meet some real characters -- some of them pleasant, some of the not so much. Paul was a rare gem: a man who'd been all over the place, but who didn't flaunt a been-there-done-that attitude.