Mark Shields, political analyst on CNN and PBS NewsHour dies at 85 – CBS Tampa

Washington, DC. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) — Mark Shields, political analyst for CNN and PBS, died Saturday morning at the age of 85, PBS NewsHour anchor confirmed.

Shields was well known for his “encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, his sense of humor and basically a big heart,” NewsHour anchor and editor-in-chief Jodi Woodruff wrote in a tweet announcing his death.

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Shields was a liberal political commentator on broadcasting for 33 years, across six presidential administrations, until deciding to retire in 2020.

He was also a regular presence on CNN for decades, primarily as a co-host on the weekly “Capital Gang” panel discussion from 1988 until 2005, where he challenged conservative co-hosts such as Robert Novak, Pat Buchanan and Kate O’Bearn.

“We have been very fortunate at CNN to work with such a nice, wonderful, funny man who was the same person to powerful politicians as he was to the youngest employee on our team,” said Rick Davis, former executive vice president of CNN. Earlier he was the Executive Producer of “Capital Gang”. He added that Shields “was as good a man as you’ll meet in this business.”

Shields, originally from Weymouth, Massachusetts, graduated from the University of Notre Dame before serving in the United States Marine Corps. He worked on numerous local and national Democratic political campaigns, including the nomination of Robert F. Kennedy for the presidency in 1968, and gained first-hand experience that he later shared with readers and viewers.

In 1979 he became a columnist for the Washington Post, and the column was soon moved nationwide by the Creators Guild.

“I believe in politics,” Shields wrote for NPR’s “This I Believe” series in 2006, expressing optimism about the peaceful resolution of conflict and pragmatism about the need for compromise. He also read the article out loud in the morning edition.

He wrote: “At their worst, politicians – like us – can be petty, corrupt and selfish.” “But I do believe that politics, at its best, can help make our world where the truly powerful are more just and the poor are safer.”

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Shields brought this perspective to television in 1988, when he was appointed to his analytical position at PBS, and one of the partners in those regular sectors was David Jergen, a veteran presidential advisor.

Jergen wrote on Saturday that Shields “was one of the best partners in television history – thoughtful, intelligent and always a little guy’s hero. He brought out the best in everyone he touched.”

He also matches intelligence with Paul Gigot, the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, and columnist David Brooks of The New York Times.

In a tweet Saturday, he called Brooks Shields “one of the best and most beloved men I’ve ever known,” adding to his 2020 story “Mark Shields and America’s Best Liberal.”

At the time of his retirement from NewsHour, Shields described, with typical humor, his Friday evening discussions with Brooks as “the most recognized professional experience of my career.”

“It’s been 33 amazing years,” he said during his farewell TV broadcast.

His televised talks represented a kinder time in American politics and television news, with an abundance of deep insights and thoughtful debates rather than the vitriolic criticism and insults so often touted today.

Shields died of kidney failure at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, NewsHour spokesperson Nick Masella told NPR. Woodruff tweeted that his wife, Ann, was by his side.

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