Tom Braden, 1917-2009


Say farewell to Tom Braden, an essential figure for anyone whose game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon requires a quick jump from Crossfire to Eight is Enough. Braden was one of the original hosts of the former program, and he wrote the memoir that inspired the latter; he also did a stint in the Central Intelligence Agency, which led him to write an infamous article called "Why I'm Glad the CIA Is Immoral"—making him, shall we say, an interesting choice to play Crossfire's standard-bearer for the left. From National Review I learn that his wife carried on an open, long-term affair with Fog of War star Robert McNamara, which means Dick Van Patten is just one degree removed from Errol Morris. I don't think they alluded to the liason in any episodes of Eight is Enough, but I was pretty young when that show was on the air, so maybe the references simply zoomed over my head.