Diane Dimond is a nationally syndicated opinion columnist for Creators Syndicate. This is a collection of the very best of Diane Dimond from 2014.
Diane Dimond is one of the few journalists to have mastered the art of her craft across all platforms -- radio, television, books and internet publishing. As such, she defies a single category.
Dimond’s greatest talent may be her ability to communicate complicated stories in an understandable, common-sense way. Her reputation as a fearless investigative reporter has won admiration from her peers, but she never lost the ethical and moral lessons she learned growing up as an only child in a middle class home in the Southwest.
“For a kid who grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I feel fortunate to have found the calling of journalism,” Dimond says. “I’ve gotten to roam the halls of Congress, report from the White House and be an eye-witness to several moments in history. I’ve also been able to concentrate on the issues of crime and justice in America and tell the often-forgotten human stories behind the headlines.”
While working for Albuquerque’s KGGM-TV and Radio as a receptionist during high school, Dimond was drawn to the newsroom in an odd and coincidental way. Late one evening the frantic news director came to the front desk holding a long trail of wire copy and urgently asked Diane whether she “knew how to write.” He told her that the news writers had gone out to dinner (in between the early and late newscasts), been in a car accident and were hospitalized. Diane had won a few writing awards in school and immediately pitched in. This baptism-by- fire that night was the beginning of Dimond’s passion for the news business and good old-fashioned storytelling.
After working in the KGGM (now KRQE) newsroom, Diane was recruited by the TV-radio station across the street. She joined KOB radio (now KKOB) and ultimately became both the crime and courts reporter and the morning newscaster. She was presented with the prestigious Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association for her intrepid multi-part series about political corruption within the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, which resulted in the sheriff being removed from office. In addition, Diane was awarded multiple APE awards from the Albuquerque Press Club for various other stories she covered.
In 1976, Dimond moved across the country to Washington, D.C., to anchor newscasts for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
In 1980, she became correspondent for the RKO Radio Network and was assigned to cover Capitol Hill, the White House and various Washington agencies. Dimond was named the network’s national political correspondent and, in 1984, covered the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale and his vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. Dimond was on the floor during both presidential nominating conventions that year -- the Democratic gathering held in San Francisco, California, and the Republican convention in Dallas, Texas. She was broadcasting live from the steps of the U.S. Capital when Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. Simultaneously, news broke that the American hostages held in Iran for 444 days were released from captivity, a final slap at the presidency of Jimmy Carter.
Dimond made her move into television in 1986. Her first on-air reporting job was at the CBS flagship station in New York. At WCBS, she earned several awards for covering such groundbreaking stories as the “Baby M” surrogate mother case, an investigative series on chromium poisoning in New Jersey and a sensational child molestation case on Long Island, New York.
Dimond was recruited into syndicated television in 1990 when she became the investigative reporter for the program “Hard Copy.” Time magazine cited Diane’s revelations and continuing coverage of the Michael Jackson child molestation story as among “The Best TV of ’93.”
While at “Hard Copy,” Dimond also made headlines when she acquired and aired the actual interrogation tape of O.J. Simpson as he was being questioned by Los Angeles police detectives investigating the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Diane sparked many national stories during her 7 years at “Hard Copy,” including the William Kennedy Smith rape allegations in Palm Beach, Florida, exclusive interviews with Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and several sit-down prison interviews with notorious convicted killers. Among them were Kenneth Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler; Jeffrey MacDonald, the Green Beret Killer; James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.; Pamela Smart, the teacher convicted of convincing her young student-lover to kill her husband; and Richard Allen Davis, who kidnapped and killed young Polly Klaas.
In 1997, Dimond moved to Warner Brothers/Telepictures, where she substitute-anchored the nationally syndicated program “EXTRA” and made headlines with her exposé of the deceptive practices of “The Jerry Springer Show,” among other investigative reports.
In 1998, Diane moved back to the East Coast and joined NBC News. She partnered with Geraldo Rivera to co-anchor CNBC’s nightly newscast, “UpFront Tonight.” She anchored extensive live reports from Washington during the impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton. After moving to MSNBC, Dimond hosted the series “Missing Persons,” anchored major news blocks and, among other stories, covered the 2000 presidential campaign, traveling at various times with three of the candidates: George W. Bush, Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Dimond also became known as the correspondent who spent 35 straight days reporting live from outside the vice president’s residence in Washington as the nation awaited the controversial recount of the disputed vote.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack in New York City Diane became a freelance anchor, hosting live programs on the Fox News channel, where she specialized in the network’s continuing coverage of the war on terrorism. Her live interviews with military and policy newsmakers were often quoted by other news organizations. Dimond did double duty during this time as an anchor at Court TV, filling in during various day parts and the network’s evening news program, “Catherine Crier Live.”
In 2003, Diane joined Court TV fulltime and became the chief investigative reporter, once again, breaking the story of another allegation of child sexual misconduct against entertainer Michael Jackson. It was a story Dimond had followed since she first revealed Jackson’s legal problems in 1993. In advance of preparing to cover Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005, Dimond began to write a book about her decade-long involvement with the story. "Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case" is seen by many as the definitive work about one of the most controversial figures in the entertainment industry.
Diane took time off in 2006 following the illness and death of both her father, Allen Hughes, and her mother, Ruby Hughes, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In late 2007, Dimond began to write a weekly crime and justice column for the Albuquerque Journal, the paper she grew up reading. By 2008 the column had gone national. The column is distributed to newspapers nationwide by Creators Syndicate. Dimond prides herself on writing about wide-ranging crime and justice topics designed to raise public awareness and promote outside-the-box thinking.
In 2010, the headline-grabbing story about the so-called “White House Gate Crashers,” Michaele and Tareq Salahi, grabbed Dimond’s attention. Having been assigned to the White House early in her career, she knew it was next to impossible to “crash” an official state dinner. Her investigation into what really happened -- and more importantly, how a simple story exploded into unnecessary handwringing and Congressional hearings -- culminated in Dimond’s book "Cirque Du Salahi.” The book was called “a riveting slice of contemporary anthropology” that exposed the gossipmongers masquerading as journalists who first peddled the “gate crashers” idea.
As a longtime contributor for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Dimond covered multiple stories, including several high-profile criminal trials. Among them were the Casey Anthony murder trial, the political corruption trial of former Sen. John Edwards and the child molestation case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
In Jan. 2013, Dimond turned her attention to the technological future of media. As part of the senior management team at The Video Call Center LLC, she helped develop a whole new genre of television -- one which marries social media with mass media. Utilizing a patented console, the VCC was designed after the call-in talk radio model where the host runs their own control board. VCC technology created live, host-driven, call-in talk television. Guests and callers join the program by using their smartphones or tablets to access IP video services (Skype, Facetime, etc.), and the mostly automated system allows the host to control all aspects of the program. With a punch of a button the host can introduce callers, bring in preloaded stills and videos, and offer immediate access to everything on the internet.
Diane is currently in the planning stages for her next book, the topic of which remains under wraps -- for now.
Diane adores her cats, loves to be in the garden and lives in Rockland County, New York, with her husband, Michael Schoen, a longtime WCBS radio news anchorman and voiceover artist. They have one daughter and three grandchildren.
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