“With half a century in the news business, journalist Hank Plante has stories.
Some are about people whose names you know, renowned reporters Plante has worked alongside and big-name politicians he’s interviewed. Barack Obama, he reports, possesses a certain sense of humanity not commonly found among politicos. (“I just love the guy.”) Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco, had a knack for “seeing every piece of the chessboard before anyone else.” And California Gov. Gavin Newsom can be both vulnerable and surly in interviews, Plante has witnessed. (“Off the record,” Newsom told him angrily in 2009 after getting flustered by a few particularly hard-hitting questions, “I’m amazingly disappointed.”)
Plante’s other stories are about his own life. The acclaimed TV anchor and longtime Palm Springs resident, who most recently served on The Desert Sun’s editorial board and worked as a political analyst for NBC Palm Springs, has lived and breathed the news.
In the 1980s, as one of the first openly gay television reporters in the nation, he doggedly covered the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, even as his own friends were sickened by and died from the disease. When this year, almost exactly four decades later, monkeypox began to spread throughout the United States, he noticed some haunting parallels and was invited by TV stations across California to share his expertise on the subject. His reporting has won numerous prizes, including a handful of Emmys, a Peabody Award, and the Pioneer Award from GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)…”