Last week cable channel HBO premiered the documentary Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists. Regardless of one's politics, it's a very interesting and entertaining look into grand past of print media, and two of the greats (Pete Hamill and the late Jimmy Breslin) when it came to columns that gave readers the impression they were walking the streets alongside these most street-smart of writers.
Breslin in particular liked to bring his readers very close to major news stories, and did just that during the Crown Heights (Brooklyn) riots of 1991. The three days of tumult and violence took place in the aftermath of a tragic car crash in which a car driven by an Orthodox Jewish driver struck and killed a 7-year old black child while seriously injuring his cousin. Breslin, being Breslin, took a cab right into the middle of the rioting. In the HBO documentary, he talked about the impoverishment of the black Crown Heights residents who surrounded the car he was in, and how they desperately needed “money.”