Safer attended Harbord Collegiate Institute and graduated from the University of Western Ontario later. His journalistic career began as a reporter for various newspapers in Canada and the UK. Later he joined as a correspondent and producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
In 1964, Safer was a correspondent for CBS News in London. In 1965 he opened the CBS office in the former Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam. During his tenure there, he accompanied a group of soldiers of the USMC to a village called Cam Ne. When the Marines arrived, the order was given to evacuate the village. After the evacuation of the covered with palm fronds huts were set on fire by flamethrowers and Zippo lighters. After safes description, it was at the residents only harmless civilians, the mission had been planned from the outset as a " search and destroy".
Safers report on this action was broadcast on the news of CBS on August 5, 1966. It was the first sober report on the conditions during the Vietnam War. President Johnson was angered by this report. He called the president of CBS and accused Safer and his colleagues, " to have shat on the American flag. " Convinced that Safer was a communist, Johnson ordered a security check. After he was informed that safer " not a communist, only Canadians " was, he replied that " Well, I knew he was not an American ."
In 1967, Safer was named bureau chief in London. He held this post for three years. In 1970, he left London to work for the 60 Minutes news program. Since then, Safer is correspondent for this program. 1983 saw safers report " Lenell Geter in Jail " single-handedly for the dismissal of Lenell Geter Texan, who was wrongly convicted for armed robbery. This success is still regarded as one of the milestones of the program.
Safer has written several books, including Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam. He lives in New York City, is married and has one daughter.
Safer has won several awards for his journalistic work. Among the awards are:
- Emmy Award ( 12x)
- Overseas Press Award ( 3x)
- Peabody Award ( 3x)
- Alfred duPont Award from Columbia University
- Paul White Award of the Radio / Television News Directors Association
- Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement
- Chevalier dans l' Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government