I liked Tim Russert, even though I thought his BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy and not helping the debate at all. He was a likable guy- friendly, always smiling. I understand it is a loss for the beltway folks, and he had a lot of really good friends and meant a lot to people, and I would be dishonest if I failed to mention that I feel sad by his passing.
MSNBC has been running nothing but a 5 hour (and presumably it will go until 11 pm or beyond) marathon of Russert remembrance. CNN has done their due diligence, and Fox news has spent at least the last half hour talking non-stop about him.
But let’s get something straight- what I am watching right now on the cable news shows is indicative of the problem- no clearer demonstration of the fact that they consider themselves to be players and the insiders and, well, part of the village, is needed. This is precisely the problem. They have walked the corridors of power so long that they honestly think they are the story. It is creepy and sick and the reason politicians get away with all the crap they get away with these days.
Tim Russert was a newsman. He was not the Pope. This is not the JFK assassination, or Reagan’s death, or the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. A newsman died. We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.
*** Update ***
I have to admit, that even after six years of blogging, I am still surprised at the reactions of people to some things. This post was not an attack on Russert, someone I have said I liked and will miss. It is a sad situation- he was clearly widely loved, and his death is a terrible loss for his family and friends. But that is beside the point, as this post was a commentary on the coverage of his passing, which seems to me, at least, to be indicative of a larger problem. On the upside of the coverage, though, is this observation that at least MSNBC will not be running prison reality shows all weekend.