Let’s Get Something Straight

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.

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293 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    This is directly attributable to the fact they no longer consider themselves reporters of the news but newsmakers themselves. It’s why they spend hours on teevee speculating about what might happen instead of simply reporting on what did happen.

  2. 2
    jrg says:

    please shut up and get back to work

    They were working?

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this, except for the liking him part. He may have been a prince of a fella to his family and to his coworkers, an admirable human trait, but that won’t get him to sainthood.

    He has to be judged by his work, and to crib from Jon Stewart, he was hurting America.

  4. 4
    susteph says:

    oh, amen, john. i just watched the lehrer news hour on pbs, and ray suarez called him “a political insider and journalist.” forgive me, but aren’t those mutually exclusive terms?

  5. 5
    TomMil says:

    I’m with you John, I really don’t think it would be appropriate for one of the networks to mention that he was Dick Cheney’s favorite newsman(“we control the message”) as we learned in the Scooter Libby trial, or that his own testimony in that same trial exposed him as a protector of Washington more than a reporter (remember the, “I consider everything off-the-record unless they say it’s on-the-record BS he was selling?). But to hear them talk about how “tough” he was and how he “took no prisoners and took no sides” makes me want to puke. He took a side – the side of “inside Washington”. The saddest thing is, they will either replace him with a clone or someone goes after the new Obama admin with partisan fury they will portray it as keeping the tradition.

  6. 6
    Anna Granfors says:

    “He was not the Pope.”

    Yeah…for some reason, I can’t see a genuinely praiseworthy journalist (Cronkite, perhaps Rather at his best, Moyers etc.) getting anything resembling this kind of treatment when they die.

    Don’t get me wrong: as you said, he seemed a likable guy. I wish his grieving family nothing but peace and healing. But he’s exactly the kind of Villager that’s put TV news in the sorry state it’s in today. I won’t be missing him, because I’ve avoided him as much as I could for years now.

  7. 7
    evie says:

    I don’t begrudge MSNBC half a day on Russert’s death. They did a whole week on the Pope’s trip to the U.S. and no, I don’t think that was warranted. They did a week on Anna what’s-her-name’s death, for crying out loud.

    It was sudden and tragic and, frankly, since it’s in the middle of a political campaign, it will effect the coverage of the campaign. Newspeople are people first, after all. He was in charge of the news at NBC in Washington and in front of the camera as well. It’s not a small story.

    That said, if NBC didn’t have a cable division, we wouldn’t have this non-stop coverage. But really, what should they talk about tonight? McCain whining about the debates?

  8. 8

    Agreed. Pay your respects and move on. It is a bit of a shame that they think they *are* the news, as opposed to being those that report the news.

  9. 9
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    The nicest thing that I can say about Russert is that he was always keenly aware of which side of the bread was buttered.

  10. 10
    Slide says:

    I haven’t posted here in a long long while but I so agree with what you said that I had to chime in and say so. Right on the mark John.

  11. 11
    Mike says:

    It’ll be far total coverage than when people of no importance like Princess Diana or JFK Jr. died.

  12. 12
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Too much for me too, I had to do the unthinkable and change the channel to CNN. Luckily Kitty was sitting in for Lou, so I will survive. It felt a bit creepy to change the channel, but you can only say ‘he was a great man and now he’s dead’ in so many ways before you run out of things to say.

    They ran out and yet they keep on going. Enough already. This is NOT all about them, so they should quit trying to make it so.

  13. 13
    Delia says:

    Certainly I mourn Russert’s passing and the loss to his family and friends. But personally, I will feel much sadder at the passing of certain artists and musicians, as I believe they make a greater contribution to the general culture than newsmen and newswomen. And there’s something very skewed when the commentators become the story rather than the story itself. It’s almost . . . . postmodern. Or would be, if there were anything worth saying.

  14. 14
    carsick says:

    I really hate the celebrity culture we live in, but I can understand, in part, why NBC/MSNBC is spending so much time on a colleague’s unexpected death. Particularly, when that colleague was a bureau chief,was not retired, and it’s a Friday night.
    On the other hand, I do hope that someone else in the news right now, Paul Newman, gets a similar send off when his time comes. Yes, he entertained us but, more importantly, he spent his time outside of his work and in his retirement doing the things we all should aspire to and teach our children.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The nicest thing that I can say about Russert is that he was always keenly aware of which side of the bread was buttered.

    Takeaway: use less butter.

  16. 16
    Kevin K. says:

    I get your point John and it’s well taken, but remember Russert was the biggest news personality on NBC (sorry, Brian Williams) and it’s the first network with a cable news branch hanging off of it (MSNBC). I’m not at all surprised that they’re doing this. MSNBC has gravitated to being all about politics these days (you don’t see a lot of amber alert, forest fires, etc. stuff on there anymore), so, of course, they were going to go all-in when their biggest political journalist died unexpectedly.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    he spent his time outside of his work and in his retirement doing the things we all should aspire to and teach our children.

    Racing cars and making salad dressing?

  18. 18
    TomMil says:

    Delia,

    how far past postmodern do you have to go until your back to modern again. Your right it’s nothing but negative space.

  19. 19
    Molly McRae says:

    You read my mind.

    He seemed like a nice guy and sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues; but, this coverage is way out of proportion to his fame and import.

  20. 20
    Dusty says:

    It’s excessive, but it’s a slow news day, it’s a Friday night, it was totally unexpected and there’s only one breaking story they probably should be giving some time and that’s the flooding in Iowa. Under the circumstances, I understand a bit of extra coverage from MSNBC, since Russert had a lot of colleagues there who want to weigh in. CNN and Fox could probably move on.

  21. 21
    Ted says:

    Amen.

    Word.

    This is ridiculous. But I thought the same thing when NBC allowed Russert to use MTP to do almost nothing but hype his own book for at least an entire episode, a book that didn’t even have anything to do with what MTP almost always covers (politics).

  22. 22
    Wildthumb says:

    Oh, brother. You people need to learn how to grieve. It’s not just about RUSSERT, for Christ’s sake. When Princess Diana died, I remember that George Will was CLUELESS about why there was so much grief. This man was part of their LIVES, and they need to grieve about it, and PUBLICLY. And, I daresay, he’s as good as anybody on this stuck-up, arrogant, self-important,
    fucking blog.

  23. 23
    ThymeZone says:

    Ditto John.

    And since I missed the RIP Russert thread …..

    As far as Russert the man goes, and his family and friends, I say, my sympathies, and RIP.

    As far as Russert the figure, and the journalist, go, I’ll talk about that later. It can wait.

  24. 24
    carsick says:

    Just Some Fuckhead
    Yes, racing cars!!!
    Plus, the salad dressing and popcorn etc. was all a non-profit philanthropic enterprise. He never made a dime off it. Newman donates the proceeds, after taxes, to charity. As of early 2006, the franchise has resulted in excess of $200 million in donations.

  25. 25
    Dusty says:

    I’ll also point out that these networks aren’t necessarily structured for people to watch for five hours straight. They’re structured for people to watch for a half-hour or an hour and then go away. That’s why there’s so much repetition and a lot of these shows in these time periods we’re talking about are dedicated to political coverage anyway. Tim Russert was an important player in politics; more important than he should have been, to be sure, but important nonetheless. This is probably the big political news today.

  26. 26
    Mary says:

    he spent his time outside of his work and in his retirement doing the things we all should aspire to and teach our children.

    Racing cars and making salad dressing?

    That’s not bad for a start. We should all have something we love to do, and if we can give something back, even if it’s just the profits from massive sales of salad dressing, that’s all the better.

    Paul Newman donates salad dressing ownership to charity

    Actor Paul Newman has donated the entire value of his ownership in Newman’s Own – his company famous for salad dressings – to charity.

    The star of Road To Perdition and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid founded Newman’s Own Food Company in 1982, producing a range of popular dressings and sauces, with all profits – $200 million so far – going to charity. The millions of dollars raised through the venture every year go to thousands of charities around the world, and now $120 million will be donated to beneficiary organizations.

    Much of Newman’s money goes to the Hole in the Wall Gang summer camps the actor established in 1988. The camps allow ill children to participate in activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, woodworking, performing arts, horseback riding, overnight camping and group adventures, all while receiving superior 24-hour medical care free of charge. More than 100,000 children from 31 countries have attended the Hole in the Wall camps.

    Newman also hit headlines last year when he donated $40,000 to a Breast Care Center in Wales.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’ll also point out that these networks aren’t necessarily structured for people to watch for five hours straight.

    Shit, now ya tell me.

  28. 28
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    And, I daresay, he’s as good as anybody on this stuck-up, arrogant, self-important,
    fucking blog.

    Why I’d bet he’s almost as good as you.

  29. 29
    Mary says:

    Hole in the Wall Gang

    The world’s largest family of camps for children with serious illnesses and life threatening conditions.

    More than 100,000 seriously ill children from 34 states and 31 countries have attended the Camps free of charge.

    So what have any of us done for 100,000 kids over the past 40 years?

    (Look, I’m not a Newman fangirl. Hell, when I was a teenybopper, I was all about Redford, not Newman. I even had to Google to back up my vague notion that he was a charitable sort. I’m sure Newman is as flawed and fucked up as any of us, and even more spoiled and entitled in some ways because of his wealth and celebrity. But he’s going to die of lung cancer pretty damn soon, yet he’s going to leave behind some damn good memories for some 100,000 kids. I’ll give him all sorts of credit for that.)

  30. 30
    Anne says:

    I mean, right. First off, Paul Newman is one of the biggest philanthropists living and who the hell can criticize that. Secondly, these people lost a friend. Let them mourn today however they want to. We can go back to criticizing them tomorrow. Let’s be generous in the face of tragedy–the loss of a friend, father, husband, and son.

  31. 31
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    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.

    This is not the time to speak ill of Tim Russert, which is why I made a point on the other thread of finding something nice to say about how I will choose to remember one of his better moments.

    But John’s criticism of the political press culture we have and what a liability it is for this country is right on the money and something that can be discussed without speaking ill of the departed.

    Our press is convinced that it is the 4th (and most important and powerful) branch of govt. In many respects they are correct. The only way to change this is for a critical mass of people to fire them – turn off the TV if it insults your intelligence. Don’t read newspapers which don’t treat you as a reader with respect. Read the press from outside the US (there is plenty available in English alone, even more if you are multilingual) to escape the propaganda from the Village.

    We need a better press, and we won’t get one until we stop putting up with the one we’ve got now. We’ve seen what picking a President that people would like to have a beer with can do to the country, we need to stop using the same sappy criteria for picking our press hounds.

  32. 32
    KCinDC says:

    I wonder if the White House and the McCain campaign are taking advantage of the distraction to get out a larger-than-usual Friday-evening information dump. Not only is no one watching over the weekend, but the media will be devoting half the time to Russert tributes.

  33. 33
    Jake says:

    I’ll guess I’ll strike a voice of dissent on this one. First, regarding this:

    even though I thought his BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy and not helping the debate at all.

    I used to feel the same way, until I figured out his schtick. Russert simply provided a platform for pols to rebut every charge against them. A pol pretty much knew what they were going to get by going on his show: just about every charge from the other side would be presented to them. Sometimes these were softballs, sometimes fastballs, but I think for the most part they were ones people knew were coming. Having a platform like that to rebut/address all criticisms isn’t such a bad thing for skilled pols, IMO.

    Concerning what MSNBC is doing now, who really cares? Is there some pressing story for them to cover today that you can point to that can’t wait until tomorrow. This was their friend. They’re human. I don’t have a problem with it.

  34. 34
    KCinDC says:

    John, I suspect you’ll be better off if you turn off the TV for the rest of the weekend. I doubt it’ll let up before Monday.

  35. 35

    […] I was opening my “write new post” window to say this, when I saw that John Cole got here first. […]

  36. 36
    passerby says:

    It’s drama, DRAMA. Draw viewers, create revenue.

    T

  37. 37
    bago says:

    So the media is highly distracted. I wonder what is going to come out in the friday document dump that is going to be missed.

  38. 38
    Dan says:

    I am with Jake. Russert was a friend and a colleague and they also have tons of tape on him, so it is an opportunity to run some of it.

    I’ll bet that to some degree, with the shock, they don’t know what to do and what is appropriate.

  39. 39
    evie says:

    From your previous post, I called the fill-in (at least for this week). From the Page:

    Meet the Press will feature a special program in honor of Tim Russert, anchored by Tom Brokaw.

  40. 40
    Delia says:

    Look, I’m not a Newman fangirl.

    Hey, he also markets organic dog and cat food.

    How can you not love that?

  41. 41
    tballou says:

    Cole is right on. We are witnessing the canonization of one of the worst Bush admin enablers. I am sorry for his family’s loss, but this is all a bit much.

  42. 42
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Relax Newman-not-fangirlz. It was a joke. If we’ve got to turn a network over to Paul Newman for a week when he dies, may I suggest a home shopping network and all the proceeds go to charity?

  43. 43
    demimondian says:

    You know, I think it’s harder for them than you know.

    Random circumstances in my life have forced me to confront my own mortality pretty directly over the last few months — I got sick, and had to come to terms with the fact that I was neither going to get much better, nor dramatically worse, any time soon. The odds are, however, that there will come an afternoon when, like Russert, I will simply die suddenly.

    Demi one day, not the next.

    Truth is, though, I’m lucky. OK, so someday, no demi. Well, that’s hard, but I can decide what’s important to do right now, and make sure it happens. More importantly, my family can behave the same way: we’ve talked about what to do when my stroke happens, now, while I’m still healthy, because we can look forward and know that it *will* happen.

    Russert’s family and friends didn’t have that opportunity. That last argument will always go unresolved. That last kiss and hug…it didn’t happen. That rushed goodbye this morning was the *last* one. The sunset tonight? It won’t be shared.

    And the father’s day present for Sunday? The breakfast in bed? Tomorrow’s ball game tickets? The trip to Europe next month? The plans for the Republican Convention? The Inauguration coverage? Obama’s Hundred Days?

    Those plans…jokes…ideas…they’re all gone. And nobody had any thought they could be lost. And that’s what they’re mourning — not Russert himself, but what he meant to the people around him.

  44. 44
    Keith says:

    We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.

    It’s newsworthy, and tonight’s 5 hours of Russertapalooza will be a nice break from the usual 5 hours of hearing Dem strategists debate GOP strategists over the same prez race that’s been going on for the last, uh, eternity. Not that I’m gonna watch it; I’ve got GTA IV to play and beer to drink.

  45. 45
    Mary says:

    Relax Newman-not-fangirlz. It was a joke. If we’ve got to turn a network over to Paul Newman for a week when he dies, may I suggest a home shopping network and all the proceeds go to charity?

    I am taking that as a puppy-like sign of submission, Just Some Fuckhead.

    I SKRITCH YOUR TUMMY!!

    Mary +3

  46. 46
    Delia says:

    demimondian Says:

    You know, I think it’s harder for them than you know. . . .

    This is very true, and a very good post. Certainly death waits for us all, and sudden death is always a possibility. But not everybody gets the teevee networks eulogizing them all day. And some who actually have a more profound effect on the general culture (like, um, Paul Newman) probably deserve it more.) But, of course, we don’t have friends who run the teevee networks.

  47. 47
    nightjar says:

    So the media is highly distracted

    The cable news racket stays in a permanent state of distraction. And are also the ultimate in flock behaviour. One gets distracted and the others fall in line. They remind me as kid growing up in the south when each fall millions of starlings would swarm our neighborhood. And when they’d fly about in tight formation like a giant Amoeba moving across the sky, I remember thinking in order to do that every bird had to watch what every other bird was doing, and do the same.

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I am taking that as a puppy-like sign of submission, Just Some Fuckhead.

    I SKRITCH YOUR TUMMY!!

    Mary +3

    lolz

  49. 49
    passerby says:

    tballou Says:

    Cole is right on. We are witnessing the canonization of one of the worst Bush admin enablers. I am sorry for his family’s loss, but this is all a bit much.
    June 13th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    But, TBallou, we’re only witnessing it if we’re watching the tube.

    Me? No cable since August 28, 2005. And don’t turn on the TV except Sundays for election stuff, and in the fall, only Saturdays and Sundays.

    Elitely,

    T

  50. 50
    demimondian says:

    But not everybody gets the teevee networks eulogizing them all day. And some who actually have a more profound effect on the general culture (like, um, Paul Newman) probably deserve it more.

    Absolutely, and I don’t want to take away from that fact.

    Tim Russert was a newsman, nothing less and nothing more, and his death is no more and no less significant than many others that will happen today. I feel for his family and friends, and don’t want to take away from their mourning. I feel my own guilt for calling him names, and enabler of Bush, and never thinking of *his* mortality, and remind myself that others were hurt by his loss.

    That doesn’t justify the huge spectacle. It’s unseemly. I agree. But…it explains it, all the same.

  51. 51
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    we’re only witnessing it if we’re watching the tube

    Spot on. I finally changed when I realized I was secretly rooting for a white girl to go missing..

  52. 52
    passerby says:

    make that “I don’t turn on the TV…”

    You? Do whatever you wish, of course.
    T

  53. 53
    Mary says:

    OK, I just when down and turned on the tv. Campbell Brown, whom I normally abhor, just told a touching story about Russert writing a note to the son she gave birth to in December. She, like Brokaw, seemed near tears.

    I can see demimondian’s point about what a sudden shock this was to colleagues who harboured a lot of genuine affection for the man, who, professional sins aside, seemed to be a real mensch. And I can see John’s point about the absolute wankery of the wall to wall coverage we’re going through today.

    But what the fuck: it’s just few more hours of non-news out of endless hours of non-news. As much as I think the pain of, say, the Chinese people who are still digging themselves out of ruins, or the Midwestern farmers dealing with horrendous floods, outweigh the personal pain of the Villagers, I can cut them some slack tonight. It isn’t as if they would be broadcasting anything but 80% election wankery instead, would they?

    If this is a reminder to us to treat other people with care, to not expect the best of all outcomes, and to take care of ourselves, then this is a bit of wankery I can live wtih.

    Mary, still +3, but switching to tea

    Tosses JSF a Milkbone

  54. 54
    Mary says:

    sigh

    For “when”, read “went”.

    I was not making up the +3. It’s been a long week.

  55. 55
    Dug Jay says:

    Most of the commenters here, along with the moronic host, make one ashamed to be a member of the human race. A man dies and most of the assholes here can only use the occasion to bitch and moan, complain and protest. God, how did the Left descend to such depths.

  56. 56
    Mary says:

    Fuck you, Dug Jay. It’s not just a Left thing.

    Learn to see humanity in all its complexity instead of falling back on the labels that sustain the mouthbreathers.

  57. 57

    On Rachel Maddow’s show, I heard w/o comment a reporter (David Gregory?) talking about Tim taking his kid to see the Oval Office (and presumably the president) and the reporter said he wondered if it was cool to try to get his kid in to see the president greet the World Series champs and Tim said, “Sure, I take my kid every year.”

    This was reported without irony. This highlights the whole problem of access in that buddying up to power for the perks is more important than doing your f*cking job!

    I hope in all this collective grief they remember that for a minute. Any reporters sidling up to power like that has blood on their hands as far as I’m concerned.

  58. 58
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Most of the commenters here, along with the moronic host, make one ashamed to be a member of the human race. A man dies and most of the assholes here can only use the occasion to bitch and moan, complain and protest. God, how did the Left descend to such depths.

    I bet you call the girls on the screen whores and sluts while you’re masturbating too, huh?

  59. 59
    PeakVT says:

    Maybe he was a nice guy and great friend and blah blah, but was a lousy journalist and bad for the political discourse in this country.

    Yes, I will speak ill of the dead. Sorry. And it’s nothing compared to what I’ll say when Bush kicks it.

    Oh, and I doubt Walter Conkrite will get 1/10th the coverage when he goes. Fucked up world, isn’t it.

  60. 60
    FupDuck says:

    Dug Jay Says:

    Most of the commenters here, along with the moronic host, make one ashamed to be a member of the human race. A man dies and most of the assholes here can only use the occasion to bitch and moan, complain and protest. God, how did the Left descend to such depths.

    So the moronic wingnut can only use this blog to bitch and moan, complain, and protest. FSM, how did the right descend to such depths?

    F.O.A.D.

  61. 61

    Sorry about the dupe post. Btw, NBC would probably air the tape of someone else keeling over. I wonder if they feel it would be disrespectful to show if they had a tape of Tinm’s final moments? Just asking. I see international news stories where people’s unimaginable grief and agony are sold to the wire services in a heartbeat.

    Why would TR be different?

  62. 62
    PeakVT says:

    Conkrite, Cronkite, what’s a little dyslexia among finerds?

  63. 63
    demimondian says:

    Most of the commenters here, along with the moronic host, make one ashamed to be a member of the human race. A man dies and most of the assholes here can only use the occasion to bitch and moan, complain and protest.

    It’s good to see why you feel so at home here, DJ.

  64. 64
    RickDFL says:

    “please shut up and get back to work.”
    You had me until ‘and’.

  65. 65
    carsick says:

    The even sadder part of this is:
    In order for R.Kelly to be free, a sacrifice had to be made.

  66. 66
    John O says:

    Thank you.

    I’m sick of even politicians like Nixon being deified when they die. Deifying journalists is too much for me to handle.

    Yes, I think Tim Russert was a decent human being, you know, about as decent as most of the people I hang with.

    We NEVER see the media criticize their own, even when they’re alive. I don’t expect them to in this situation, but the self-congratulatory bullshit makes me wanna puke. I am tired of journalism being the friend of politicians. It is killing our country.

  67. 67
    demimondian says:

    Btw, NBC would probably air the tape of someone else keeling over. I wonder if they feel it would be disrespectful to show if they had a tape of Tinm’s final moments? Just asking.

    It’s actually a good question, and one that bears answering. If, in fact, there was a camera on Russert when he had his attack, there’s a legitimate educational purpose served by displaying what happens.

    I don’t think that it’s likely that his death throes will actually ever be broadcast, but, if the networks were really populated only by ratings driven whores, you can bet they would be.

  68. 68

    I came to Balloon Juice to post an interesting, wry observation I read elsewhere (Shakesville) The quote — which I found amusing — takes on a different shade in light of John’s post on the meta issue of hyper insider focus. Still. Here it is.

    UPDATE 2: If there is consciousness after death, I am, upon reflection, quite certain that Tim Russert is cursing that he died just in time for the Friday evening news hole—an observation I make with the sort of wry news junky humor that I suspect Russert appreciated.

    On further reflection, the “friday evening news hole” is a vaccuum into which his journo colleagues are pouring themselves– and Tim Russert.

  69. 69
    mr. whipple says:

    A fucking MEN!

    this is really sickening.

  70. 70
    The Other Steve says:

    You realize this is all Woodward and Bernstein’s fault?

  71. 71
    handy says:

    You realize this is all Woodward and Bernstein’s fault?

    Well, yeah, but only because they let it get to their heads.

  72. 72
    handy says:

    And being portrayed by Robert Redford in his prime didn’t help either…

  73. 73
    passerby says:

    But what the fuck: it’s just few more hours of non-news out of endless hours of non-news. As much as I think the pain of, say, the Chinese people who are still digging themselves out of ruins, or the Midwestern farmers dealing with horrendous floods, outweigh the personal pain of the Villagers, I can cut them some slack tonight. It isn’t as if they would be broadcasting anything but 80% election wankery instead, would they?

    Mary inadvertently brings up a good point here. Anyone else notice that there’s virtually ZERO international news on network and cable.

    Cable news is a 24 hour operation and except for the occasional BBC hour (or whatever)we don’t know what’s going on on the rest of the planet.

    What does that say about us (U.S.)?

    International Breaking News Update:

    The Telegraph.co.uk reports that “Nepal Abolishes Monarchy”:

    An overwhelming majority of an elected assembly, charged with drawing up a new constitution, backed the creation of a republic in the Himalayan nation, which endured 10 years of war against Maoist rebels, who are now the dominant partners in the new political firmament.

    The resolution passed by 560 votes with only four against states that Nepal will become “an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular and an inclusive democratic republic nation”.

    It adds: “All the privileges enjoyed by the king and royal family will automatically come to an end.”

    Around the world The People want change. Looks like the Nepalese pulled it off. Here’s to hoping we do our thing this November.

    T

  74. 74
    calipygian says:

    You know who the real victim is in all of this? Who is Cheney going to go to for obsequious coverage of his pathological lies now?

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You realize this is all Woodward and Bernstein’s fault?

    Do tell. I’ve been secretly blaming HRC for not conceding sooner but if you’ve got a better theory I’d love to hear it.

  76. 76
    b-psycho says:

    The even sadder part of this is:
    In order for R.Kelly to be free, a sacrifice had to be made.

    Heh…

  77. 77
    Mary says:

    Do NOT drink and chop garlic.

    This has been a public service announcement, brought to you by Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages.

    Thank you.

  78. 78
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Paul Newman has done a lot more than just racing cars, building a salad dressing empire, and being a world-class philanthropist.

    He’s always been politically informed and outspoken. He was pretty active in the anti-nuclear movement in the ’80s, as I recall, as well as in anti-war causes. In addition:

    For his strong support of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 (and effective use of television commercials in California), Newman was 19th on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

    Consistent with his work for liberal causes, Newman publicly supported Ned Lamont’s candidacy in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Primary against Senator Joe Lieberman, and was even rumored as a candidate himself until Lamont emerged as a credible alternative. He has donated to Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign.

    ….

    Among other awards, Newman co-sponsors the PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award, a $25,000 reward designed to recognize those who protect the first amendment as it applies to the written word.

    Wiki bio

  79. 79
    calipygian says:

    In order for R.Kelly to be free Habeas Corpus to be saved, a sacrifice had to be made.

    Fixed.

    At least we’ll be saved from the spectacle of Byron York explaining to us how we’ll all be killed because Anthony Kennedy believes in liberty and western values on Meet The Press this week.

  80. 80
    Lee says:

    I’m sorry for his family and for his friends, but seriously, this man was not that well known to the general public. When it came on TV at work (in the waiting room-I don’t actually get to sit around watching TV as part of my job) only a couple of people I work with thought he looked familiar and only one, just one, knew him as the host of “Meet the Press”. I guarantee if there was a poll, his name recognition would be in the teens or low 20s. My point being, this endless coverage is totally out of proportion. It does go to show how much the news anchors, pundits, etc think of themselves as part of our culture rather than just reporting on it. IMHO, only a very few newspeople achieved the cultural icon status that would warrant this level of coverage. Cronkite is the only one still alive that I can think of.

  81. 81
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Cable news is a 24 hour operation and except for the occasional BBC hour (or whatever)we don’t know what’s going on on the rest of the planet.

    Depends on what service you use, I guess. I get Link TV via Direct TV.

  82. 82
    gopher2b says:

    After reading through the comments on this post as compared to the comments on the Russert RIP post, one thought came you mind: you people are such fucking sheep.

    Whiner Class. That’s all any of you will ever amount to.

  83. 83
    AnneLaurie says:

    Excellent post, Mr. Cole. I did not much like Tim Russert’s work, even before he announced that “all the women” would be voting for Dubya’s flightsuit-enhanced groin. He was an important figure in his own climate-controlled circles, and it’s not unreasonable that his friends and colleagues want to mourn him publicly. On the other hand, he was also a key figure in the media campaign to reduce all political issues into a “sport”, and a willing enabler for a lot of the dumbing-down of American politics during his tenure. After this weekend’s orgy of “retrospectives” and “appreciations”, we’ll have to see how much of a shadow Russert actually cast among the Media Village Idiots.

  84. 84
    handy says:

    one thought came you mind

    I do mind, thanks for asking. Cuz, what a revelation, a bunch of people of common political persuasion post shockingly similar sentiments. Since, you know, that sorta thing never happens at such beacons of individuality of thought like LGF or Redstate. Never.

  85. 85
    demimondian says:

    Whiner Class. That’s all any of you will ever amount to.

    Thanks. I aspire to -descending to- achieving the that level; you certainly seem to have gotten there without any effort whatsoever.

  86. 86
    kate r says:

    baaaaaaa

    Also there was an earthquake in Japan. That’s news, innit? And how’s Souix City Iowa’s water supply?

  87. 87
    Joshua Norton says:

    He may have wanted to live as a journalist with integrity, but he died with the reputation of being just another apologist spin doctor. And now it’s too late to do anything about it. Even with the abundance of overblown paeans being sung by all the “me too” talking hair-do’s right now.

  88. 88
    Standard BS says:

    Thank you.

  89. 89
    Joshua Norton says:

    such beacons of individuality of thought like LGF or Redstate.

    If it wasn’t for cut-and-paste, or Caps Lock, they wouldn’t be able to post at all.

  90. 90
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Oh, and I doubt Walter Conkrite will get 1/10th the coverage when he goes. Fucked up world, isn’t it.

    Cronkite’s wife once observed that Errol Flynn went in a 70-foot boat with a 17-year-old, and that Walter would go in a 17-foot-boat with a 70-year-old.

  91. 91
    srv says:

    I wonder if there is a connection between the level of discourse and the creation of the 24-hour news cycle. In the old days, there was enough real news to fill an hour or so. Today, they spend most of their time pulling shit out of their asses.

    I know there’s a God, because Reagan croaked when I was backcountry in Yosemite. I missed that entire masterbate-a-thon.

  92. 92
    gopher2b says:

    Thanks. I aspire to descending to achieving the that level; you certainly seem to have gotten there without any effort whatsoever.

    “Takes one to know one” or is it “I know you are but what am I”….either way = genius retort.

  93. 93
    phoebes in santa fe says:

    I decided after reading the comments above, and particularly the one by Lee at 8.53 who said that most of the public probably didn’t know who Russert was, that we, all of us, the ones that post here, and at Carpetbagger, and Washington Monthly, etc, are mostly political junkees.

    Tim Russert was a political junkee, too.

    Whether you agreed with him or not, liked his program or not, Russert was one of US.

    He was turned on by politics, by the ways and means of politics, and by political history.

    He was one of us.

  94. 94
    grumpy realist says:

    So Russert, died, RIP, de mortuis nihil nisi bonum and all that.

    OK, so one of your “big friends” died. Does it really warrant this level of coverage?

    One of the reasons why the only dead tree publication I deal with with the Financial Times. A paper that talks about the demise of the monarchy in Nepal, the EU vote in Ireland, and the corruption in Romania. Also is covering consistently the problems in Zimbabwe, which I think is far more important to loads more people in the world than the death of one self-satisfied member of the MSM who confused “hagiography” and “stenography of White House spin” with actual reporting and was a consistent “useful idiot” for the Administration.

  95. 95
    johnosahon says:

    FINALLY someone saying it like it is, it is sad that he died BUT do you know how many people died today, how many people got blown up in iraq, they are insulting him by covering this 24/7 i think he would want them to cover other important issues of the day, JUST SAYING.

  96. 96
    John Cole says:

    Most of the commenters here, along with the moronic host, make one ashamed to be a member of the human race

    Yeah. Saying I like the guy and it is sad truly is crazy and inhuman.

    You are the worst troll ever.

  97. 97
    Cain says:

    Poor Russert. I bet he’s pretty pissed (wherever he is, and I hope it’s a good place) that he’ll never know who is going to win the election…

    Secondly, if I was a reporter and I died, I hope that the politicians I covered would breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn’t breathing down their necks anymore. :-)

    cain

  98. 98
    PeakVT says:

    He was one of us.

    Oh, bullshit. Seriously. Utter. Bull. Shit. He was no more “one of us” than “Dean” Broder or Tom Freidman or Chris Matthews or Rush Limpdick or any other multi-million liar.

  99. 99
    capelza says:

    I just came back from the store and I have to say that it was THE topic of conversation in the Friday night grocery line. Mostly suprise and then just sad. He wasn’t Walter Conkrite, but he was a very familiar face. Not just to insiders, wonks and irate bloggers.

    Let ’em run with it, Olbermann did indeed look like he had been crying. It is a shock, the man literally died on the job, filming the opening segment of MTP when he keeled over probably not far from where some of the talking heads are remembering him.

    I was suprised that Fox was being so nice about it though.

  100. 100
    bostondreams says:

    Lots of newsmen going lately. My father in law, Don Richards of 970 WFLA in Tampa/St. Pete, just passed last week of cancer, a few hours after his granddaughter was born.
    I guess God news broadcasters for this election. :/

  101. 101
    John Cole says:

    I just came back from the store and I have to say that it was THE topic of conversation in the Friday night grocery line. Mostly suprise and then just sad. He wasn’t Walter Conkrite, but he was a very familiar face. Not just to insiders, wonks and irate bloggers.

    My parents were both very upset, and my mother simply does not follow politics but liked Russert. He was a good guy, as I have said. The coverage still seems overdone, though, and Olbermann looked like he had been bawling, and I saw Andrea Mitchell cry. Jack Welch was heartbroken, too.

  102. 102
    h8gop says:

    Are you people crazy. He was one of the last decent journalist left. It’s a Friday night in the summer… what do you want them to cover?

  103. 103
    The Other Steve says:

    Well, yeah, but only because they let it get to their heads.

    Exactly. Woodward and Bernstein epitomize the lazy reporter who get’s a lucky break because someone calls their desk, which turns into a huge major story. I think their story brought forth a whole wave of lazy ass reporters. Guys and gals who got a degree in journalism, who know how to right and not much else, just waiting by the phone hoping they get their big break.

    Now every reporter in Washington, this is how they operate. Tim Russert was no different. They don’t go looking for stories, they don’t go digging up things that don’t make sense and try to explain them. They just sit at their desk waiting for the phone to ring, and then repeating whatever the person tells them.

    And Washington politicians understand this, they’ve been manipulating them and using them for damn near 30 years now.

    So the reporters and the pundits wait for their big break, so that they too will be part of the story. Like woodward and bernstein.

  104. 104
    w vincentz says:

    My friend, Irwin, had a mom, Sophie.
    She’d look me straight in the eye and say in a very pronouonced eastern European accent (hey, she showed me her tattoos from her youthful stay in a concentration camp), she’d say…
    “Oy vey! Enough already!”

    Ok…so may Tim RIP. It’s really not any other important thing happened today. Heck, the Israelis are still preparing for their upcoming strike on Iran. Bush has already given the “go”.
    The remaining six months of the lame chimp’s term are being planned, and the next war (as per Biblical prophecy) is in motion.
    So…rest in peace, Tim. It was nice knowint you.
    That the MSM has played this unendingly only raises the question of continued diversion. We can’t dig up Anna Nicole, Brittany, or Paris. Tim, you served your purpose.
    Let’s bury you, and may you rest in peace.
    But as Sophie said, “Oy vey, Enough already!”

  105. 105
    PeakVT says:

    It’s a Friday night in the summer… what do you want them to cover?

    The war in Iraq? Flooding in middle America? The war in Afghanistan? The budget deficit? Peak oil? Healthcare and the increase in underweight babies in America? The rejection of the Lisbon treaty in Ireland? The crisis in Zimbabwe? Corruption in [insert your state or local government here]? Guantánamo? And that’s just off the top of my head. Oh, and: follow up on the earthquake in China and the typhoon in Burma/Myanmar? Only a GOoPper would be so ignorant as to not know what they should cover instead of the death of one wankeriffic talking head.

  106. 106
    carsick says:

    That damn primary took a lot out of me too. Just not so much.

  107. 107
    The Briscoe Kid says:

    What gets me is it seems like we have another slow motion Katrina going on in the mid-west but nobody in Washington gives a shit, and nobody’s covering it because “the last true journalist” died this afternoon.

  108. 108

    They have too much air time to fill. That is the problem IMO. How many channels on cable and/or satellite? Too much air time filled with shit I don’t care about. The remote control was a gift from the TV gods.

  109. 109

    […] Never thought I’d say this but What John Cole said. 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. […]

  110. 110
    grandpajohn says:

    Maybe someone will include this little poem as part of the overwhelming barrage of eulogies

    “There Is No Indispensable Man”
    Saxon N. White Kessinger ©1959

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sometime when you’re feeling important;

    Sometime when your ego’s in bloom

    Sometime when you take it for granted

    You’re the best qualified in the room,

    Sometime when you feel that your going

    Would leave an unfillable hole,

    Just follow these simple instructions

    And see how they humble your soul;

    Take a bucket and fill it with water,

    Put your hand in it up to the wrist,

    Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining

    Is a measure of how you will be missed.

    You can splash all you wish when you enter,

    You may stir up the water galore,

    But stop and you’ll find that in no time

    It looks quite the same as before.

    The moral of this quaint example

    Is do just the best that you can,

    Be proud of yourself but remember,

    There’s no indispensable man.

  111. 111
    grandpajohn says:

    Maybe someone will include this little poem as part of the overwhelming barrage of eulogies

    “There Is No Indispensable Man”
    Saxon N. White Kessinger ©1959

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sometime when you’re feeling important;

    Sometime when your ego’s in bloom

    Sometime when you take it for granted

    You’re the best qualified in the room,

    Sometime when you feel that your going

    Would leave an unfillable hole,

    Just follow these simple instructions

    And see how they humble your soul;

    Take a bucket and fill it with water,

    Put your hand in it up to the wrist,

    Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining

    Is a measure of how you will be missed.

    You can splash all you wish when you enter,

    You may stir up the water galore,

    But stop and you’ll find that in no time

    It looks quite the same as before.

    The moral of this quaint example

    Is do just the best that you can,

    Be proud of yourself but remember,

    There’s no indispensable man.

  112. 112
    Ted says:

    Are you people crazy. He was one of the last decent journalist left. It’s a Friday night in the summer… what do you want them to cover?

    How about actual news not having to do with the news people themselves? How about the SCOTUS ruling, and what the Bush admin will do about it? How about the “Meanwhile, over there” Iraq war? Etc, etc, on and on.

    I completely understand that Russert was a beloved fixture of a lot of people’s regular news consumption routine, and that his unfortunate and very too young and sudden tragic passing needs a good deal of coverage. But at some point you do have to at least get back to business, if these people have any clue what their actual business is anymore.

  113. 113
    w vincentz says:

    So…back to an important topic.
    I posted over on the open thread, (see below), about an important discovery that my friend, Jose, made this morning.
    The offer still stands, and the price has been reduced as per Jose’s instructions.
    We will accept a reasonable offer.
    How many times do you get the chance to buy an authentic artwork form Mother Mary?
    Comeon, BJ’ers.
    Baby Jesus? Any reasonable offer?
    Reply soon.
    This won’t last long. Jose is counting on you!
    And, my freezer is starting to stink.
    Just pay the shipping.

  114. 114
    calipygian says:

    But at some point you do have to at least get back to business, if these people have any clue what their actual business is anymore.

    Proof positive they don’t know that what they do is reprehensible.

    David Gregory will take Russert’s place despite the fact that he did the Humpty Hump with Karl Rove at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last year and then get pissed off at Glenn Greenwald when Glenn calls him worse than a whore.

  115. 115
    passerby says:

    I know there’s a God, because Reagan croaked when I was backcountry in Yosemite. I missed that entire masterbate-a-thon.

    srv, same here except I was camping in the southern rockies at the time. Sorry I missed it because I enjoy watching all the American pomp and ritual around President funerals and inaugurations.

    It’s the commentary that sucks dead bears. C-SPAN is a good way of avoiding all that.

    T

  116. 116
    Ted says:

    Great quote from Brokaw on MSNBC just now, “And we’ll remember more about Tim, in just a moment.” And…commercial break.

    It’s so important for them to grieve that they can’t grieve without cutting away to commercials. And how much “grieving” are the people behind the scenes doing, when it has to take a lot of frantic work to completely rearrange the evening lineup for this on such short notice? The network should be thanking Tim that he could make them a bit more money upon his death.

  117. 117
    Mike D. says:

    Terry Pratchett had it about right. Paraphrasing:

    Half-crazed accidental time traveller raving at a couple of time cops disguised as loony Tibetan monks: “I shook his hand and said I’d see him later. I mean, I just talked to a man who’s going to die. Have you ever talked to a man who’s going to die?”

    Monk 1: “Er, yes.”

    Monk 2: “Everyone we talk to is going to die. Everyone you talk to is going to die. Everyone is going to die.”

    Mazel tov, Demimondian. You’ve taken your first step into a larger world. You’re truly grown up. It sucks, but frankly the Blue Pill is strictly for whiny-ass titty babies and overgrown adolescents like Doughy Pantload. Welcome aboard.

    Check out the people whose world just came to an end because someone they knew got wiped out suddenly and for no reason. They look so small from here, don’t they? Actually that’s not a freak of perspective. They _are_ small.

  118. 118
    Zifnab says:

    David Gregory will take Russert’s place despite the fact that he did the Humpty Hump with Karl Rove at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last year and then get pissed off at Glenn Greenwald when Glenn calls him worse than a whore.

    That’s the joke. Russert isn’t really dead. His ghost will haunt the hours between 10 and 11am every Sunday morning for another generation.

    If David Gregory were to kick the bucket tomorrow, we’d just be left with an even more shallow, even more gullible administration boot-licker. Maybe we’d get Chris Matthews or Katie Couric or Glenn Beck next. At least Russert got burned in the Plame scandal. I like to pretend he wouldn’t fall for the exact same trick twice. I wouldn’t bet a shaved penny that Gregory would have such foresight.

    At the end of the day, Russert’s death is a tragedy in so far as it will just usher in a new era of more of the same.

  119. 119
    Zifnab says:

    They look so small from here, don’t they? Actually that’s not a freak of perspective. They are small.

    Peter Griffin: “From up here everyone looks like tiny little ants.”

    Bill Gates: “They are ants, Peter. They are ants.”

  120. 120
    croatoan says:

    it’s a slow news day, it’s a Friday night, it was totally unexpected and there’s only one breaking story they probably should be giving some time and that’s the flooding in Iowa

    Maybe they could give some time to the government lying us into a war that’s killed tens of thousands of people.

  121. 121
    interlude says:

    it is sad to see him die at such an age, and i feel bad for his family. I wish them nothing but strength & peace. i am sure he was a decent person.
    HOWEVER, he was a cheerleader for the war, and he was Limbaugh’s &Cheney’s favorite newsman. he wasn’t one of mine.
    the thing that really bothers me is the way the TV folks are covering this. you would think he was the pope. Suarez on PBS called him a journalist and an insider…seems to me those two cancel each other out…..which is the problem with TV news specifically and the MSM in general these days.

  122. 122
    Joshua Norton says:

    His ghost will haunt the hours between 10 and 11am every Sunday morning for another generation.

    Sheeyit! If they’re going to bring back a dead host, use Spivak. People are carrying on like Russert invented the freaking show. The only thing he did was make it about him.

  123. 123
    calipygian says:

    At least Russert got burned in the Plame scandal. I like to pretend he wouldn’t fall for the exact same trick twice. I wouldn’t bet a shaved penny that Gregory would have such foresight.

    Who the hell outside a degenerate blog reader knows that Russert got burned tounging Karl Rove’s ball sack?

    Certainly no one watching the adulatory coverage of Russert right now.

    And I’m sure that Russert’s ball sweat covered tongue has been thrown down the memory hole once and for all.

    And I think Gregory is too stupid to keep his mouth shut and his head down during a rain shower to keep from drowning, much less be smart enough to avoid being manipulated by the Cheney White House.

  124. 124
    LiberalTarian says:

    I dont’ miss him. After my first thought, “Oh my God.” My second thought was, “Thank God.” I know, the word use is redundant, but that was the feeling I had.

    And, “Even bad men die.” So, let’s say Tim Russert wasn’t a bad man. He just let bad men do bad things–because he abdicated his journalistic crown. A journalist is as a person who doesn’t suck up to power, but holds power accountable. In all this “great journalist” hagiography, where is the knowledge that he let us down? Given the chance, he would have let us down again.

    Gotcha moments are trivial. Matalin wanted the TV interviews to be with TR so that they could lie to the public without accountability, because TR, of his own accord and under oath, said that he let the powers that be write the story. It was off the record unless the source said it wasn’t. That is not a journalist.

    I feel horrible for his family. My prayers go out to his loved ones. But, c’mon. Don’t sugar coat the man because he died. There are a lot of people who want the reality to just go away, and they will use his death as an excuse, “Don’t speak ill of the dead.” Well, I don’t suppose I’ll piss on his grave, but stop being so damn forgiving. TR is dead. He’s as sorry as he is ever going to be. Don’t pretend did what he didn’t.

  125. 125

    demimondian Says:

    Btw, NBC would probably air the tape of someone else keeling over. I wonder if they feel it would be disrespectful to show if they had a tape of Tim’s final moments? Just asking.

    It’s actually a good question, and one that bears answering. If, in fact, there was a camera on Russert when he had his attack, there’s a legitimate educational purpose served by displaying what happens.

    I don’t think that it’s likely that his death throes will actually ever be broadcast, but, if the networks were really populated only by ratings driven whores, you can bet they would be.

    Actually, I think if they got positive feedback (i.e ratings – long term) for showing it for legitimate educational purposes, they would. I mean, we got to see Katie Couric’s colon, no? The only difference is this bit of “real life drama” sadly ended in the death of the subject. “If it bleeds, it leads” only seems to apply to everyone else. The fact that they probably think it would have a negative affect on their overall ratings long term means that they could still be thinking like ratings driven whores instead of those obligated to serve the public interest.

  126. 126
    oh really says:

    A newsman died. We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.

    I doubt if they define “work” as covering the news.

  127. 127
    calipygian says:

    I mean, we got to see Katie Couric’s colon, no?

    I remember EXACTLY where I was when I saw Katie Couric’s husband’s colonoscopy: I was sitting in the First Class Petty Officer’s mess on the USS Nashville in port Rijeka, Croatia at about 3 in the morning.

    Amazing what you remember.

  128. 128
    Wildthumb says:

    Wow. The Kos community got it, but the group here can take the biggest flying fuck you can imagine. You all sound like a bunch of pretentious, self-congratulatory losers. The genuine affection that people felt for Russert are lost on the dried-up souls here, but thank God not elsewhere.

  129. 129
    calipygian says:

    The genuine affection that people felt for Russert are lost on the dried-up souls here, but thank God not elsewhere.

    The guy was an enabler to thousands of deaths, and IM dried up?

    WTF?

    Has the world been turned upside down? Oh, wait…

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    It is creepy and sick and the reason politicians get away with all the crap they get away with these days.

    The sooner the rest of them follow, the better.

  131. 131
    Delia says:

    Mary inadvertently brings up a good point here. Anyone else notice that there’s virtually ZERO international news on network and cable.

    Cable news is a 24 hour operation and except for the occasional BBC hour (or whatever)we don’t know what’s going on on the rest of the planet.

    What does that say about us (U.S.)?

    Last time I was out of the country a year or so ago (in Asia) I watched BBC Asia, the Australian network, and CNN International. All of them were excellent and highly professional and it was stunning to compare it with the crap we get in the home market.

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    The genuine affection that people felt for Russert are lost on the dried-up souls here, but thank God not elsewhere.

    A shitheel beloved by morons is still a shitheel.

  133. 133
    passerby says:

    PeakVT Says:

    It’s a Friday night in the summer… what do you want them to cover?

    The war in Iraq? Flooding in middle America? The war in Afghanistan? The budget deficit? Peak oil? Healthcare and the increase in underweight babies in America? The rejection of the Lisbon treaty in Ireland? The crisis in Zimbabwe? Corruption in [insert your state or local government here]? Guantánamo? And that’s just off the top of my head. Oh, and: follow up on the earthquake in China and the typhoon in Burma/Myanmar? Only a GOoPper would be so ignorant as to not know what they should cover instead of the death of one wankeriffic talking head.

    Tell it! Tell it! PeakVT

    T

  134. 134

    Thank dog for this blog site (among others) as some are getting downright testy if you intrude on the hagiography.

  135. 135
    grumpy realist says:

    Wildthumb, we’re making some comments about how we feel Russert abdicated his responsibility as a journalist and we’re making deserved hash of the overblown reaction of the MSM, who can’t understand in their self-absorbed little minds that hey, yeah, so one of your friends and coworkers died, but that really isn’t the most important thing that happened on this planet today.

    Two people were killed in that earthquake in Japan, and lord knows how many in Iraq today. (There’s even one US soldier that got killed.) We’ve got the people who have died from heatwave on the East Coast and the people who have lost their lives in the flooding. Where are the eulogies and attention for THEM?!

  136. 136
    TenguPhule says:

    A man dies and most of the assholes here can only use the occasion to bitch and moan, complain and protest.

    One death is a tragedy. 4,000+ is just another fucking statistic.

    TS had more then his fifteen minutes of fame. Who the fuck gives a shit that a newsie died a natural death beyond a brief mention? This cable sobfest is a fucking joke.

  137. 137
    fafnir says:

    Stay classy, internet!

  138. 138
    Chup says:

    Get over yourself, Wildthumb — you can like a person personally, feel bad for the family and friends he left behind, and not like the way he did his job at the same time.

    It’s called being a complex human being.

    Try it sometime — it’s really not that difficult.

  139. 139
    Chuck Adkins says:

    Okay Cole, now you’ve brought me out of the fucking woodwork.

    I got two words for you jack ass.

    Fuck You
    .

    Tim Russert was a political fucking icon. He had something that neither you or your fucking loser ass Blogging buddies could never have, I don’t give a fuck how hard you tried, and that my friend was fucking class.

    How dare you use your so-called fucking Political Blog to belittle someone who had more fucking authority in the world of Political in his damn pinky finger, that you’ll ever have in your entire lifetime.

    You’re one of the biggest fucking losers in the Blogging world, When I first came onto this scene, in February of 2006, I used to come here and read your stuff, I had a bit of respect for you man, but now, you’re nothing better than one of the America Hating bastards over at dailyKos and even THEY had a bit common decency and respect for russert and his craft.

    You disappoint me cole, I expected better. I guess I was wrong about you.

    -Chuck Adkins
    Owner
    Political Byline

  140. 140
    Mike D. says:

    Peter Griffin: “From up here everyone looks like tiny little ants.”

    Bill Gates: “They are ants, Peter. They are ants.”

    Laugh it up, dude. I’ve seen enough dead people to last me. Some of my best friends are dead — but it doesn’t make them bad people, of course. I know where I’m headed, and I’m surrounded by people who think a retroviral DNA treatment straight out of _Omni_ circa 1986 is going to allow them to celebrate their 300th birthdays with eighteen holes on a grassy, blue-skied Mars. It’s silly and ignorant, that’s all. Half the trouble in the world comes from the fact that everyone wants to go to Paradise but nobody wants to die.

    Besides which, grief, like prayer, should be private. If we had a moment of silence for everyone who hit the wall, we’d never get back to the business of living. The only really honest epitaph is something like “Surprised and Dismayed Human Being / b. 19xx d. 20xx / You’re Next.”

  141. 141
    LarryB says:

    R.I.P. My mother always said, “If you haven’t anything nice to say, then just say nothing” . . . . . . . .

  142. 142
    Mike D. says:

    Say, Chuck, how many mourners do you suppose told Russert, within the last year, “You rock, dude. You’re beautiful, never change. I dig the shit out of what you do. Yeah, yeah, let’s hug it out — homo! For real, let’s get faced and tell dirty jokes sometime soon.” Probably not so many. You can tell at the funeral, if they’re not pallbearers or immediate family, they’re at the edge of the crowd, all alone or in twos. Loving and respecting someone when they’re dead nets you _zero points._ Who’s alive tonight whom you care about?

  143. 143
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    -Chuck Adkins
    Owner
    Political Byline

    Thanks for trying.

  144. 144
    Joshua Norton says:

    now you’ve brought me out of the fucking woodwork.

    My, my. Someone else is kind of upset that John decided to swear off the right-wing kool-aid. A little cheap sentiment, anyone?

    Inevitably, they’re about as deep as a parking lot puddle.

  145. 145
    Church Lady says:

    I have to agree with Delia. My husband travels extensively in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and watches nothing but BBC and CNN International while there. Every time he comes home, he absolutely raves about them and says they make our news channels look like an absolute joke. It’s like comparing the NY Times to the NY Post – substance vs. gossip.

  146. 146

    You disappoint me cole, I expected better. I guess I was wrong about you.

    -Chuck Adkins
    Owner
    Political Byline

    I guess this means when John passes you’ll be blowing his corpse. For a guy looking to honor the memory of Tim Russert, you could’t even do the math and get his age right (58 not 53 though you have the dates up). Then you go off on John’s ‘conversion’. If you’re the example of who stayed behind, we got the far better deal.

    Fuck me?!? No, fuck you!!!

  147. 147
    joe in oklahoma says:

    methinks Chuck Adkins needs to expand his fucking vocabulary.

  148. 148
    JoJo says:

    Reminds me of Hollywood mafia movies where the crew make a exaggerated show of grief and respect at a higher-up’s funeral– all for appearances and calculated maneuvering to slide into the now-vacant power position.

  149. 149
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Bravo John. Expect a lot more faux outrage come morning.

  150. 150
    ThymeZone says:

    Hmm. There is a lot of tough stuff on this thread.

    At the age of 58, I, like Tim Russert, had a heart attack while at my desk at work.

    That was almost three years ago. I am very lucky, and I am still here. Tim was not so lucky. For that I am deeply sorry, and I can’t explain in any way shape or form why I’m here and he isn’t. I’m just sorry that he didn’t make it.

    Other than that, my two cents worth is that the zeal to dance on somebody’s grave before the deceased as even been lowered into it is not the best look for most of you.

    For what it’s worth.

  151. 151
    jf says:

    My dad is sad about Russert, and that makes me sad. The television personality seemed like an excellent person off the job. But I also completely agree about the gratuitous eulogizing of a television personality in this day and age. There is something very creepy about the blackout coverage against the backdrop of current events. There is a time and a place for these things, and I can understand a permanent banner headline, but the earth still spins, and you would think they could find a reporter with the courage to carry on.

  152. 152

    […] As John Cole notes, the press is now taking their – understandable – shock and horror at Tim Russert’s death and going into overdrive. I think Russert was better than the average journalist, but he was a journalist. […]

  153. 153
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Thymezone, we have all known someone who has died in the manner of Tim. Go rinse off your self righteous anger before it sticks to you. John is just pointing out that it is somewhat disturbing that hours and hours of eulogy time are reserved for Russert, and everyone from the political sphere is expected to say nothing but nice things about him, but it IS symbolic of a larger problem. Peter Jennings didn’t get this treatment. Bill Buckley didn’t get this treatment. It is, frankly, out of proportion for what Tim’s function was. If he was at ESPN, would they do a 5 hour eulogy to him and cancel sportscenter? I doubt it.

    The point is, Tim Russert is getting more praise and accolades than any dead young person in Iraq, or Iowa, or Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Frankly, they’re treating it like one of the King’s favored courtiers has died. Which is very close to the truth.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Tim Russert’s family, but the fact that so much attention is being lavished to a news celebrity is rather dismaying.

  154. 154
    ThymeZone says:

    Go rinse off your self righteous anger before it sticks to you. John is just pointing out that it is

    WTF is the matter with you, you fucking idiot?

    First of all, my response to John’s post here was “ditto.”

    Ditto, as in complete agreement.

    And I haven’t expressed any anger here, self righteous or otherwise. Go fuck yourself, you stupid sonofabitch.

    And learn to read.

  155. 155
    Joe says:

    I find myself agreeing based on the fact that I was watching The Situation Room late last night (from Germany), and found myself getting bored. Tragic, that the man died so suddenly, but I really could not care. I was watching CNN to get the headlines.

    I think most Americans would hold my position — I consider these “personalities” exactly what their industry is called: “media”. Tim Russert was a MEDIUM for getting Americans the news and political analysis and the like. He was not what was GENERATING the news and political analysis and the like. If Wolf Blitzer up and died (knock on wood), I would have much of the same reaction.

    Again, I agree. A man died, leaving behind a family and friends, and that’s always tragic. But strangers die every day, who do far more important work than Russert did, and we don’t see hours-long coverage/mourning of them.

    Please get back to reporting the news.

  156. 156
    Tom in Texas says:

    Seriously people MSNBC does not exist to cover international news in Nepal or Zimbabwe. It exists to cover politics. That’s why there are multiple cable channels — if you want to watch international news, there are channels for that. How you can get outraged that a channel calling themselves “the place for politics” is covering the death of a political figure is beyond my comprehension.

    Apart from using their coverage of someone who did die to bitch about how they might cover the death of people that haven’t yet passed, anyone who doesn’t think Paul Newman is going to get the same treatment is delusional. Fucking Anna Nicole got more coverage than Russert will. Patrick Swayze will be in the news longer, and I guarantee that Dick Vitale gets more nonstop love on ESPN when he passes (heaven forbid if Chris Berman eats one too many cheesesteaks — it’ll never end). This will last a weekend, there will be a maudlin MTP on Sunday, and they’ll be on to the latest fuckup by McCain or Michelle Obama faux controversy by Monday.

  157. 157
    TheDeadlyShoe says:

    ThymeZone: Tim Russert as a person, Tim Russert as he relates to his family – that’s not why he’s getting so many hours of coverage in the media. Tim Russert the talking head is why he is getting so much coverage in the media. Tim Russert – in his personal life – could be worthy of canonization as far as I know, but that doesn’t matter. Any more than it matters for uncounted others who died this week.

    If you had died because of your heart attack, it’s pretty unlikely that you would have gotten 5 hours of coverage on NBC. Why should Tim Russert?

    Also, “Dancing on his grave” means saying things like “I’m glad he’s dead”, not “The amount of media coverage is inappropriate.”

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    How dare you use your so-called fucking Political Blog to belittle someone who had more fucking authority in the world of Political in his damn pinky finger, that you’ll ever have in your entire lifetime.

    When the Bush and Dick kick off, the line to piss on their graves starts behind me.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    passerby says:

    Tom in Texas Says:

    Seriously people MSNBC does not exist to cover international news in Nepal or Zimbabwe. It exists to cover politics. That’s why there are multiple cable channels—if you want to watch international news, there are channels for that. How you can get outraged that a channel calling themselves “the place for politics” is covering the death of a political figure is beyond my comprehension.

    Tom, the comments were made about cable tv at large. Do you realize that you are defending the main stream media?

    The blogosphere may refer to itself as “alternative media”, but consider this, a lot of what we do is simply react to the MSM.

    I’m pointing out that they’ve got 24/7…what the fuck are they filling it with and why?

    Do you think that American politics exists in a vacuum??

    They’ve trained us to be so insular. They’ve trained us so well we are not even aware of how insular we are.

    T

  161. 161
    Bill says:

    “A newsman died. We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.”

    Mr. Cole, IMHO, I would not have included the word ‘back’ in your statement because the huge majority of today’s lazy media personalities don’t work to begin with.

  162. 162
    Tom in Texas says:

    I think with 300 channels they have to fill their niche. MSNBC’s is all horse race all the time. CNN’s is talking head central, between the vapid cotton candy that is Larry King (seriously, the dude had the entire cast of American Idol on every day for over a week — didn’t see the outrage then) and the shocking daily crimes against true ‘Mericans by someone with a funny sounding name brought to you by Lou Dobbs.

    When I want world news, I watch BBC World News. When I want cartoons, I watch the Cartoon Network. The thing that pisses me off is when channels start mixing and matching.

    I could care less what Chris Matthews thinks of the crisis in Zimbabwe. Yes it affects America’s interests, and a serious politician will stay informed on the topic, but anyone who is interested in the issue will find a better source than our 24 hour bobblehead channels.

  163. 163
    passerby says:

    Tom,

    The corporate media appeal to the lowest common denominator by design. I’m not saying you’re wrong about what we got.

    I’m saying..asking really, why do we fall for this shit?

    T

  164. 164
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Other than that, my two cents worth is that the zeal to dance on somebody’s grave before the deceased as even been lowered into it is not the best look for most of you.

    For what it’s worth.

    You’re right Thyme. It wasn’t self righteous anger. It was a self righteous smug assed comment. Truly thou art a noble soul.

    I’m also looking for this “ditto” you’re talking about. But I can’t find it. Oh well, I guess we misunderstood each other. Sorry I couldn’t read your oblique as fuck comment. I guess I wasn’t the only one.

  165. 165
    passerby says:

    Tom in Texas Says:

    I think with 300 channels they have to fill their niche.

    Don’t look now, but you’re being an MSM apologist.

    T

    [Are they paying you??]

  166. 166
    Blue Raven says:

    Tim Russert was a political fucking icon. He had something that neither you or your fucking loser ass Blogging buddies could never have, I don’t give a fuck how hard you tried, and that my friend was fucking class.

    So tell me, this “class” you discuss. Does it involve using a very limited number of obscenities as part of written speech? And the assumption that anyone here cares what you think, Mr. Cole included? I suspect it does based on what you said here. With that as the operating definition, I think I speak for all of us when I say you have made me proud to be the blogging equivalent of trailer trash.

  167. 167
    Milo Johnson says:

    Truth can hurt a bit, can’t it? Thanks for telling it like it is, Mr. Cole.

  168. 168
    Vail Beach says:

    Thanks, John, for a typical barftastic post, and for rousing your amen corner into new depths of feeble and pathetic invective. Bravo. Your envy of Russert’s deserved stature is truly adolescent.

  169. 169
    Robert Sneddon says:

    The wall-to-wall coverage on cable about Russert is the equivalent of a fireman’s funeral, a parade through the streets with the coffin on a pumper. Since cable is “news” and Tim was a “newsman” they cleave to their own ways, performing their own rituals instead of whooping the sirens and flashing the lights to signify the passing of one of their own.

  170. 170
    shayne says:

    Wow. Thats kinda mean. :(

    He’s a news guy. Other news guys worked with him. They’d feel sad about it, and want to celebrate their friend (or perhaps professional rival.), so they do some stuff on him.

    Tis only human, and it behooves us to remember that sometimes being human and feeling for people, even people you politically oppose, is a good thing and makes us stronger and wiser.

    No need to be cruel about it.

  171. 171
    kate r says:

    fafnir, scoot. stop posting here and get back to work on your own blog.

  172. 172

    […] Time for the media to get over themselves and start covering the news again: 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. […]

  173. 173
    kate r says:

    and here you go. What you said to the news dudes, John, only less in yer face.

  174. 174

    […] But I agree with Juan Cole: 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. […]

  175. 175
    RH Potfry says:

    Thank you for demonstrating that nothing– not even the sudden death of a beloved newsman who Americans felt they could trust– can silence the drone of self-important liberal whining.

  176. 176
    Krista says:

    Mary inadvertently brings up a good point here. Anyone else notice that there’s virtually ZERO international news on network and cable.

    Cable news is a 24 hour operation and except for the occasional BBC hour (or whatever)we don’t know what’s going on on the rest of the planet.

    What does that say about us (U.S.)?

    My husband and I REALLY noticed that when we were in New York for our honeymoon. We got a free breakfast at our hotel, and so would sit in the lounge with our coffee and muffins and watch TV before heading out for the day. The TV was always set to news, and if it wasn’t happening IN the United States, or if it didn’t directly INVOLVE the United States, we just didn’t hear about it.

    We didn’t hear about:
    -A fire in an illegal shoe factory kills at least 34 people in Putian in Fujian province, China. (BBC)
    -Thousands of Venezuelan students clash with riot police and supporters of President Hugo Chávez over proposals to remove term limits from the presidency. (BBC)
    -Turkish warplanes attack a village near Shiranish Islam in Kurdistan. (Reuters)
    -At least 30 people are killed and 100 injured in flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (BBC)

    But, 12 people were killed in the California wildfires, so that’s all we heard about. Not to lessen the tragedy of it, but it was just surreal to not hear about ANYTHING else going on in the world, except for domestic news and news about the War on Terra.

  177. 177
    nightjar says:

    Wow. The Kos community got it, but the group here can take the biggest flying fuck you can imagine. You all sound like a bunch of pretentious, self-congratulatory losers. The genuine affection that people felt for Russert are lost on the dried-up souls here, but thank God not elsewhere

    I won’t defend some of the remarks here expressing negative feelings about Russerts job performance so soon after his sudden death. Although most of the comments are dutifully reverent for the situation.

    However, IMHO BJ is not a dutifully reverent blog. What you get here are raw opinions without, or with very little censorship. In other words people speak what is on their minds and sometimes that isn’t all to attractive or socially proper for some people, but it is honest– as not everyone has the affection for Mr. Russert as you claim to.

  178. 178
    OttawaMark says:

    So now it’s 9:30 EDT and MSNBCs tribute continues… non stop.

  179. 179
    Andrew says:

    1200 MOTHERFUCKING PRISONERS ESCAPED FROM PRISON IN MOTHER FUCKING AFGHANISTAN

    We heard how Scalia shit himself silly in his opinion that giving prisoners habeas was going to lead to them killing Americans. How about when 400 hard core Taliban motherfuckers escape?

    Jesus, media, you fucking suck.

  180. 180
    DonnaInMichigan says:

    Are you surprised?

    These are the same media, that reported on Anna Nicole’s death for over a week. The same media, that reported the Laci Peterson case for 2 yrs. The same media that reported Natalee Holloway disappearance for 2+ years. These people LOVE drami-tragi stories…they feed off of it. Tim Russert, may he rest in peace, is giving these news stations what they want most: RATINGS.

    Its like vultures picking meat of a dead animal. They will use this tragedy until the polls show that the ratings are dropping.

  181. 181
    HRA says:

    Tim would have enjoyed both the pros and cons of his life in these replies above. Most of all he would have honed in on the political ones. Politics was his base and what he enjoyed the most.

    Over here in Buffalo, NY he was our ambassador to the US. He knew us. We knew him, too. My greatest hope is that each and everyone of you know or will know someone like him.

    I can understand the coverage given to him yesterday as a person rooted in the traditional culture of the same area as where Tim grew up. They were holding their wake for him.

    This man was many things. In those things, you may or may not read about is the private person who would never flaunt his goodness to others.

    May he have eternal rest.

  182. 182
    Redleg says:

    John, you’re spot on with the first 2 paragraphs but a bit overwrought (like Keith Olberman) on that last paragraph.

  183. 183
    OttawaMark says:

    Tim Russert, may he rest in peace, is giving these news stations what they want most: RATINGS.

    Is this really the case? Wouldn’t his family and friends even get tired of a repetitive tribute that has lasted almost 20 hours now?

  184. 184

    […] A friend in America tells me the US media is now rending its garments and falling over themselves to show who can eulogize Tim Russert with the most pathos. It’s been all Russert all the time for days, from what I hear. John Cole sums up why this is so absurd, and why it’s a metaphor for just how fucked-up the US media is. 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. […]

  185. 185
    LittlePig says:

    not even the sudden death of a beloved newsman who Americans felt they could trust

    Trusting that foolishly is a lot of the reason those half-million-plus people who died thanks to “beloved newsmen” like Russert had to, you know, die.

    I would feel a lot worse about the loss had Mr. Russert not been an accessory to mass murder.

  186. 186
    Dentite says:

    Russert was a nice guy, but he was a liberal through and throuh. He usually hit republicans hardest and could never ever seem to play it down the middle on gay marriage. He’d always asssume a republican attacking gay marriage was a republican attacking “gays” and he’d make the republican PROVE he was not a bigot before being allowed continue on his program.

    Other than that, I thought he was the fairest of the liberal media.

  187. 187
    John Cole says:

    Okay Cole, now you’ve brought me out of the fucking woodwork.

    I got two words for you jack ass.

    Fuck You.

    Tim Russert was a political fucking icon. He had something that neither you or your fucking loser ass Blogging buddies could never have, I don’t give a fuck how hard you tried, and that my friend was fucking class.

    WTF is wrong with some of you people. Can you honestly not hold two thoughts in your head at the same time? Let me break it down for you:

    I liked Tim Russert. Seemed like a friendly guy, was always positive and enthusiastic. Some things I didn’t like about him, but that is just how life is- you take the good with the bad.

    What I think is unseemly is the nonstop memorial on MSNBC, which is now easing into Hour 20 at MSNBC.

    Now- how was I belittling Russert?

  188. 188

    […] You can always change the channel, so John, Marcy, TBogg, Oliver, and you too Avedon, if you don’t have anything nice to say and you’re unsure about the timing of speaking ill of the dead . . . don’t. […]

  189. 189

    […] You can always change the channel, so John, Marcy, TBogg, Oliver, and you too Avedon, if you don’t have anything nice to say and you’re unsure about the timing of speaking ill of the dead . . . don’t. […]

  190. 190
  191. 191
    PeterJ says:

    Can’t remeber every seeing Balloon Juice at the top of Memeorandum.

  192. 192
    KXB says:

    While it was a sudden death, and that can be reason enough for MSNBC to cover the story the way they did, I did not see why the other networks had to cover it to such degree.

    But keep something in mind – the news networks are really the political news networks. Covering politics is relatively cheaper than say, staffing news bureaus in Baghdad, Tokyo, Beijing, etc. How much coverage do they give to stories that are not related to the campaign?

  193. 193
    JoAnne Martinson says:

    I agree completely. What’s worse is that they aren’t even being honest about him. Media Matters cited enough instances when he kow-towed to the right that in a sane society he’d be described as the spineless, kiss-up to power that he was.

  194. 194
    Craig says:

    I don’t begrudge the networks honoring their own for a good part of one news cycle. Especially such an influencial one as Tim. I’m quite sure that if some significant breaking news occurred that it would have been given immediate attention.

    But if bloggers are getting the shakes because they haven’t had the latest political verbal gaffe to snark about, then that is their problem, not ours.

  195. 195
    ThymeZone says:

    I’m also looking for this “ditto” you’re talking about.

    7:06 timestamp, you stupid fuck.

    Now shut the hell up and go fuck yourself.

  196. 196
    Tom says:

    Thank you for being the one to say this, John.

    He may have been a prince of a human being; I didn’t know him. He was a mediocre journalist. Indeed, he wasn’t even really a journalist… more a stenographer.

  197. 197
    Andrew says:

    4 Marines died in Afghanistan today. There was a wire service report and that’s it. Fuck the media.

  198. 198
    Dick Nixon says:

    Unbelievable! This is some of the most heartless commentary I’ve ever read. Most all of you are a real disgrace to the human race!

  199. 199
    ThymeZone says:

    Fuck the media.

    Something we can all agree on.

  200. 200
    RH Potfry says:

    Trusting that foolishly is a lot of the reason those half-million-plus people who died thanks to “beloved newsmen” like Russert had to, you know, die.

    I would feel a lot worse about the loss had Mr. Russert not been an accessory to mass murder.

    Poor Little Piggy. His parents had such high hopes for him.

  201. 201
    Tom in Texas says:

    Bitching about the punditchannels ignoring international news now is like waiting until Katherina Hepburn dies to complain that the E channel doesn’t cover Bollywood. You have a valid point, you may even be right. But now is a particularly crass time to be bringing up a point that could have been made yesterday or last week.

  202. 202
    Tom in Texas says:

    I, for one, truly miss the reality prison shows that normally show on 8 hour loops around this time.

  203. 203
    maya says:

    One door closes, another one opens up.

    Could this be K-K-K-Katie’s big op to fly back to the NBC nest – now that she has primetime braodcasting experience under her 24″ belt?

  204. 204
    Chuck Adkins says:

    Now- how was I belittling Russert?

    By disrespecting him. That’s how.

  205. 205

    […] 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 allweekend. […]

  206. 206
    Andrew says:

    Bitching about the punditchannels ignoring international news now is like waiting until Katherina Hepburn dies to complain that the E channel doesn’t cover Bollywood. You have a valid point, you may even be right. But now is a particularly crass time to be bringing up a point that could have been made yesterday or last week.

    No, it isn’t. They’re not covering major stories right this very minute because of this absurdly adulatory lovefest.

    400 Taliban fighters just escaped from prison.

  207. 207
    John Cole says:

    By disrespecting him. That’s how.

    Oh, piss off, you moron. And by the way, in the title of your post “John Cole is a America-Hating Bastard Mother Fucker”, shouldn’t it be “an America-Hating Bastard Mother Fucker?”

    I just got off the phone with my mother, btw, who wishes to let it be known that “In addition to that being ungrammatical, I can attest that at the very least a portion of that accusation is false.”

    You are being mocked by my mother. How is that working out, Chuck?

  208. 208
    Tom in Texas says:

    No, it isn’t. They’re not covering major stories right this very minute because of this absurdly adulatory lovefest.

    Nope. They aren’t covering those stories because they never do. It’s not bdue to Russert’s passing. It’s because the channel you are watching doesn’t cover the issues you want it to, and never has. Or do you think that we’d have in depth analysis of actual issues otherwise? If so, please point me to a time, any time, when MSNBC DID cover those issues.

  209. 209
    Tom in Texas says:

    I don’ think he’s saying you are a bastard John, he’s saying you like to fuck America Hating Bastard Mothers. It’s erally perfectly sensible when you think about it.

  210. 210
    OttawaMark says:

    How is criticizing the news coverage of the man disrespecting him?

  211. 211
    Vox Populi says:

    With what has happened to Tim Russert and the state of Iowa, this week has been terrible for Hillary’s enemies.

    Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and the state of NC better be careful.

  212. 212
    Mugwump says:

    When people cry for dead celebrities thay are in part crying for themselves — their own mortality.

    I think the fact Tim was only 58 when he died suddenly causes lots of people (men especially) in their 50s and 60s to worry about what fate has in store for them.

    I noticed that McCain, Obama, and Dubya all issued ststements of condolences within 2 hours of the news. Hillary did not.

  213. 213
    Tom in Texas says:

    I noticed that McCain, Obama, and Dubya all issued ststements of condolences within 2 hours of the news. Hillary did not.

    I’m thinking Hillary must be on vacation in the Himalayas or something. She has completely disappeared.

  214. 214
    John Cole says:

    I noticed that McCain, Obama, and Dubya all issued ststements of condolences within 2 hours of the news. Hillary did not.

    Nonsense. Bill and Hillary issued a statement almost immediately, and it was announced on MSNBC before 6 o’clock last night, because I heard them read it.

    Quit being silly.

  215. 215
    southpaw says:

    Thanks for saying this, John. I was thinking much the same thing yesterday: he’s important, but not this important.

    Still, I’m not sure it’s true that only world historical figures or close confidantes of Brian Williams get this sort of coverage. People who are well known do. Buddy Holly was not the Pope. Anna Nicole’s overdose was not the JFK assassination. I think it’s safe to say that the media provides roadblock coverage to the deaths of all famous people regardless of their historical significance. So it’s not the best evidence of media narcissism (a phenomenon I am already sufficiently convinced of).

  216. 216
    chris says:

    How sad. Personal indulgence on the network’s part aside, the worst part of this is that one of the ever dwindling number of true journalists left on TV is gone. I suppose now we can turn to the world of bloggers to be “informed” rather than those who rely on standards of the journalistic arts. TV is a wasteland the Internet is an unedited maze of foolishness. This is a critical election and we have one less window to see it through. Good job, Tim. We could use more like you.

  217. 217

    What I’d like to read is a real report:

    Entertainer and talk show host Tim Russert died on Thursday.

    Russert was fired from NBC, which canceled his “Meet The Press” show in disgrace when he testified at the Valerie Plame trial that all conversations he held with senior executives of the Bush administration were “presumptively off the record” unless they explicitly gave him permission to quote them.

    Soon after, Russert voluntarily gave up any claim to being a so-called “journalist” when testimony revealed that Mary Matlin booked Vice President Cheney on Russert’s MTP solely because that was their “best venue” to “control the message” in the White House Iraq Group’s propaganda efforts regarding the War in Iraq.

  218. 218
    dr. luba says:

    Still, I’m not sure it’s true that only world historical figures or close confidantes of Brian Williams get this sort of coverage. People who are well known do. Buddy Holly was not the Pope. Anna Nicole’s overdose was not the JFK assassination. I think it’s safe to say that the media provides roadblock coverage to the deaths of all famous people regardless of their historical significance. So it’s not the best evidence of media narcissism (a phenomenon I am already sufficiently convinced of).

    Really–20+ hours non-stop coverage? Yes, famous people get coverage, but generally intermittent, with coverage of other stories in-between. I have noticed that neither McCain, Obama, or the Clintons issued statements of condolence within 2 hours of the news of Anna-Nicole’s death. As it should be.

  219. 219
    Jenn says:

    I can agree about the coverage but I can’t help but feel ill myself to see so many people bashing someone that hasn’t been dead 24 hours. I think that’s sick.

    But please, continue to bash.

    That makes it all better.

  220. 220
    J Douglas says:

    Sadness and sorrow , most especially for his family. I liked MTP and what Tim Russert did with it.Much respect and attention is deserved .However I just wish that any 100 of our lost Military people received half as much respect , remembrance and attention as any deceased minor celebrity.
    Tim was more than that , more than just a TV personality — he had a larger and more positive impact.
    The balance seems to me to be weighted too much in the direction of fame with not enough respect for contribution and sacrifice.

  221. 221
    Patrick says:

    While the mainstream media is hardly without its faults, Tim Russert represented one of the very finest broadcast journalists in history. While Russert may have failed to reveal some truths in the run-up to the war, to suggest that Russert wasn’t interested in the truth is a false suggestion.

    It struck me as funny that the same people who are suggesting that Russert wasn’t there to be a journalist, but to “make news”, are the same people who are suggesting that he in some way served as a vessel through which the White House spread propaganda. What better way to make news would there have been than to blow holes in the Bush Administration’s case for war?

    I think that some of you have placed too heavy a burden on Russert for what he could actually have been expected to do as host of “Meet the Press.” If he was viewed as a heavy-handed partisan whose sole purpose was to portray his guests as liars then it would have done a disservice to the show. No one wants to go on an interview show where your credibility and integrity are going to be openly undermined. People don’t HAVE to go on these shows, they choose to because Russert held well-informed, difficult debates without being unfair. No one wants to sit down for an hour with a cheap-shot artist. While the facts may have later revealed that the case for war was built upon false pretenses, these facts could not have been unearthed during an interview without actively calling high-ranking public officials liars. You just can’t do that in Russert’s position, regardless of how badly I would have liked him to.

    I think the bottom line is this: Russert has done more for our democracy and its credibility that 99% of MSM journalists. While the MSM as a whole is imperfect, I think it is safe to say that he strove to do the best he could within the framework he worked within.

  222. 222
    Katy says:

    I cannot believe such disrespect for someone that had only died a few hours earlier.

    I have 100+ TV channels, books to read, weeds to pull, bills to pay, etc. Change the channel.

    I do not understand the issue with NBC paying respect for someone that had been a major part of NBC for 24 years. Russert was loved/liked by many people.

    Being new to paying attention to politics, I find the coverage interesting. I had tuned out politics for the last 25 years of my voting life. Obama has given me hope that maybe things can change. At the very least, Obama is better than another 8 years of George W Bush.

  223. 223
    Joshua Norton says:

    These facts could not have been unearthed during an interview without actively calling high-ranking public officials liars. You just can’t do that in Russert’s position,

    Sorry, but you’re wrong on so many levels that one would need charts to keep up. That’s exactly what MTP was about back when actual reporters asked the questions. People expected to be grilled in order to get their message out. That all changed when NBC and Russert decided to change it into a schmooze-a-thon for their Beltway cocktail party buddies.

    Your knowledge of television history apparently is a little bit too pop culture for you to make any statements about who the “best ever” was. When measured against the likes of:

    Roger Mudd
    Walter Cronkite
    Huntley & Brinkley
    Edward R. Murrow
    Peter Jennings
    Ted Koppel, et al.

    he was most assuredly NOT “one of the very finest broadcast journalists in history”. He was more Johnny Carson than John Cameron Swayze.

  224. 224
    John Cole says:

    I cannot believe such disrespect for someone that had only died a few hours earlier

    Could someone please explain how this post or the post by Michael D. is disrespectful? Some of the comments here sure are, but I have been nothing but respectful to Russert.

    I liked the guy, even though I felt he was wrong some times. The first thing I did when I heard the news was call my father in Florida, because he would be as horrified and upset as I was.

  225. 225
    nightjar says:

    Chuck Adkins Says:

    Now- how was I belittling Russert?

    By disrespecting him. That’s how.

    Adkins, you’re dumb as a fucking fence post.

    Better trolling please.

  226. 226
    Katy says:

    Respectful is not saying negative things about someone that has just passed away.

    John Cole said, “BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy and not helping the debate at all.”

    While there may be many people that think the about statement is true, what is the value in saying it just a few hours after Russert died.

    John Cole said, “They have walked the corridors of power so long that they honestly think they are the story. ”

    I have never read anything else that John Cole wrote, but my initial though, what is Cole’s motive? To be different than most of the positive articles about Russert, which would draw more attention to his article.

  227. 227
    Echo Beach says:

    Yes! We would have all been so much better served if MSNBC aired a solid 8 hours of repeat episodes of “Lockup”, right?

  228. 228
    John Cole says:

    While there may be many people that think the about statement is true, what is the value in saying it just a few hours after Russert died

    Because a true measure of the man is to acknowledge the good with the bad. I would argue the good outweighed the bad. You would pretend he is a saint. Which of us honors Russert and more accurately reflects his worldview- your simplistic and white-washed hagiography, or my ability to look at all aspects of the man and still judge him a good person?

    I have never read anything else that John Cole wrote, but my initial though, what is Cole’s motive? To be different than most of the positive articles about Russert, which would draw more attention to his article

    Or, it could be precisely what I wrote in the post. I think the coverage is over-the-top and creepy. You admit to knowing nothing about me- you could try starting with what I have actually written, rather than just making up unflattering motives in your head and attributing them to me.

  229. 229
    Catsy says:

    The value is in ensuring that in the rush by everyone to say nice things about the recently deceased, truth and fact do not become casualties like they have with, say, Reagan. I am utterly baffled by the need that public figures have to fabricate, at length, glowing hagiographies of dead people that are fundamentally false.

    While there is merit to the practice of not speaking ill of the dead in order to be considerate of the feelings of others, when it comes to people who are part of history we do the world a disservice when we gloss over their shortcomings and even–as most of the big public figures are now doing–outright fabricate. This alternate reality in which Russert was some kind of principled, hard-nosed man who spoke truth to power and advanced the quality of journalism bears no resemblance to the reality in which Russert was a hack, a journo whose main claim to fame was a penchant for practicing the most shallow, meaningless kind of gotcha games that get ratings but in the long run do harm to this country. Russert practices the kind of “journalism” that Jon Stewart famously lambasted on Crossfire as “hurting America”.

    On the rare occasions where Russert went head to head with the Bush admin, he did so not out of principle or deeply held belief, but because he’d found a nice little “gotcha” moment that he could use to embarrass his guest. He would do this not to get at the truth, which would require fact-checking and follow-up questions that he could rarely be bothered to do even when set up with a hanging curve. He did this to put butts in seats and build up his own reputation.

    If you doubt this, do yourself a favor and go google up some of his shining moments. Watch a whole lot of Russert’s interviews, and ask yourself if this man was bringing anything of substance or value to our news media, or if he was just creating a spectacle.

    But save the sanctimony about respecting the recently deceased for someone who cares more about tradition than truth.

  230. 230
    LiberalVoice says:

    “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.”

    ——-

    It’s this kind of offensive tripe that gives left-wing bloggers a bad name. So Tim Russert wasn’t important enough to deserve the attention his tragic, abrupt death has received? Because his profession (newsman) isn’t prestigious enough? Well, religious leaders and politicians certainly impact our lives – but obviously newsmen do as well. That fact is obvious, isn’t it?

    Tim Russert was an extremely well-respected journalist – whose death has inspired great tributes from people across the political spectrum. He may not have been the Pope, or JFK, or Reagan, but that’s what makes his death especially tragic to many people. He seemed like an “everyman” – a genuinely good guy who loved his father, his hometown Buffalo and that city’s sports teams, and politics. Boy did he love politics. His death hit many people, including me, in a way that I wouldn’t have thought possible before I heard he’d died.

    Many of the posters here are a mean, cruel bunch who make me ashamed to be a progressive person. Even right-wing blogs like RedState and Michelle Malkin showed more respect for Russert – even as they criticized his perceived “liberal bias.”

    John Cole, you encouraged these asshole posters to comment in such despicable thoughtless ways, so shortly after Russert’s death, with your original post (and the update didn’t help). You sir, can go fuck yourself!

  231. 231
    John Cole says:

    It’s this kind of offensive tripe that gives left-wing bloggers a bad name

    I am not a “left-winger.”

    John Cole, you encouraged these asshole posters to comment in such despicable thoughtless ways, so shortly after Russert’s death, with your original post (and the update didn’t help). You sir, can go fuck yourself!

    Is there anything more obnoxious than calling someone “sir” then telling them to fuck off?

    Piss off.

  232. 232
    jetan says:

    Speak on it. brother. Very little was even said about Russert himself….it was mostly ” I remember when he gave me a break….”, “when I told him…,”, “when I took him to dinner” – I! I! I! This was nothing but narcissistic Sally Quinn bullshit, hour after agonizing hour.

    Contrary to what one of your audience alleges it was not a slow news day. Ireland put a black eye on the EU and the administration of Iraq shocked the White House by behaving like the government of an independant State. There was plenty of stuff to cover had the nets chosen to do so. Those stories would actually require some context and explantion, however, and television news no longer attempts that particular parlor trick.

    Amid all of the self-congratulation by Wolf, Brokaw and the Gang, I couldn’t help but look back a whole week to think of the obits for Bo Diddley. there was a man who actually had an impact on our culture, on art, on civil rights and who will be remembered and discussed in fifty years. Whereas Russert, who was a good man and an OK TV personality, will be remembered in 10 years a little less than Joe Alsop is today.

  233. 233
    LiberalVoice says:

    Fascinating non-response John Cole. So I’ll revise two sentences from my previous post:

    (1) It’s this kind of offensive tripe that gives ALL bloggers a bad name.

    (2) You JOHN COLE, can go fuck yourself!

    Now, how about dealing with the substance of my comment?

    P.S. My apologies to left-wing bloggers for incorrectly associating you with them.

  234. 234
    Geof says:

    I never read this blog, but I really liked this post. Thank you for giving voice to the critique of Russert while we’re witnessing the whitewashing.

    Of course it’s awful he died and those who will miss him have my condolences, but he’s still a public figure who’s public life can be debated. Imagine the criticism Geov Parrish reaped for this. Maybe it’s a bad time for this conversation (like when Jonah Goldberg questioned whether the federal government should provide funds to rebuild New Orleans while there were still bodies in the streets, or Glenn Reynolds immediately using Virginia Tech to tout concealed weapons), but for those of us who didn’t especially watch or like Russert, it doesn’t feel that way. It’s just like talking about any other political happening or media criticism so we’re not in the mindset of those who feel like they lost a Sunday friend. Did anybody mourn Anna Nicole, or did they just gawk at her fucked up life? Perhaps we’re guilty of bad taste. It makes me wonder what role Chappaquiddick will have in Ted Kennedy remembrances. It will be in his obituary.

    To me, this post exhibits the great things about blogs. We’re not all sitting at home, mourning the author of “Big Russ and Me,” reflecting on what a relentless attack dog he was for the little guy. We’re not what MSNBC thinks we should be. Some of us are sitting at home watching this stuff thinking, “What bullshit.” And it’s nice to hear somebody else say it, and somebody else agree. And if you don’t agree, or if you think it’s too early to agree, well, maybe you’re a better person than I am. But I for one was grateful to read this.

    In that spirit, I give you:

    The America Prospect
    Paul Waldman | October 31, 2007 | web only
    Tim Russert: Stop the Inanity

    RIP.

  235. 235
    John Cole says:

    Now, how about dealing with the substance of my comment?

    There was no substance to your comment, and you got the response you deserved. You clutched your pearls and said “OMG, this is the kind of comment that makes left-wing bloggers look bad,” without providing any reason WHY it makes bloggers look bad and failing to recognize I am not a “left-wing blogger.” Why does saying nice things about Russert while lamenting the silly media coverage make bloggers look bad? I don’t know, I submit you don’t either. You certainly haven’t given any reasons.

    You then state the obvious- that Russert was well-liked and is receiving lots of tributes. No shit. I count myself as one who liked him. Was this the “substance of your comment?” Thanks for that valuable contribution.

    You then posit that I encouraged people to comment in despicable ways. How? I look through the comments and I see a wide variety of responses all across the spectrum. Did I encourage you to respond as you did? Where is this encouragement to get people to respond in any way they choose? Could you point it out?

    You then told me to go fuck myself, which is, as far as I can tell, the only “substance” to your comment. And I replied to it, telling you to piss of. I will do it again, since you apparently missed it the first time.

    Piss off, wanker.

  236. 236
    Geof says:

    Oh, and:

    Matthew Yglesias
    Washington Monthly, December 2007
    The Unbearable Inanity of Tim Russert

  237. 237
    Joseph Seymour says:

    Many thanks for pointing out that while Russert’s passing is sad, the wall-to-wall coverage by the D.C. Kool Kids of one of their own was indeed another symptom of how screwed-up and clubby the modern media has become. As an Obama supporter I’ve been driven nuts by pundits like William Kristol and Chris Matthews pontificating about “ordinary, average Americans” and how one goes about connecting with them…wft would these overpaid D.C. gasbags know about us? Much respect to Mr. Russert, but the nonstop on-air memorial–what with the terrible floods the Midwest is experiencing, the ceaseless carnage in Iraq, the ongoing housing crisis–is another reason why I turn to blogs for news much more these days than the teevee.

  238. 238
    nightjar says:

    It’s this kind of offensive tripe that gives left-wing bloggers a bad name. So Tim Russert wasn’t important enough to deserve the attention his tragic, abrupt death has received? Because his profession (newsman) isn’t prestigious enough? Well, religious leaders and politicians certainly impact our lives – but obviously newsmen do as well. That fact is obvious, isn’t it?

    While I don’t have strong feelings about Russert one way the other, there are more people than you think who don’t have the “extremely well-respected” opinion you imply is universal.

    While I don’t care much for the personal criticism of the man so soon after his death, the non-stop coverage and apparent canonization is open to debate. He was a public man who controlled some important keys to the gates of how and what information we the people get to see. As I said before in another thread, he was a decent man who deserves a fitting tribute, but as a consumate news man, I doubt he would approve of being granted Saint status in continuous coverage to the detriment of all other news in these trouble times.

    Many of the posters here are a mean, cruel bunch who make me ashamed to be a progressive person. Even right-wing blogs like RedState and Michelle Malkin showed more respect for Russert – even as they criticized his perceived “liberal bias.”

    So it’s Ok to criticize his “liberal bias” but not other characteristics like playing the Gotcha GAme or whatever. Your post is disingenuous LiberalVoice and smells of wingnut concern trolling.

  239. 239
    Dolen says:

    Wow. I’m shocked at some of these comments. Yes, everyone is allowed to have their opinion of a journalist or any other figure. But to say that the coverage of him is postmodern is a bit of an academic overstatement. Our culture spends an inordinate amount of time on celebrities who have never said or done anything meaningful their entire lives. But when a professional, someone who–whether you like him or not–was engaged and passionate and intelligent, is mourned by the public for barely 24 hours, you complain.

    A clear sign of our misplaced values.

  240. 240
    Katy says:

    John Cole June 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm:

    BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy and not helping the debate at all.”

    John Cole June 14th, 2008 at 2:17 pm:

    I have been nothing but respectful to
    Russert.

    Calling Russert an idiot within hours of his death or anytime is not respectful. Not agreeing with someone is much different than calling them stupid.

    “Tim Russert was a newsman. He was not the Pope. This is not the JFK assassination, or Reagan’s death,”

    It will not be long before Russert will fade into the past. Yesterday and for weeks, Russert will be a major focus for NBC and others that cared about him.

    How often do we hear the negatives about any Pope, JFK, or Reagan? What would have happen if within hours of his death the media had started to talk about JKF’s affairs and the other scandals within the Kennedy family? How would people have reacted if someone had immediately call JFK an idiot?

    Even though much has been written about the negatives associated with JFK, most people still talk about him as if he were a saint.

    John Cole said at June 14th, 2008 at 3:09 pm:

    “Because a true measure of the man is to acknowledge the good with the bad. I would argue the good outweighed the bad. You would pretend he is a saint. Which of us honors Russert and more accurately reflects his worldview- your simplistic and white-washed hagiography, or my ability to look at all aspects of the man and still judge him a good person?”

    I never said anything positive or negative about Russert. Cole stating, “your simplistic and white-washed hagiography”, demonstrates Cole did not read what I wrote. I do not think anyone has ever been a saint, except for Jesus.

    John Cole is very defensive and does not encourage opinions that differ from his own.

  241. 241
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think one of the lowest lifeforms on the internet has to be the outrage troll, upset at what some pseudonymous commenter somewhere in the world has said or thought. I mean, if an anonymous commenter doesn’t make you smile or think about something in a new way, who the fuck cares? You don’t get points for being morally superior on the intertoobz. Go the fuck away already.

  242. 242
    Kyle says:

    I wouldn’t speak ill of the dead regarding their personal lives to those who knew him personally, but he was a public figure and this is a public forum, so put away the clutching pearls.

    I’ll remember him best as one of the many who irrevocably stained their reputations in the 2000 election theft. He had not redeemed himself, or made any substantive attempts at doing so, with his corporate-pablum ‘journalism’ in the years since.

    Eight years ago when, knowing full well that Al Gore in all probably had won the presidential election and it was just a matter of waiting for the votes to be counted, he put his job over truth and his country and did what his boss [GE CEO Jack Welch] up in the booth was telling him to do: Call the election for Bush. It made all the difference in the world.

    http://sideshow.me.uk/

  243. 243
    John Cole says:

    Calling Russert an idiot within hours of his death or anytime is not respectful. Not agreeing with someone is much different than calling them stupid.

    I didn’t call Russert an idiot. I called the BS gotvcha nonsense he frequently engaged in idiocy. They are not the same thing, Katy. The recurring theme here is you all are incapable of holding two contrary thoughts at the same time.

    I never said anything positive or negative about Russert. Cole stating, “your simplistic and white-washed hagiography”, demonstrates Cole did not read what I wrote. I do not think anyone has ever been a saint, except for Jesus.

    You refuse to allow any discussion of anything but the notion that Russert was a saint. If no one can discuss the pros and cons of the man, only the pros, your position is quite clear.

    John Cole is very defensive and does not encourage opinions that differ from his own.

    I am paying for you to come here and say what you want. What else do you want? A gold star? A cookie?

  244. 244
    Beader says:

    The almost unimaginable pain and loss Russert’s family and friends are suffering is something real and profound; it is also something utterly apart from the news coverage of this extremely sad event. In the America of 2008, news is simply another form of entertainment, and within that context, any event of note or significance is an opportunity for ratings, revenue and anchorperson/correspondent/commentator face-time. It doesn’t matter how how tragic the event may be; in fact, the more dramatic the event, the better. Media people clearly derive a perverse sense of enjoyment out of covering these things; occurrences of this sort give them a sense of importance, improve ratings and enhance the financial bottom line. That’s why the level and amount of coverage is almost always way out of proportion with the actual importance of the event. Perspective, ethics, sincerity and a sense of reality have nothing to do with the coverage. If the subject is entertaining, that pretty much all that matters. Unfortunately, Russert himself was guilty of this type of television journalism, in which maudlin, phony narratives are developed as a means of capturing audiences. At the same time, he obviously loved politics and his family, and people close to him are hurting badly right now. It’s very sad.

  245. 245
    curtadams says:

    Misplaced values is treating the untimely death of a US news celebrity as more important than Iraq starting to assert independence, the EU expansion failing, a HUGE setback for Bush’s “strategy” of ignoring our enemies in Afghanistan so he can make new ones in Iraq, a catastrophic flood in Iowa, and many other substantial news stories cited by other commentators here. That’s misplacing values on the wrong *planet*. Russert’s death is a tragedy for his family and friends, but it’s not of much consequence to the nation. The coverage is less outrageous (and more understandable) that the Anna Nicole Smith fiasco, but it’s still an outrage.

    It’s also an outrage for people to use an untimely death to cover up fair discussion of moral outrages like starting the Iraq War. This “speak no ill of the dead” is totally out of hand. It’s for friends and family, to respect their personal grief. But to discuss Russert’s death without facing the fact that he acquiesced in starting a war that has killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocents disrespects *them*, and they are people too in spite of the fact that they didn’t appear regularly on US TV. Saying Russert counts for more than hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is the same cult-of-celebrity values-left-on-Mars nonsense that brought us the Anna Nicole Smith business, with some of the fouler bits left off.

  246. 246
    NC says:

    I was at an awards dinner a few months ago, and a couple at our table actually mentioned Russert as one of the things they do together. I was able to reply that I religiously Tivo his shows. I am a very busy professional, and I don’t have a lot of time to throw away on personalities, news or political or hollywood… but Tim more than just a newsman. That’s what you have failed to catch in your analysis. He meant more to a lot of people than just being some guy who writes the news. He was one of the few people around who cared about authenticity. Being the real thing. Etc. With VR coming along and people being wired in everywhere they go, it may be a dying breed variety-of-human.

  247. 247
    nightjar says:

    John Cole is very defensive and does not encourage opinions that differ from his own.

    Well that’s just bullshit. This subject, as every other one on this blog runs the gamut, include your outrage trolling. It’s called FREE SPEECH.

    How often do we hear the negatives about any Pope, JFK, or Reagan?

    All the goddamn time. May I visit your ivory white tower where all is ice cream and rose petals.

    What would have happen if within hours of his death the media had started to talk about JKF’s affairs and the other scandals within the Kennedy family?

    I remember, they talked about the BAy of Pigs fiasco, his disaster of a first meeting with Kruschev, along with all the good things about the man. And in those days nobody much cared about the presidents sex life.

    Are you comparing Russert with JFK, REagan or the Pope? Are you really?

  248. 248
    OttawaMark says:

    I have no doubt that Tim was a great guy and may even be an important TV personality, but MSNBC is into their 30th hour of non-stop and highly repetitive coverage of his death. I have dipped in and out all day and the photos, pictures and catch phrases are the same as hours ago.

    The question is whether 30 hours of non-stop coverage is warranted for a TV personality, as important as he may be for some. An hour’s special on his life would have been a balance that would have allowed an appropriate tribute for him as well as carrying on the raison d’etre of MSNBC, presenting the news.

    The conversation here seems to be about Russert’s personal merits, which I think seems to miss the point. The best news programming should be where the host is nearly transparent and the stories themselves or the guests take centre stage. People like Russert should be the facilitator of conversation rather than the focus of attention of the show itself. If I don’t remember who the host was but remember what the guest had to say, that is a good thing.

    I live in Canada and receive BBC World from the UK, France 24 from Paris, CBC Newsworld, CTV Newnet, RDI and LCN in Canada and CNN, CNBC, Fox and MSNBC in the US as part of my cable package. The US channels are full of host-focused programming while the European and Canadian channels have few of these shows. Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Nancy Grace, Bill OReilly, and others take up a huge block of time on the American stations and viewers seem to tune into these shows to see how the host will handle the guests rather than focus on the guests or news itself. I think that’s a problem.

  249. 249
    section9 says:

    Oh Christ, Cole. Nobody should buy this bullshit post for one second. Or at least they shouldn’t.

    If this had been the towering ego of Keith Olbermann passing from the scene, you’d be posting all of Keith’s “Best of Bush Is Hitler” Special Comments. You’d have a huge PhotoShop Shrine to Keith’s Hairpiece as a side banner.

    Of your post it can be said this: “The evil that men do lives after them. The good oft interred with their bones.” Especially on Balloon Juice.

  250. 250
    John Cole says:

    If this had been the towering ego of Keith Olbermann passing from the scene, you’d be posting all of Keith’s “Best of Bush Is Hitler” Special Comments. You’d have a huge PhotoShop Shrine to Keith’s Hairpiece as a side banner.

    You really don’t have the first clue what you are talking about. I mean, you could have at least scrolled down the damned page to a post about Olbermann from less than 24 hours before Russert’s death.

    Piss off.

  251. 251
    Al_Tucson says:

    I am truly sorry to leave this message because it raises the profile of an ignoramus like you!

    But, I cannot help it – get this straight, if you still do not get it, this guy was more than any public servant in the last 18 years! And, he had still mantained touch with Joe American, something people of your ilk can only dream about! This outpouring about your post is because of that!There are people in life who matter way and beyond their designation or post or platform – some people are blessed to be in that role, beyond our comprehension!

    Tim Russert was not just a newsman, not just an insider, not just a morning talk show talking head, not just a man who rose from humble beginnings to a position of some influence by sheer hard work, not just the man who broke down election evening in 2000 in such a simple memorable way – he was literally bigger than the sum of the parts in an undefinable manner!
    You do not seem to get it, pal – I know that nothing I say will ever make you understand! I just hope you become more knowledgeable when you grow up, but I do not know if you are capable of growing up!

  252. 252
    Man Coulter says:

    the coverage was overdone but the dude was an icon… will miss him this election season, was looking forward to him calling the election for Obama in November

  253. 253
    Dana Hunter says:

    I was starting to worry Russert was going to be nominated for instant sainthood. Thank you for a nice, crisp, clear, and above-all not misty-eyed post.

  254. 254
    King In Yellow says:

    Not world’s biggest Tim Russert fan. Agree with much of post. But still think it’s petty and half-sincere.

  255. 255
    TenguPhule says:

    The evil that men do lives after them. The good oft interred with their bones

    Some things can never be forgiven.

    Helping start a stupid war and kill a lot of people who’s only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time is one of them.

    Rot, you shitty bastards.

  256. 256
    TenguPhule says:

    LiberalVoice Says: This trolling has been paid for by the Fuckstain McCain Campaign. Fucking with other people since the Stone Ages.

    Fixed for accuracy.

  257. 257
    baldheadeddork says:

    Okay, I’ve been trying to avoid MSNBC this weekend but I just flipped over for a minute and they were still running Russert remembrances – almost thirty-six hours after he died.

    This is fucking ridiculous. Seriously, have they run anything else in the last day and a half?

  258. 258
    skippy says:

    bitching about the punditchannels ignoring international news now is like waiting until katherina hepburn dies to complain that the e channel doesn’t cover bollywood.

    i luv katherina hepburn! of all the eastern european 40’s actresses, she was the best! better than garbo!

    she was especially great w/yustaf stewart and karloff grant in the sarajevo story.

  259. 259
    Chup says:

    It’s still going, baldheadeddork — and is scheduled to go on until 3AM EDT.

    I’m simply amazed that, as John says, people can’t hold more than one thought in their head at a time. I’m 47, have almost died twice in the past 10 years, and when I go, I don’t expect everyone to think highly of me in everything I did in my life. Hopefully, no one will show up at my memorial service and say nasty things about me in front of my lovely wife, but I know there will be a few folks who, while they like me personally, aren’t crazy about how I do my job. I work at a university and have to hold students to high academic standards, and I take my responsibilities very seriously. Naturally, there are more than a few folks who I have pissed off in the past.

    TR took a series of very high-profile, high-paying public jobs with a major news organization. With that comes tremendous responsibility. Personally, he seemed to be a complete mensch, and I would have been proud to call him a friend, but the folks who claim he was still a voice for the lower and middle classes haven’t really been watching him over the past few years. He talked the talk, but he got way too close to the people he was supposed to keep an eye on for the rest of us. He completely lost me with his testimony during the Plame trial and the manner in which he did his job after that made me realize that the good-ol’-boy had lost his way. It’s sad, because like Brokaw, he was one of the few high-profile journos working in TV news who came from a working-class background. As a fellow working-class boy, I want more of our ilk in the industry, but the glamour of Washington society evidently has a strong pull. I can’t say I wouldn’t have succumbed to it in his position, but I can say that I wish he hadn’t.

    And John — this wild-eyed Texas liberal really enjoys your work. We don’t agree on everything, but I like your clear-eyed thinking on most subjects. Keep it going.

  260. 260
    moondancer says:

    I give him props for his campaign anchoring. And it is clear he was very popular with those that knew him.
    But his legacy is set; he will be remembered as cheneys bitch.

  261. 261
    Big E says:

    Russert was a man who was a news reporter and personality, He died young and one has to feel for his family, friends and co-workers. I don’t think Russert himself would have been agreeable to such coverage of his passing.

    I enjoyed watching MTP and listening to his political commentary.
    Like the deaths of Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, JFK Jr,, Anna Nicole and many many more, the coverage of his death is a little bit overdone.

    It is too bad that such attention is not showered on all of the wounded and dead from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

    It is too bad that such massive attention is not focused on the many problems in America today.

    It is too bad that such intensity is not directed at the corruption in our government.

  262. 262
    Larry Tierney says:

    Russert will leave footprints that will remain in the sand of time.

    Mr. Cole is trying to find the beach.

  263. 263
    MNPundit says:

    I will say what is true: the planet is a better place with Russert dead: for his personal gravitas will no longer be able to cloak the evil of the corporate media.

  264. 264
    Chup says:

    Wow, Larry Tierney — which Hallmark card did you steal that from?

    Footprints in the sand (sic) of time? Are you listening to yourself? That’s exactly the type of treacle that Russert would be embarrassed to hear about himself.

  265. 265
    rachel says:

    Larry Tierney Says:

    Russert will leave footprints that will remain in the sand of time.

    Yor metafor iz fail.

  266. 266
    HRA says:

    Right now Tom Brokaw, as it was announced yesterday, is chairing a Tribute to Tim Russert on Meet the Press. I am here writing to you even though I once knew Tim and am a native Buffalonian. Why? He would have been saying “get to work” right at the beginning of this long drawn out eulogy.

    Over here we have become immune to anything other than praises for a long time. We certainly do expect the negativism that has been our fate for so long. Tim knew it. His reference to Buffalo was his way to bolster our spirit and it did help us. More importantly, it gave the youth a challenge in seeing someone who made it beyond expectations and how he made it.

    I came back to watching Meet the Press a few months ago. What sparked my interest was his questioning in the debates. So I am at a loss at how some people are attributing the war to him. What I would attribute to him is the beginning of the end for the Clinton campaign with his question about drivers licenses for illegal aliens. The end of the campaign was when he said there is a nominee after NC and IN.

  267. 267

    Russert was just another media whore. He lobed softballs to the Bushies for seven years.
    The media is just trying to make a hero out of one of their own to cover up their ineptitude and lack of investigative journalism skills. It’s pitiful.
    They’re all controlled by the corpo-fascists and their BS will always reflect that. Remember Pravda? No difference.

  268. 268
    jj214 says:

    I have wondered why his Parents divorced 30 years ago. He makes things sound like it was the all american family when in fact “big Russ” worked two jobs and was never present.

  269. 269
    chopper says:

    jesus christ, what a mess. its sunday and MSNBC is still wall-to-wall russert, only now it’s shifted to a fathers-day-themed memorial.

    y’know, i didn’t feel either way about russert, i really don’t pay too much attention to the news and pundit class most of the time. but i’d scoff at the hagiographic three-day coverage of a dead newsguy a lot less if i had any real confidence left in america’s major news media. as it is, all it looks like is the MSM fellating itself out of an inflated sense of self-importance.

    in other words, do your fucking job for once and it won’t look so over-the-top next time.

  270. 270

    I now realize that the accolades of his colleagues who are essentially saying Russert was one of the best we had in the field is a way to try to help absolve themselves for their shortcomings. The bar is truly set quite low.

    I even heard the old chestnut, “he was a guy you wanted to have a beer with.”

    Boy, would I (just to unload).

  271. 271
    Tim in SF says:

    You think John spoke ill of the dead? He’s got nothin on this guy.

  272. 272
    john says:

    @Patrick

    You’ve got this all wrong. Politicans work for you and I. They owe us explainations for everything they do, becuase they do it in our name, suposedly in service to us. The suggestion that they should be afforded deference because without it they wouldn’t choose to tell us what they’re doing is bullshit. They owe us that and more, and if they won’t be open and honest, then they don’t deserve the offices they hold. Somehow, people have gotten the idea that Politicans are better than us, that they have the right to withold information from those for whom they work. This is as wrong as can be. And the respect given to the Russert style of questioning, which aceded too much credibility to those who hadn’t demonstrated they were worthy of it, is partly responsible. If the media dared to hold this administration’s feet to the fire about the things they have done, perhaps they would have had to answer for their sins, or at least tell more complete and convincing lies than they have so far deemed necessary. Russert was no saint, no god. He was just another player in the sickening Washington culture that places those with political power above those who vest that power. If only that view could have died with him.

  273. 273
    Jesse says:

    Who are you? This is the first, and probably last time I will ever hear the name John Cole. Congratulations on fooling enough people into going to your website by desperately trying to attach yourself to a man who had more intelligence and class in his left pinky than you ever will have. And please, if you really think that people will pay attention to your brilliant insights into the problems with cable news when you also say ‘I thought his BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy,’ you’re just naive.

  274. 274

    It’s the latest example of what’s wrong with the media these days. The next-to-latest of which is the Ted debacle that I write about here:

    http://bizzyblogging.blogspot......g-ted.html

  275. 275
    Phil P. says:

    If you don’t think Tim Russert was sufficiently important to our country and our government to merit 48 hours of media coverage, then you don’t understand our government, our politics, or the important of responsible journalism.

    Objectively, as someone who is not a member of the media, I think the loss of Tim Russert is substantial enough to be well worth a weekend of press coverage.

  276. 276
    MikeB says:

    Thank you for saying what I have been thinking privately but cannot express for fear I will be accused of disrespect for the dead.

    Tim Russert was a 58 year old man. He died of a heart attack. This happens every single day. This is not a national tragedy.

    What I am witnessing in the media is the Media Establishment congratulating itself and their own self importance. It is everything I hate about the media. The idea that they are important.

    There are far better journalists working for small town papers, reporting under dangerous conditions in war zones, making a fraction of the money Russert was making, making in one year what Russert made in a day. Nobody mourns their deaths because they are not members of the Media Elite. They don’t rub shoulders with the Powers That Be. They don’t attend coctail parties at Sally Quinns.

    The spectacle we are witnessing on TV is cringe inducing.

  277. 277
    Chup says:

    Phil P. says:

    “If you don’t think Tim Russert was sufficiently important to our country and our government to merit 48 hours of media coverage, then you don’t understand our government, our politics, or the important of responsible journalism.”

    Phil, that’s the whole point — John and those of us who agree with him DO understand the “important” (sic) of responsible journalism. That’s why we’re not thrilled about the laurels being given Russert for his journalistic efforts.

    People who accept the kinds of jobs he took need to be held to a higher standard. If they don’t want to accept that standard, they shouldn’t take the jobs. Sadly, our media is so tied in with the people they’re supposed to be watching for us, what Russert practiced is copied and lauded by the folks following him. They’ve forgotten that part of their job is to “afflict the comfortable.”

  278. 278
    chopper says:

    And please, if you really think that people will pay attention to your brilliant insights into the problems with cable news when you also say ‘I thought his BS gotcha nonsense was thorough idiocy,’ you’re just naive.

    dogg people have been commenting on this blog for many years, so yeah people will pay attention. shit, you obviously did.

    sorry you got your knickers in a twist because some dude griped about the state of cable news in this country (oh noes!), but if you can’t handle that then you should either get help or unplug the internet.

  279. 279

    ‘…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

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=10623

    Let’s Get Something Straight

    John…

  280. 280
    susan says:

    I don’t care John, I agree with you. He was a newsman. This 3 days of remembering Tim coverge is ridiculous. When I awoke Monday Morning and Morning Joe was still discussing him, I thought Dear God, MSNBC has lost its collective mind. Then someone, I think Joe asked, at what point would Tim want us to stop this and get back to work. I thought to myself, probably about 2 days ago. But that may be just me. You are right John, and I’m sure in spite of these comments, we are not the only ones who think that. My husband is on our side. It’s getting ridiculous.

  281. 281
    baldheadeddork says:

    Since they ran tape all weekend, MSNBC is apparently going to spend Monday allowing their shows to go All Tim All The Time so everyone can share their memories live…

    They just ran a clip of Matt Lauer telling Russert’s kid how much his dad talked about him. Holy What The Fuck? Am I getting this right? They actually put Russert’s kid on the air this morning and now they’re going to replay the spot instead of burying it in shame? You couldn’t have this conversation off the air like actual people, you had to create a bit out of it?

    The coworkers who professed to love Tim Russert so much are now dining on his carcass…

  282. 282
    Catsy says:

    What’s cracking me up is all the people who’ve been linked to this post by some friend or blogger who’s got their knickers in a twist over John’s post and feel the need to futilely try to tear him down.

    It’s obvious that not a single one of them has any idea how to respond to the actual substance of John’s post (and the comments of myself and others), so they’re reduced to melodramatic sanctimony and trying desperately to make John feel an insignificant nobody who nobody has heard of.

    This could be fairly effective if they weren’t disproving their own point by being linked here, and if everyone didn’t already know that this blog has a high profile. As it stands, it only makes them look like ignorant, parochial tards who think that just because they haven’t heard of a blog, nobody else has either.

  283. 283

    […] John Cole wrote, over the weekend: 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. […]

  284. 284

    The linked posts by John Cole drew me here and I thoroughyly enjoyed (and agree) with comments about the overblown TR coverage and that he was a journalist who “lost his way” and became an enabler of deceitful politicians. The Plame episode stands clear in TR’s Modus operandi.
    I will be a regular reader (if not poster) of Balloon-Juice. Keep up the first rate comments, all you thinking people out there…

    Perhaps the veil is lifting on the cloud of mis-information we’ve ben fed for the past 8-10 years about what’s really happening in the media/corporate/political establishment, and the way they all scratch each other’s back, at the highest levels of our government. What can we do about it. Well, free speech is still free, and when they come for you, leave ’em with a few scratches and an earful, OK?

  285. 285
    charlotte says:

    Tim had a habit of asking the same question — usually BS in nature — ten or twelve times and then backing off at crucial junctures. This is what passed for hard hitting interviewing on MTP. I found his air of smug self-satisfaction infuriating. The last time Obama was on with him 30-40 minutes were spent picking over the remains of the Rev. Wright imbroglio. I damn near threw a plate of scrambled eggs at the screen and left my husband to watch the remainder of the show.

    I was also not too surprised to find out from Andrea Mitchell and dozens of others that TR had gotten into the habit of playing hookie to catch baseball games because he was oh so Man of the Buffalo People. His grief stricken friends and colleagues gave away way too much information over the weekend. For that, I’m weirdly grateful and I’m relieved to see some backlash going on.

    One feels for his family but the coverage has been both absurd and illuminating.

  286. 286

    […] Balloon Juice: 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. […]

  287. 287

    […] For those of you wondering where the title of this post comes from, see here. […]

  288. 288

    For the record, I do not think when the Pope shuffles off this mortal coil, should get that much coverage either. I mean, after all, he’s just some guy in a dress…

  289. 289
    Angela says:

    I agree, Mr. Cole. Russert seemed like a nice guy, but top journalist? Hardly. I wouldn’t call any newshead on the major networks “journalists.” They gave up that title so long ago.

    And this incessant ass-kissing to his memory is ridiculous. But it’s what happens in TV journalism (oxymoron that it is) because the newsheads/readers get to call the shots — he was their friend and colleague, so they will run the memorial shows the way they want.

    Just another example of the TV networks not having a clue.

    To anyone who thinks that makes us “America haters”: YOu obviously failed social studies and American history 101. Be cool–stay in school.

  290. 290
    MH says:

    I AM Joe American, and I can assure you that we don’t care all that much about Russert. It gets a “boy, that’s sad” and then we get th’ fuck on with our lives. To most people, he was just some guy on tv, not some beloved close personal friend and definitely not a capital-H Hero. He did his job – not that well – and went home and was good to his friends and family. That’s good, but no way it’s ‘National Week of Mourning’ good.

  291. 291

    […] Let’s Get Something Straight Balloon Juice […]

  292. 292

    […] Let’s Get Something Straight Balloon Juice […]

  293. 293

    […] But man. Some of the things the talking heads on MSNBC said about him were just crazy. I mean, the one major thing that really jumped out is how much television journalists (and in most cases, I use the term “journalist” VERY loosely) are SOOOOOOOOO very much in love with themselves. As John Cole said: “…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.” […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] But man. Some of the things the talking heads on MSNBC said about him were just crazy. I mean, the one major thing that really jumped out is how much television journalists (and in most cases, I use the term “journalist” VERY loosely) are SOOOOOOOOO very much in love with themselves. As John Cole said: “…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.” […]

  2. […] Let’s Get Something Straight Balloon Juice […]

  3. […] Let’s Get Something Straight Balloon Juice […]

  4. […] For those of you wondering where the title of this post comes from, see here. […]

  5. […] Balloon Juice: 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. […]

  6. […] John Cole wrote, over the weekend: 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. […]

  7. ‘…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

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=10623

    Let’s Get Something Straight

    John…

  8. […] 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 allweekend. […]

  9. […] You can always change the channel, so John, Marcy, TBogg, Oliver, and you too Avedon, if you don’t have anything nice to say and you’re unsure about the timing of speaking ill of the dead . . . don’t. […]

  10. […] You can always change the channel, so John, Marcy, TBogg, Oliver, and you too Avedon, if you don’t have anything nice to say and you’re unsure about the timing of speaking ill of the dead . . . don’t. […]

  11. […] A friend in America tells me the US media is now rending its garments and falling over themselves to show who can eulogize Tim Russert with the most pathos. It’s been all Russert all the time for days, from what I hear. John Cole sums up why this is so absurd, and why it’s a metaphor for just how fucked-up the US media is. 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. […]

  12. […] But I agree with Juan Cole: 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. […]

  13. […] Time for the media to get over themselves and start covering the news again: 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. […]

  14. […] As John Cole notes, the press is now taking their – understandable – shock and horror at Tim Russert’s death and going into overdrive. I think Russert was better than the average journalist, but he was a journalist. […]

  15. […] Never thought I’d say this but What John Cole said. 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. […]

  16. […] I was opening my “write new post” window to say this, when I saw that John Cole got here first. […]

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