Junior Pumpkinhead

Alex Pareene dismantles Luke Russert:

Tim Russert was not the unalloyed saint of tough journalism that his celebrators describe in posthumous tributes, but he was at least a classic American success story, of the sort that we still enjoy pretending is common: Blue-collar kid from Rust Belt town becomes enormously successful thanks largely to brains and hard work. The story of Luke Russert, alas, is a much more common one in American life: No-account kid of successful person has more success thrust upon him.

Pretty much immediately upon the death of his father, Luke Russert inexplicably had a full-time broadcasting job, supplanting his part-time broadcasting job co-hosting a satellite radio sports talk show with James Carville. (That was a real thing that actually existed. Can you imagine a human who would want to listen to that?)

The whole thing is a delight.

47 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    I would have gone with Junior Potatohead, but that’s probably Moore Award territory for an anti-Irish hate crime.

  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    I guess it could have been worse. It could have been a sports talk show hosted by James Carville and Mary Matalin.

  3. 3
    Martin says:

    OT: Moar Shilling fail.

    Some of the hundreds of 38 Studios employees laid off yesterday were hit with a second round of bad news this week when they were told that homes they thought the company had sold for them hadn’t been, and that they may be stuck with a second mortgage, Polygon has learned.

    But he’s a businessman from Massachusetts, so obviously he’s qualified to be President.

  4. 4
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cole:

    Off topic, but I found you a copy of Buddy, Buddy. It’s PAL format, so your DVD player needs to be able to handle that, but it does have an English soundtrack, so don’t be put off by the Spanish-ness.

    From an Amazon commenter: “I have found that the current Mac OSX DVD player has no problem with PAL. For Windows users you will need the current VLC or similar DVD software.”

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    I blame Obama.
    Kansas gov. signs measure blocking Islamic law
    “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state’s courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group’s spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.”

  6. 6
    Amusing Alias says:

    I literally had a physical reaction when I originally read those words “Luke Russert and James Carville Sports Show”. How many automobile deaths can be attributed to drivers who accidentally came across this abomination while driving?

    Surely there’s a class action lawsuit in there somewhere.

  7. 7
    BudP says:

    Isn’t this also the tale of George W Bush and Mitt W RMoney?

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state’s courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group’s spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.”

    Who’s gonna run the first “Brownback bans the 10 Commandments” ad?

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Luke Russert is just awful. I can’t figure out why NBC keeps him around. Isn’t his mom well connected or something? With his dad gone, it’s not like they hire the kid to keep the dad happy. And just how many viewers get warm fuzzies seeing Lil Luke on their TVs, reminding them of his old man? Not very many, I’d think.

    Luke Russert was the news reader last Saturday or Sunday on the Today Show. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights and he couldn’t even read the teleprompter with the proper inflection. A local news anchor from a small market could have done much better.

  10. 10
    Kyle says:

    He looked like a deer caught in the headlights and he couldn’t even read the teleprompter with the proper inflection.

    Because when you’re a privileged child of nepostism, you don’t bother with actually practicing a task to get good at it — you ARE good by mere virtue of who you are.

  11. 11
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    My daughter lives in a college town with a broadcasting program. All the kids wear suits 3 sizes too large, have squeaky voices, and fluff their lines repeatedly. I give them props for trying because they are just learning a skill. Luke, on the other hand, is doing this on a major network. He is not very impressive.

  12. 12
    mouse tolliver says:

    It’s precisely what you would imagine the result would be if the elite Beltway press somehow collectively raised a child from birth — which is, in effect, what actually happened.

    Luke Russert is the Village’s very own Truman Burbank. Cue the sun!

  13. 13
    Felinious Wench says:

    OT: There’s a woman running in my district (the former district of Tom Delay) as a “LaRouche Democrat.” Her signs say “Impeach Obama!” I’m still unpacking the whole thing mentally.

    And Luke Russert is unwatchable.

  14. 14
    Yutsano says:

    @Felinious Wench: Ahh LaRouchies. There’s always a small cluster of them hanging out on a street corner on First Avenue in Seattle. They occasionally get militant if you don’t take their literature. Fun stuff that is.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @Felinious Wench: Meh. Keisha Rogers is insignificant in this CDs electoral politics.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    The whole Luke Russert thing was inevitable. Because cloning has not gotten to the stage that they can clip one of Tim Russert’s (other) pimples and rapdily produce a full grown bore. They had to take a small cutting, like Luke, and try to grow it in the lab. But if people liked Tim (a perversity that I never understood) it is because he matched his audience’s age–it is those people who want to see his seed succeed, as it were. But for those people lil’ lukie can never grow tediously old fast enough. He can merely be prematurely pompous. And I’m not sure that there are enough doting surrogate grandparents in the world to flesh out that audience.

    aimai

  17. 17
    Woody says:

    In Old Britain, when a young nobleman’s father passed, he assumed the House’s title, after which all of his contemporaries (writers, friends, fellow peers and so on) had to refer to him by his title.

    Perhaps we should begin to refer to our new nepotism overlords (who nonetheless have earned their status) by titles.

    In this vein, the former Luke Russert might be dubbed the Earl of Enbecee.

    and american feudalism marches onward.

  18. 18
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Martin:

    So, do conservatives believe that citing foreign law includes English common law?

  19. 19
    Mark S. says:

    That was more Luke Russert than I could take.

  20. 20
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    a bold confession that i still enjoy an odd dose of james carville. its like watching a scooby doo episode. you’ve no doubt seen it before, the plot is always the same, the ending inevitable, and the pacing predictable,its a guilty pleasure.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    Lil’ Luke’s description of himself on his Twitter feed:

    I cover Capitol Hill for NBC News. Been sweating it out in the streets of a runaway American dream since 1985.

    He uses Springsteen’s “Born to Run” to describe himself. WTF? He would be better off heeding this part of the lyrics:

    Baby this town rips the bones from your back
    Its a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
    We gotta get out while were young

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    Actually, Megan McCain is the worst.

    Luke actually asks some decent questions during Boehner’s pressers.

    But Megan (who was hired by fellow lesbian Rachel Maddow) is a complete valley girl.

    At least when Rachel hired Michael Steele and Steve Schmidt, (goofy as they are) they had some entries on their resumes. But the trust fund baby Megan, has never had a job, other than her chicken scratches on twitter.

  23. 23
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, I know. It’s just one of those odd things that caught in the mental filter. I knew nothing about LaRouche until 10 minutes of Googling the movement. Charming.

  24. 24
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, I know. It’s just one of those odd things that caught in the mental filter. I knew nothing about LaRouche until 10 minutes of Googling the movement. Charming.

  25. 25
    Svensker says:

    A friend of a friend is a LaRouchie. Definitely strange potatoes. She’s quite wealthy, wears furs all the time, sends her kids to some strange private school and always has an answer in any political discussion, usually a very peculiar one. Her answer is inevitably accompanied by a really annoying all-knowing smirk. She’s also not a nice person, at all, cold as ice, with a fake smile that freezes your blood.

    The LaRouche movement may have started off as a real political movement years ago, but now it is simply a cult. A very weird cult, to boot.

  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    Why couldn’t I have had a famous parent and ride their coattails to success. It’s not fair.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    Luke Russert….that he has a job at NBC is ridiculous.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Svensker:

    It’s a full-on cult. I had an acquaintance whose brother got involved with the LaRouchies and they had to be very careful how they communicated with him so he wouldn’t cut them off completely and disappear into the ranks. It sounded like the kind of stuff you would hear about in the 1970s when people joined the Moonies.

  29. 29
    Walker says:

    @Martin:

    How do you not know your house has not been sold? Selling it require a lot of paperwork. Paperwork that requires your presence.

  30. 30
    Maude says:

    @cathyx:
    And make all that money. It’s not fair.

  31. 31
    Tony J says:

    @Yutsano:

    Ahh LaRouchies. There’s always a small cluster of them hanging out on a street corner on First Avenue in Seattle. They occasionally get militant if you don’t take their literature. Fun stuff that is.

    Ah, now, that’s good to know.

    Seattle is the only city I’ve been to in the US, thanks to a wonderful combination of 2 -for- 1 deals on 50% off flights and a mother-in-law on a teacher exchange over there. This was way back in the dark old days of 2003, and I must have been to that very street corner because I have one of their pamphlets.

    I accepted it with a bit of glee at the time (my fake General American accent is – that – good, I thought) and didn’t really look to see what it was until we were on the bus back to Ballard.

    I kept the pamphlet though. it’s one thing to be told that these strange sects exist, it’s another thing entirely to hold one of their mystical texts in your hands and really know that the world is a strange place.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The reason for “Junior Pumpkinhead” is that Tim Russert was often referred to as “Pumpkinhead” (or even worse, “Pumpkinhaid”) by the left blogosphere, which held him in contempt at all times, seeing as how he was a disgusting toady of Darth Cheney.

    Unfortunately, his death solved nothing, as there is an infinite supply of disgusting toadies (see Dancin’ Dave, for example) to take his place.

    The entire nest will have to be taken out some day. Unfortunately, to be sure, the children and grandchildren will have to go, too, as the loathsomeness seems to be hereditary, as Luke demonstrates all too well.

  33. 33
    chrome agnomen says:

    i couldn’t stand the smarmy ass-kissing father, and the son is an empty suit, though well filled with self righteousness and pomposity. needs to have a middle-aged french woman knitting by his side.

  34. 34
    gaz says:

    @Yutsano: I used to love to piss off the cultist creeps whenever they set up a few blocks down from my place. Broadway has no shortage of punters, apparently.

    To me they are exactly the same as the Ron Paulers. I knew of LaRouche first, but I see no difference. They’re all crazy.

  35. 35
    gaz says:

    Ruseert is a douchebag, also too.

    He’s one of the reasons I don’t even watch clips of the news anymore.

    Hey Russert, you and your merry band of idiots ARE RUINING JOURNALISM.

    fucker.

  36. 36
    Thymezone says:

    I love NBC. I call it the Richard Jewell Was The Atlanta Olympic Bomber network. For sheer blundering incompetance, I am not sure that NBC can be outdone. Famous mostly for making up some crap about a car safety story and then letting that lesson-which-coulda-been-learned turn into … nothing. You see now, years later, what a blow that scandal was to Dateline. As near as anyone could tell, it had no effect whatever. Not even a blemish on the Dateline brand. Faked footage? Meh.

    Now the matter of Mister Russert. Not Luke, but Tim. The man who sat there and let George Bush basically just shit on the Iraq WMD question and never even bothered to ask a gentle follow up. Where are the WMDS? Oh, maybe in Syria. Heh heh. On to the next question. Get it? WE STARTED A WAR OVER THE GODDAM WMDS, and no follow question??

    Tim Russert was a Mythjoke whose journalism chops were mostly in the imagination of NBC executives. Luke is not as good as his dad. What else is there to say?

    You might say, yeah, but what about Fox? What about it? At least over there they are obviously just a flack operation for the Republican Party. No surprises there, no guile. But NBC pretends to be the real deal. That’s really sad.

  37. 37
    Thymezone says:

    And if you argue with me, here is my prefabricated retort:

    Andrea Mitchell. Case closed.

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: Indeed it should. Kansas and New Hampshire with their “Everything must be backed by the Magna Carta” should rumble or something.

    @Walker: Selling your house requires very little paperwork. Buying it requires a lot – and almost all of that is loan related. Pay cash, and buying it isn’t even all that much paperwork.

  39. 39
    RosiesDad says:

    @Violet:

    Luke Russert is just awful. I can’t figure out why NBC keeps him around.

    They keep him around because he was probably the Washington Bureau mascot when he was a little kid and because they all liked and missed Tim. I’m not even sure having Luke grow up into a correspondent with gravitas figures into the equation.

    But he is awful. Maybe less awful now than he was a couple of years ago but being a C- performer rather than an F performer is nothing to brag about.

  40. 40
    patrick II says:

    @Walker:

    Wow. Are you behind the times.

  41. 41
    Tata says:

    During the years I spent both behind and under a bar, I came to one Sunday morning during a bobblehead show. I swear to Flying Spaghetti Monster I thought Randy Quaid seemed unusually well versed in politics.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Thymezone:

    If your point is that Andrea Mitchell has her job because of nepotism, please note she was an NBC correspondent for a long time before she became Mrs. Greenspan, or even met him.

    This is not to defend her “reporting,” you understand.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    No, I think his point was that Andrea Mitchell is awful, regardless of who she’s married to: “For sheer blundering incompetance, I am not sure that NBC can be outdone.”

  44. 44
    stannate says:

    @Svensker: I was in DC a couple summers ago, and I found myself with a few hours to kill while my wife attended sessions at the ALA Conference. I met up with a friend who had spent the last decade working on Tom Harkin’s staff, and she showed me around a few parts of Shaw and DuPont Circle. A highlight of her mini-tour was the original building owned by L. Ron Hubbard when he was getting his scam the Scientology Church started. This building, now the Heritage Site of the church, used to attract LaRouchies that would regularly demonstrate against the church from their vantage point across the street.

    LaRouchies vs. Scientologists. This has the makings of an Alien vs. Predator choice.

  45. 45
    Susan says:

    Isn’t it about time to let li’l Luke fail upwards and become president of NBC or something?

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Well, I fully agree with this. Never liked AM, and that goes ba k many a decade.

    Thanks for clarifying.

  47. 47
    LT says:

    I don’t really get much out of something like this. I guess I just don’t care so much. (I care a lot more about what his dad said about being off the record when talking to pols until they said different. What a fucker.)

    And Pareene’s crack about joe buck – people like to choose sides for fun and get hyped up about such things, I know, but I think Buck is a great sportscaster.

Comments are closed.