Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert

My antipathy to the commentariat is unrelenting, as you know all too well, and Russert was one of many practitioners of the black art whom I pick on for their excessive chumminess and clubbiness with the people they cover. Maybe that makes me one of the stoners in the park making fun of the BMOCs and their daddy's Beemers, while I trudge home in my old clothes and my footmobile, I dunno.

But I just saw the news about Russert collapsing and dying in the studio, and that just sucks. And only 58 years old at that. Very sad. My mother was only 58 when she died eight years ago, and oddly, today is her birthday. Fifty-eight is just too soon to go. Our condolences to his family.

Yet Bill O'Reilly continues to draw breath. What the hell is up with that? Politics and all aside, Russert seemed like an okay guy. O'Reilly seems like a 24/7 garden tool, and proud of it. A bold fresh piece of inanity.

[Update: John Cole puts it pretty well, I think. Certainly it's a sad event, and I don't doubt that the sentiments and remembrances offered by Russert's colleagues are genuine. But tonally, it's hard to escape the impression that this is an industry predicated more on the individuals reading and analyzing the news, than on the information itself and its actual impact on actual lives. Once again, they are talking to each other, an insular claque of courtiers. It's their village, always has been.

I'm wondering which one will take Russert's spot on the show, even though I don't watch it. My guess would be David Gregory, who is reliably housebroken, but smug enough to fancy himself as the real deal. He may be just enough of an ankle-biter to be occasionally entertaining, but there may be more money (and, as always, Meredith Vieira) in the tedious all-morning fluffery of the Today show. Decisions, decisions.]


cavjam said...

Maybe he was an OK guy, in that he stood a round when it was his turn,I don't know. As a journalist, he was a joke, a shill, a guy who stood around as his country was led down the garden path. For his "how could I know about the aluminum tubes, nobody told me" sloth alone he should moulder in hell. The hagiography yesterday while Iowa drowns is a perfect example of the Russert School of Journalism dominating our age. Fie.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, I wouldn't even characterize him as a journalist, even a bad one. More of an MC or a maƮtre'd.