Friday, June 13


We bow our heads, shocked into remembering just how fraking short life is, and wish his family and colleagues peace and comfort.

Tomorrow, I respectfully suggest we click on our Driftglass bookmarks and search for "Punkin". And remember how Russert, a highly-paid man in a position of marked responsibility, failed all of us over and over again.

Drifty from May, 2006:

[K]eep it simple and clear and remember that Russert (for example) is, for all intents and purposes, a White House operative who occasionally gets bent and cranky over side issues, but will always come to obedient heel over the big stuff.

He is not a journo. He is not in any sense “objective”. He’s not wearing a blue helmet, so why treat him like he is?

Why not come right back at him? Why not simply and directly ask Tim Russert why he doesn’t believe crimes and incompetence at the highest levels of government should be investigated?

Why anyone lying a nation into a war shouldn’t be prosecuted?

We'll never know if Russert planned to mention on MTP this Sunday, the articles of impeachment that were read on the House floor this week. Then again, we never expected him to. That's an added sadness many of us carry today.


  1. Condolences to his family and friends - but I wonder how many of the accolades that I have seen penned to him in myriad venues were made while reflecting on some of the 'editorial' choices he made for MTP on behalf of the Bush administration?

    Nevertheless, an unexpected loss to American journalism, such as it is in these times.

  2. I do not like to speak ill of the dead and I have sympathy for his family and loved ones.

    That said - this is the best post written on this topic today.

    BTW- is the coverage just a little overblown or what?!

  3. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Russert did for journalism what Chimpy has done for democracy, and though I think 58 is way too young for anyone to keel over dead (and I feel very sorry for those he left behind), I think this gives Meet the Press a chance to redeem themselves.

    Taking no prisoners,


  4. Anonymous12:24 AM

    I am sorry for anyone who has to suffer the loss of a loved one. He was a father, a husband and a son. He will be missed by those who loved him.

    I think his contributions to American political culture are over-rated. That does not mean his life was wasted, but simply dying does not erase a multitude of failures and disappointments. Russert was a guy who had a huge bully pulpit--MTP--from which he could have helped the nation understand what is going on. So many times his message was shallow pablum that required very little thought or analysis. He let America down.

    I hope Time and Love provide his family comfort as they go through this very sad period of grief.

  5. Anonymous9:50 AM

    With respect to reader's of this blog, which is one of my favorites, come on ! These are the sort of classless comments I would expect from a "redgirl" site. He was a good man who loved and was loved by his family. You can't wait 5 minutes without the typical and sad American propensity to get political???? geez .

  6. You can't wait 5 minutes without the typical and sad American propensity to get political????

    (checking watch, tapping foot)


    Did the MSM wait 5 minutes before lionizing him? No, they had plenty of file footage and a long list of quotable celebrities organized and queued up. Was that respect, or was that sensationalizing?

    If Punkinhaid was the kind of journalist they made him last night, he'd be on my side in this.

    If Punkin' was the devout Catholic he professed to be, he would have been unacceptably uncomfortable with his sins of omission.

    The "game" as he called it, has very real consequence for average people who are impacted by the outcome. Life or death consequence in too many instances.

    He's not the first, nor sadly the last, who sacrificed principle for privilege.

    For all of his homespun down-to- earthiness, he was a club member and willing shill.

    He helped write the manual for the modern media that's become part of the problem.

    His one word epitaph should read: Enabler.

  7. Anonymous1:47 PM

    He was a man who did his job. Even if you feel he did it badly it is a tragedy for anyone to die so young and never get to say goodbye to friends and family. Using the 'MSM" as a barometer on how to react to someone's death
    seems absurd to me. Rising above that seems the better way to live. Just my opinion. I don't see why one can't be respectful for 24 hours before throwing dirt. I'll go back to being a fan and supporter of BG tomorrow.

  8. What would you say if Cheney died? Russert was a public figure whose job performance was often infuriating to those of us in Lefty Blogsylvania. Saying that is not disrespectful. I found Russert's "what's your favorite Bible verse?" question at the Democratic debate to be far more disrespectful to our Constitution and citizenship than anyone is being to the dear departed. [Rant off]

  9. 58 is young? Phew, that's a relief.

    As for 'loved and was loved by his family' - That's a subjective point, which has no relevancy to job performance.
    Dick Cheney's family loves him too, and I'm sure the feeling is reciprocated. Will the world 'suspend hostilities' and paint rosy plaudits upon his passing?

    There are consequences for overly credulous behavior in the face of malevolent authority, and those who wish to put themselves into a nation's living rooms and profess to speak impartial truths would do well to learn that.

  10. The man just died. Let's give it a few days.

  11. Darkblack: Damn straight 58 is young.

    QD: No. One day. Not a few.

    The news cycle by which Timmeh earned his five plus mil a year will have turned the proverbial corner in less than a few days.

    It's fine to agree to disagree on this. But I'm not calling him swear names or even diminishing the importance of his position, and if he had made one mere gaffe that the blogosphere now jumped on that would be unfair. But Tim Russert engaged in a consistent pattern of placating the public in favor of this administration.. If others wish to lionize him because he died unexpectedly, those of us who objected WHILE HE LIVED to his professional collaboration with the enemies of the Constitution, can say so with due deference to those who knew the man personally.

  12. I must confess mixed feelings about this. I was certainly critical of Russert over this past year, but when I posted the notice of his death I simply could not bring myself to speak ill of him -- and I do feel sympathy for his family, particulary his son. Probably because I was his son's age when my mother died (at 56).


  13. Anonymous4:05 AM

    Those who have been honest about who Russert really was, and the damage he helped to inflict by enabling the Bush administration have got it right. How someone dies or at what age does not change the reality of who they were. I wonder, was Tim Russert a man of genuine conscience? Did he ever stop to think that he could have served his profession far better other than to regurgitate neocon lies?
    I agree with BG's excellent observation: "But Tim Russert engaged in a consistent pattern of placating the public in favor of this administration.. If others wish to lionize him because he died unexpectedly, those of us who objected WHILE HE LIVED to his professional collaboration with the enemies of the Constitution, can say so with due deference to those who knew the man personally."


  14. Anonymous9:16 PM

    What Tengrain said. No doubt Russert's family and friends are suffering terribly. But I wish the media would spend, say, 1/4,000 of the time spent lionizing Russert on each of the soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some balance would be nice. That said, I have a friend who knows someone who works at MSNBC who told her that people were weeping openly in the halls when they heard that he had died. Apparently he was a very nice guy to work with and supportive of his co-workers.

  15. I do wonder WHAT was he working on when he died- they never said- and it kind of got me puzzled- will we ever see it ? who was the last interview?

    58 is too too young....
    BUT the way NBC has gone on for three says straight has kind gone too far...just let the poor man go...

    ( favorite interview....the Palm Tree Colin Powell interview...)

  16. With his help, over 4000 bona fide American heroes have died.
    A quibble here, an acceptance of terms there, playing the angles for the best vantage point in service to the corporate bottom line.

    Went to sleep on fine linen while boys not much older than his son were off fighting a war he helped start.


  17. Russert was part of the problem, a liar and hack propagating the message of the neocon lie machine. He lived the lie. He spread the lie. He sold the lie. So what if he's dead? Sure his family mourns him. But all the media hype? They merely lament themselves. Let the dead bury the dead.


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