Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mourning Russert

Tim Russert, the head political guy at NBC, not to mention the host of “Meet the Press”, died suddenly yesterday of a heart attack. He was only 58.

I wish I could say something mournful about it. Yes, his death was sudden and shocking. I’m sure everyone over at NBC were in shock about it. Watching Tom Brokaw come out of retirement to make the announcement of Russert’s passing was sad.

I wish I could say something to the effect of “I’m shocked and saddened” or something to that effect. Even the neo-con talking heads like Hannity and Limbaugh are mourning his passing and treating this like a great tragedy to the world. But for the life of me, I can’t.

Yes, I’m shocked that he died, especially since he was only 17 years older than me. But I can’t really mourn his passing.

Maybe it’s because he was more than just a talking head. He was also the guy in charge of the whole political department at NBC. If it involved politics, he had the final say on it.

And I’m sorry, but in the past few years, he lorded over the political side of NBC and MSNBC like Dan Rather did for CBS News. And the operative word here is LORDED. And because of some of his decisions, including his pronouncement that third-party groups weren’t worth mentioning at all, and the deliberate and systematic blackballing of candidates like Ron Paul and Mike Gravel, I have to say that I became somewhat jaded of people like him. Lord Acton was right about power corrupting, and even members of the media are not exempt from that basic fact.

And so you get what you give. I’m sorry for his family, but I can’t say that I’m sorry that the KING of NBC and MSNBC political news is gone. It just means that NBC has to find someone else to take over his throne in Washington and decide which issue and which political candidate is “worthy” of attention.

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