Monday, June 16, 2008

Shut Up About Russert Already!

Open Letter to the Cable News Kewl Kids:

This is how you should have reported Tim Russert's death:

Tim Russett was a TV interviewer (NOT a journalist) of politicians on a major news network for many years. He was a nice guy, a Catholic, and his Dad worked a blue collar job. When he was young he got to shake John Kennedy's hand, and through some connections, he landed a job working for Tip O'Neill, which later led to a career in TV covering politics. Russert died of a heart attack at work last week. He was 58, married and has one son who just graduated from college.

That's all that needs to be said.

We get it, we got it. The guy is dead. Can you get back to the news already??

The saturation coverage and ad nauseum tributes of the Kewl Kidz about Tim Russert, one of the chief fluffers of TV "journalism," is just plain making me sick. You know what I'll remember about him? That the toughest, most squirm-inducing question he ever asked of his guests was this: "Are you running for president?"

The endless coverage afforded Russert's passing reminds me of an incident that happened at my high school reunion. Apparently one of the popular "in" crowd had died at some time in the preceding 10 years. I didn't know the guy, and had no recollection of him, and neither did the people seated at the tables in my area. But, because he was a "kewl kid" the other kewl kids decided that they would subject us all to a half-hour slide show tribute and speeches about what a great guy he was, etc., the usual memoria.

Turns out that he hadn't done much with his life, other than make alot of money for himself. Nobody mentioned any volunteer work he had done, any special kindness he showed somebody in need. Their tributes were all about how successful he was in business, and what a good football player he was in high school, and how tragic it was that he finally bought his own airplane, which is how he died--he crashed it.

But nobody else who had died received any sort of public recognition, other than a listing in the program notes.

It's the same thing with Russert--the kewl kids are putting on a show for each other because one of their own was affected, and they're forcing the rest of us to witness it.

There's a lot more important stories to cover.

Shut the hell up about Russert. Move on already!

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