All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tim Russert-More than just a God

Tim Russert's many fans will miss his slant on the news, but the elevation of him from mere mortal to God was more than most could bear listening to, and the implication that there was no slant is just wishful thinking. George Stephanopoulos, Bob Schieffer, and Chris Wallace must have been insulted when Russert was described by his colleagues as the smartest, brightest and best of the lot of Sunday political show analysts. Others like Tom Brokaw and Wolf Blitzer are just too stupid to know they were being insulted. Today’s running of Meet the Press, which included the normal group of analysts (LOL) and commentators like James Carville, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mike Barnacle, Gwen Ifill, Maria Schriver, Meet the Press producer Betsy Fischer, Mary Matalin, and the previously mentioned Tom Brokaw, was a cacophony of platitudes by a group of people who all think alike, with Matalin being the single exception. It’s not surprising that when liberals gather they all perceive themselves as fair. It was so one-sided that even the gracious Mary Matalin decided to lay off when they called Russert fair to both sides of the political isle. Anyone who really watched the show knows that Russert was not fair to both sides. His liberal leanings showed through his questions. Questions to conservatives and Republicans were always more pointed, more aggressive and politically tinged with the built-in animosity and superiority that liberals reserve for conservatives, unless that Republican or conservative is a Republican in Name Only (RINO) like John McCain, Chuck Hagel or Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was fairer when compared to others in his line of work. He was able to do it with less nastiness than say David Gregory, more finesse than George Stephanopoulos and certainly with more intellect than most of his counterparts, but to say he was equally aggressive to conservatives and liberals is dishonest. Russert was a Democrat through and through. He always made sure that any conservative panelist on his show was outnumbered three to one, so the analysis would always be dominated by the liberal perspective. The gushing of Goodwin, the brown-nosing of Barnacle and Carville, the phony reverence of Gwen Ifill was like sour milk. The continuous presence on his Sunday panel of racist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and NBC Political Director Chuck Todd, was a testament to his political leanings. His admirers thought so much of him that they said he could have been a Catholic Cardinal, the Pope or even President of the United States if he merely wanted to. However, his humility and desire to serve the public was so great that getting paid $15 million a year to be a TV reporter and anaylst was good enough for him. Given that I suppose he could have cured cancer, found life on Mars and united the Republicans and Democrats, if it merely paid more. Radio show talker Sean Hannity related a story to his audience in which he said that Russert once donated $10,000 to a Scholarship fund that provides financial supoport for the children of American service men and women. If you make $50,000 a year Russert's donation would be the equivalent of donating $33 to your favorite charity. I hope that readers won’t take this the wrong way, but the canonizing of Russert is over the top. He was good, but he wasn’t a God.