Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert

Tim Russert and his son Luke

The response and reaction to the sudden death of Tim Russert has really been remarkable. When the news broke yesterday afternoon, my wife called me at work and my sister emailed me as soon as they heard.

People like us, who never even met him, are upset. There was obviously a widespread warmth in the hearts of Americans for this man. And for him to die so suddenly, without any forewarning, in the prime of his life at 58, is really shocking.

One reason it's so shocking is that Tim Russert had a joyful boisterousness that made him seem to just bubble over with life. How could that just end in an instant, like a bolt from the blue? It feels like a theft.

One more thing about Tim Russert. I think that he was a man beloved by so many of us who never knew him because he had a real respect for a certain type of people like us. By "us" I mean people like my family, who were Catholics of somewhat dubious devoutness, but who believed in working hard to make a better life for their children. And as children we felt an obligation to move the family forward. This sensibility was respected by Tim Russert with a sincerity that I don't see or feel from other public and press figures. He understood at a gut level that we had worked really hard just to be middle class. He could have come from my home town.

Tim Russert will be missed by many.

Tim Russert and wife Maureen Orth

The Russerts

Trish, Kiki, Tim, Betty Anne

Elizabeth, Tim Sr.

Sister Mary Lucille, Tim Russert, Father John Sturm

More "Mistakes" From Fox

Obviously this was all just a big, unintentional, mistake.

Baby Mama! Ouch! What's that mean? Well, lookee here.

Boy, those IT guys at Fox must really be scratching their heads wondering how, when the "reporter" typed in "Mrs. Obama," the computer printed out "Obama's Baby Mama." That's a puzzler, alright! Stupid Intel chips acting up in this hot weather, no doubt.

But seriously, here's the response - Fox News's senior vice president of programming, Bill Shine, said, "A producer on the program exercised poor judgment" in choosing the screen text.

Apparently, according to the Fox News Style Manual, "poor judgment" and "blatant racism" mean the same thing. This just precious gem may resuscitate use of the old word "Shinola." At least it will for me.

I really do wonder though, do the people at Fox News know just how poorly they are regarded by the general public? Being a "Fox Reporter" is in the same professional league as being a "Tobacco Scientist" or "Timeshare Tour Guide" or "Sitcom Writer." Do they know? Are they embarrassed? I wonder what happens when they get fired and apply for work at a real news organization? Are they laughed out of the interview? Or do they just not bother, and instead just go to work for some sleazy PR outfit, like the Bush Administration?

Our Twin Pillars of . . . something.

And In Other News News

Wonkette reports that The National Press Club has invited this guy to speak to them on June 18th. Apparently he's claiming to be Barry's old boyfriend. I'm guessing that someone at NPC was desperate to get a booking after Mary Tyler Moore cancelled, and proceeded to really fuck up. Let's hope so.

Well, it gets lonely in prison.

Rupert Murdoch would be proud. I bet Fox will cover this thoroughly.