Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Homage to Timmy

Lost among the many effusions about Tim Russert's gooey greatness is any sense of the real Tim, a quintessential American story, actually, just a timeless story of human nature and the several ways it can go. For Tim, however much he must have had on the ball back in the Golden Era of Moynihan, had grown into a pompous, self-satisfied, bloviating, self-deluded idiot, so certain that his bullshit detector was made infallible by his Buffalo upbringing that he swallowed the admimistration's chips by the bushel. He was, in later life, living proof, like so many of his money-grubbing ilk, that when people do not grow wiser with age, they often grow incredibly stupider.

Tim, they say over and over, exemplified all that was right with journalism, but some us, including Atrios, disagree. He cites the Phildalphia Inquirer for this bit of egregious hagiography:

It's surely no consolation to his family if we note that Russert dedicated himself to the pursuit of a noble cause: journalism, the free flow of information, the First Amendment, the need (more than ever) to hold politicians accountable for their words and actions. That, in fact, is more than a noble cause. It is patriotism. And his passing is sad proof that a patriot can sacrifice himself for the country he loves without dying in battle.

How quickly they forget, forget that Tim himself said that whatever a government official says to him is "off the record" (as if he were Father Confessor) unless that official says it's otherwise. Several people pointed out that this turns the journalist into a mere orifice for spin. Indeed, Dick Cheney's office valued Tim highly in that blow-up doll capacity, as Cathie Martin testified under oath.

Of course the noise of all the Man Crushing on the departed Timmy has drowned out all these memories, if they can be called that -- since even when fresh most media people ignore such ugly truths like they were Granny's farts. The truth is: Tim Russert was a middlebrow ass-clown who got incredibly rich spreading the conventional wisdom and corporatist spin for Jack Welch and his accessories, while of course ignoring the crimes of Republicans, even, and perhaps especially when he himself was caught up in them, as in the Plame case -- which only the threat of prison could make him speak about.

Tim Russert was a journalist like Hulk Hogan is a wrestler. I hope they bury him in DC, because I'll be taking a sixer out there soon. I'll make it Genesee, in honor of his Buffalo blue-collar roots.


At 9:15 AM, Blogger uoti said...

Tim Russert was a journalist like Hulk Hogan is a wrestler.



Post a Comment

<< Home