Day: June 18, 2008

Something else to learn from Tim Russert's death

Whatever issues people had with Tim Russert’s political coverage during the George W. Bush years (and I and many others outside the Beltway intelligentsia had many), I don’t wish to raise them now. First, I’d like to extend my condolences to Tim Russert’s family and friends. After watching the extensive and ongoing memorializing at MSNBC and NBC, it is clear that, despite what anybody thought of Russert as a journalist, he obviously had an incredibly positive impact on those closest to him – as a loving husband, father and son, as well as a supportive, good-natured and inspiring friend and colleague.

After days of eulogies on MSNBC and NBC and the subsequent response by some who feel the near 24/7 memorializing for Russert was overblown, I’m neither going to defend nor criticize the coverage. I’ll only say that I’m not sure how one dictates how others should mourn a loved one. On the other hand, it also seems natural that an overwhelming public display of mourning, such as what Russert received, might be viewed as excessive by those who were not close to him and/or who thought his overall contribution to society and the world at large was less than spectacular.

I’d prefer to offer a different perspective entirely, one that impacts all of us no matter how we received news of his death and what we thought of its coverage.