Space Ramblings

Mourning Tim Russert

The irony is that the orgy of mourning for Tim Russert represents precisely the kind of new self-involved journalism which he stood as a bulwark against, the one in which the journalist becomes the story. Tim Russert gave interviews and visited talk shows, but he never allowed himself to become the story until his death, when that was no longer in his control. We live today in an era where journalists are celebrities and where the line between reporting the news and running a talk show or a newsmagazine has been blurred until it barely exists anymore. Russert with his rumpled creases and earnest good humor was a throwback to the old style of reporting, the one in which reporting the news was a job rather than a red carpet. The very people so vocally mourning Tim Russert, like Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews, represent exactly what he was not, their tantrums and their self-centered rants, their determination to make themselves into the story are a sad reminder of just what made Tim Russert the last of a dying breed.

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