Tim Russert's passing affected me personally. No, I did not connect with him because he represented me on the TV in some way. It affected me because we are or were the same age. Mr. Russert was on a few different drugs for maladies that I associate with older people. Could he have saved his life by leaving his job and taking up like moi the life of the self-employed, under-employed swamp yankee? Don't know. I could keel over tomorrow, so today is lucky.
My lifestyle is the anti-Russert. I do self-medicate. A couple of cups of coffee in the morning. A glass (well, closer to two) of red wine with dinner. I follow a strict dietary regimen of using bacon fat as a cooking medium for eggs (lots of 'em). Bacon fat is the olive oil of the north and those of us melanin challenged people from colder climes ignore its healing properties at our peril.
As to Tim himself. Like Princess Di, I had no connection with him other than hearing his voice simulcast over the radio on Sunday evenings once or twice. That people say nice things about him is okay, but the deification is a bit over the top. The biggest reason he had his job, and you would realize this if you only heard him on radio, is his pleasant voice. He could savage Ron Paul and still seem a nice guy. TV is a "soft medium," he was kind of a drug. That nice guy persona helped him even if he used it in the service of a bitter partisanship.
On a newscast they played at his memorial some bit of rock noise that had been on his ipod. My first thought was why did they embarrass the man by playing his guilty pleasure of low music. Ah, but this is the Republic of Bad Taste and he was his country.
I quote the best comment about him and his class,
...professionally, he was not a "great journalist," because a great journalist searches for the truth and asks fundamental questions about the status-quo. He was successful at rebuilding Meet the Press into the highest-rated Sunday morning news program. He was successful at becoming a celebrity and making a lot of money. In short, he was a successful media animal. But his very tenure at an establishment mouthpiece like Meet the Press is de facto evidence of his real professional legacy, of which this article’s transcript, and the gushing tributes this week from establishment politicians and journalists, are further proof: Tim Russert was a shill for the state and the power elite who control it.*
Oh well, we are only supposed to get 15 minutes. He had a half hour. After the canonization is done, he will be forgotten.
*Johnny Kramer at LRC
**Justin Raimondo probably has the best titled article, Enough Already!