Monday, June 16, 2008

Mainstream media's terminal state

Tim Russert always seemed like a really nice guy to me. The sorta fella I could sit down and drink a Guinness with. And I was very sorry to hear about his death last Friday, particularly since he was just a few years my senior. But I have to agree with my dear friend Butler Shaffer here:

“As I write these words, we are into the third day of a seemingly endless period of mourning for Tim Russert. While he seemed to be a likeable fellow — in a conventional sort of way — and I can sympathize with his family, friends, and colleagues over his loss, there is something telling about the state of journalism in this country in the way his death is being transformed into a national tragedy. Here in Hollywood, the demise of even the most prominent of the prominent stars does not merit the media’s nonstop observance such as we are witnessing not only from Mr. Russert’s network, but from others as well. …

“There may be a metaphorical message in the untimely death of television news’ most visible personage. Like those who gather to celebrate the life and death of a friend, perhaps the mainstream media is using the memory of Tim Russert to celebrate its own life, which seems now to be in a terminal state.”

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