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Web Letter

This is what I've been saying to several people without exactly putting my finger on it. My take was that Mr. Russert lacked the will or preparation to follow the follow-up. I'm not a professional; I am a political junkie glued to C-SPAN and the news, and my Sunday mornings never ended, with reruns going on in the afternoon if I got distracted or turned the channel at a commercial break. I am not able to pull specific interviews off the top of my head (without Google), but that lack never went unnoticed. I remember these interviews vividly and remember all the times I was watching dumbfounded after the lies came out without ever being questioned.

The irony of all the memorializing is watching the second-rate guys like Matthews interview Mr. Russert's friends like Al Hunt or whomever and hear that his strength, other than his "authenticity," was that he listened. Not quite, but a lot of people seemed to think that he did. Nobody does and the so-called journalists are failing us miserably, for the most part.

Glad to see a large reality check over here.

I would have liked to see David Gregory get the slot.

Nancy Lizza

Los Angeles, CA

Jun 25 2008 - 4:26pm

Web Letter

Thank you for saying this. As you write: "No one wishes a father and husband to drop dead at 58." I agree. And no one wants to speak ill of Tim Russert, the person. But if we are going to be honest about what has happened in this country over the past eight years--both in the media and in Washington-- we must take a hard, unsentimental look at Tim Russert, the journalist.

Let's not revise history. Russert did all of the things you say he did, promoting the "trifecta" of the conservative agenda: "War on terror, war on women's reproductive rights, and war on Social Security."

As an individual, he had every right to hold these views. But as a journalist, he had an obligation to ask conservatives the hard questions--to speak truth to power, and to challenge the many lies. Some journalists have done that on all three issues.

Instead, Tim Russert hectors Al Gore, demanding that Gore tell him what no one knows: when life begins.

I, too, am puzzled with the national mourning for Russert. I think it springs from the fact that his death was so sudden and so unexpected-- and that he was so young. It could happen to any of us.

As a society, we have not come to terms with the fact of death. So when people say that when they heard of Russert's untimely death, they found themselves crying, I think they may have be crying for themselves, and the loved ones that they know they might lose at anytime. Memento mori.

Maggie Mahar

New York, NY

Jun 20 2008 - 2:15pm

Web Letter

I suppose you could rationalize it by saying that we all should " only speak well of the dead," but I do agree. Russert--like virtually all of the MSM--rarely followed up with a challenge. There's just way too much fraternization between the press and the powerful. It's all one big cocktail party circuit; and so it's very difficult, if not impossible to be what the press is obligated to be--confrontational. Mencken said it the best: "A journalist should comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."

John Giarratana

Jersey City, NJ

Jun 20 2008 - 8:19am