by Max Brantley
... the Tim Russert death coverage was over the top, though MSNBC ran away with the Emmy for maudllin, self-absorbed, unbalanced, look-at-us celebrity journalism. In a rare, unguarded moment early in the Princess Di-style coverage, Chris Matthews did briefly reference Russert's hearty support of Bush's war. Matthews made up for his candor yesterday by saying news events seemed to have come to a halt so the world (the world of the Beltway Club, at least) could observe Russert's passing. Tell Iowa about the end of news.
As Daily Howler has noted (go to his archives for Tuesday's report, particularly), it is possible that Russert was a great friend; a wonderful son, husband and father; a strong TV newsman with good questioning skills, and -- still -- capable, as humans generally are, of misjudgments, sometimes colossal ones. You couldn't find that last bit in much of the news coverage.
It's now a cliche for the ages: "He never forgot where he came from." I don't expect I will either, at least not until the final stages of my Alzheimer's. Will you?
PS: Jack Shafer of Slate plowed this same ground Monday.