TV eulogies walk fine line

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The Moynihan/Cuomo liberals.... I'm on your side on this one. You spend a few minutes remembering a friend, and you move on. A one-half hour schmooz-fest when people tuned in to see the world and national news was well over the top. As DeGaulle said, "The graveyards are full of indispensible men." Somehow, we survive and carry on.....
How sad, and pathetic, Russert's death is being politicized... "The Moynihan/Cuomo liberals..." The show was HALF AN HOUR!!! Doesn't he deserve 30 minutes?!?! If you didn't like it - you had the choice to change the channel. I appreciated what NBC did in this situation & felt it was entirely appropriate.
I watch the news to be informed, not to stand in adoration of the latest media-annointed super-star, even when post mortem as in this case. I also didn't realize that it was verboten to mention his political roots, considering the numerous pictures of him in the company (and employ) of Moynihan and Cuomo that were proudly flashed across the screen. Fly with the crows, get shot with the crows. I doubt that Russert's politics varied greatly from theirs, or he would have fussier about the company he kept. How soon will the Pope be cannonizing Saint Tim?
Just because it hasn't been done in the past - doesn't mean it was not the right thing to do. I, as a viewer, appreciated the coverage. I was grateful NBC Nightly News devoted the entire show to paying tribute to Russert. I remember thinking before the show started that I hoped they gave Russert the entire show. He deserved it.
I believe that you couldn't have been further off base with your comments. When Peter Jennings died, ABC covered it on the following day's GMA and World News. I believe that whole weeks' worth of World News was focused on his career. Then, they had a primetime news special. I'm sure that ABC News Now even covered it, as well. Was this too much from the network for which your employer is affiliated? It sounds like a double-standard to me. In addition, NBC did give their Nightly News and Today Show this treatment when David Bloom died while covering Iraq in '03 (Matt Lauer, Katie Couric and Soledad O'Brien anchored a special edition of Today while Tom Brokaw did duty on Nightly News and a primetime special on that Sunday; don't remember if Russert himself did a special "Meet The Press" on Bloom). Tim Russert's death was indeed a shock and the way that NBC paid tribute to him was not an ethical lapse by any measure of the imagination. It was human and what anyone else would have done (except for you, of course). NBC Employees and his closest friends reminisced from the first word of his death by Tom Brokaw right through this morning's "Meet the Press". Even his competitors on ABC, CBS, FOX News and CNN were affected so much by his death that their coverage focused on Mr. Russert's death (Campbell Brown, Larry King Live and Hannity & Colmes come to mind). This was a very public way for all of Russert's fans and viewers to properly grieve. Seeing previous "Meet The Press" episodes that aired on MSNBC and the number of specials aired, especially where he discussed his book "Big Russ and Me" served as an electronic form of visitation and reflected Mr. Russert's professionalism and showed why he had such a profound effect on the political and news scene that I'm afraid will never be seen again. Mr. Russert's death was very much the news as he made the news week after week during his tenure at NBC News. This news indeed made all of the other stories take a back seat, but we already knew about Afghanistan and the Midwest Floods beforehand. The Internet is here to read up on those stories and I guess you have a remote control to surf through the 500+ channel cable universe to hear about these stories if you really need this type of fix. I think any of us would have been proud to have such a huge outpouring of sympathy from our friends. Please show some respect!
Respectfully, your comments regarding the breadth of the coverage of the Russert death are without base. The fact is Russert was a TV, political and journalism icon. Even competitors place him in the heirarchy of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite in journalism. An old Washington hand, Sally Quinn of the Washington Post and a doyenne of DC society, stated that no one in journalism had more sway politically inside the beltway than Russert. As for his television impact, in 2001 when Russert signed a new contract that would have him host MTP through 2012, it was estimated that MTP brought 50 million dollars annually to the GE bank. Further, all critics agree he revolutionized Sunday TV from a sleepy "throwaway" time period to one that has all the broadcast and cable nets jockeying for both revenue and respect. Finally, the shocking nature of his death at a young age, as opposed to Mr. McKay's passing which was not unexpected, made it a compelling news story. It was in all respects, therefore, a major news event that warranted the coverage it received.
I think the coverage this past weekend for Mr. Russert was entirely appropriate given his stature in the news world and the shocking timing of his passing. I liked it very much.