I was saddened to learn yesterday of the death of Tim Russert. I am sure his family will miss him, as will his colleagues, as will boosters of Boston College. There is much that can and is being said ad infinitum about him. He was the last of a breed: the knowledgeable, hard-hitting, but fair interviewer. Russert upheld the highest traditions of the press in a democracy- to serve as an honest broker of information to the voting public. In a media world increasingly peopled by pretty faces and partisans with the combined intellect of a ring ding, he will be sorely missed.
Which brings me to what's left. If Russert exemplified all that is right, when the media is at its best, then MSNBC's Keith Olbermann represents what happens when you subsitute commentary for information, opinion for fact, and vituperation for due diligence. Initially, I was amused by his quick wit, but when he launched into personal attacks on the President of the United States, I was horrified. When a TV personality on a cable news network addresses a sitting president in a manner more befitting a barroom than a national TV show with impunity, there is something seriously wrong. As far I was concerned, he went far beyond the pale. There is the question of civility to be considered. As far as MSNBC and its parent company, General Electric, were concerned, he was a star in their dim constellation. So it was with no small interest that I read Frances Martel's piece here.
Here's a teaser:
Keith Olbermann fancies himself a Renaissance man. A beer-and-chips C-class football anchor by trade, Olbermann has managed to wrest the national spotlight out of the hands of respected media empires and turn it on himself, milking the gravitas in his voice and his “intellectual” glasses for all they’re worth.
You go, girl!