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April 26, 2007

Am I The Only One Here Who Feels For Tim Russert?

On Bill Moyers' show tonight about the pre-war performance of the press on the WMD story, Tim Russert defended himself by saying:

...there were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them.

It seems easy to make fun of Russert here, given that he's the Washington Bureau Chief for NBC. But the fact is Russert doesn't have a phone that makes outgoing calls. It's unfortunate, but NBC simply can't afford it. Russert's job there is to show up at 9 am, and wait until somebody calls him and tells him what's going on. He tries to sit by the phone all day, because if he misses a call, he has to wait until they call him back.

Also, keep in mind that these "other government officials" to which he refers are sealed in a titanium vault at the center of the earth. So how exactly would Russert get access to them? I'd like to see you try it, big shot.

Posted at April 26, 2007 12:59 AM | TrackBack



Posted by: Susan at April 26, 2007 01:50 AM

Sure, you Stutts boys can make snarky comments about titanium vaults, but Russert's sources - who are not the big shots but the mid-level guys - don't WANT to be on television. He said so. And as a blue-collar guy from Buffalo, he has to respect that. Which would mean he would have to talk to them, write down what they say, and then, I don't know - report it, or something. What the hell do you people want?

Posted by: Maud at April 26, 2007 02:15 AM

I watched the program and I liked it too. Regarding Russert's comments, I remember him suggesting that the big media's unwillingness to ask those pesky indelicate questions demonstrated that "we need to have an opposition party." See, I knew it was the democrats' fault. I mean, it was bound to be, right?

In all seriousness, I've long suspected the media works like this. In October of 2004 when the 1st Lancet report came out and Kerry didn't say anything about it, presumably out of fear of coming across as some kind of decadent peacenik, I guess all these bozos turned to each other and breathed a sigh of relief about not having to tell anybody since apparently Kerry didn't care about it, so screw it(???!!@#$&*...)

Of course, if Kerry had said something, I guess they would've pointed out what a decadent peacenik he was.

Posted by: Jonathan Jonathan Versen at April 26, 2007 02:48 AM


Posted by: Jonathan "I guess I scrolled too far" Versen at April 26, 2007 02:51 AM

Great, the journalists that shoulda, coulda, woulda. I am ever so happy that now things shall be different as shown by today’s new and improved Washington Post.

“Iran is particularly important because it has aided or armed Iraq's major Shiite political parties and militias as well as Kurdish parties. U.S. officials recently charged that Tehran is also providing weaponry to Sunni fighters.”

Gosh and golly, is that really true? The Iranian government is providing weaponry to Iraq? Yup, things are really different now. “U.S. officials recently charged…” Polly wanna’ cracker?

Posted by: rob payne at April 26, 2007 04:49 AM

The media is part of the Establishment, pure and simple. It's kind of pathetic to see them fall back on the old "I don't know jack"-routine to try and salvage their credibility. They knew or should've known - either way they are responsible for the mess the world's in same as the government. The idea that journalists are crusaders for what's good and right is mostly propaganda.

Posted by: Non Nato at April 26, 2007 11:02 AM

Have you ever tried to answer the phone when you've got your head up your ass? It's almost impossible to even hear it ringing....

Posted by: slim at April 26, 2007 02:54 PM

heh, indeed.

Posted by: ran at April 26, 2007 03:40 PM

we are all tim russert

Posted by: hibiscus at April 26, 2007 07:09 PM

we all are, and we all aren't tim russert...

corporate hegemony controls the media, but today that's like saying, "The sun rises in the east."

The nuance, a word and concept reviled by the corporate, multi-national media conglomerates, is that russert–and I mean his position or function as much as himself–are primarily servants to the power elite, shills, ventriloquists' dummy's even–spewing the misinformation handed them. They've been disciplined into learned helplessness by their ever more powerful corporate masters.

How many of us get up every day hoping for the opportunity to make the slightest difference, all the while knowing we are making our morning commute in pro-forma fashion to stoke the beast?

I despise russert and his ilk as much as anybody, I also know my fare-trade, g-local, white-chocolate mocha, extra shot, productivity enhancing morning addiction is as equally a symbol of my own daily acquiescence to the "big lie" as russert's gaping maw.

Posted by: staplegunn at April 26, 2007 11:12 PM

The full, unadulterated world is just too complicated for any one person to take in. So we depend on simplified narratives, which turn out to be lies of one form or another, to get us through the day.

Sometimes these lies start to serve us so poorly that they need to be revised. But have no illusions, they get revised to a new simplified narrative, which is just a new lie.

I think we're in process of revising some of those narratives now. And the revised ones will be better suited to the moment, and allow us to do what needs to be done. But they will still be lies.

But never mind, everything works out for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.

Posted by: Doctor Jay at May 1, 2007 11:26 AM