Joining a chorus formed by myself, Variety‘s Peter Bart and the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Debra J. Saunders is the latest to take offense at the treacly torrent of Tim Russert tributes.
“The hours and hours of tributes across the cable spectrum show the news media at their worst,” she’s written. “For me, the Russert weekend only served to confirm my suspicion that in 2008, cable TV stations can only do one story at a time — and then they overdo it, and beat it silly.
“Part of the Russert Weekend phenomenon can be credited to a profession’s prerogative. Figure that doctors receive the best medical attention, bartenders pour generous drinks for each other and mortuary owners rate posh funerals. Likewise, one of the perks of journalism is that when we kick the bucket, we get a nice send-off story. But there is another tenet of the profession that Washington TV news bureaus seem to have forgotten in the shock of Russert’s passing: We are not the story.”