RIP, Tim... Now Get Off the Air

Media overdid Russert's demise
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 12:20 PM CDT
Democratic strategist James Carville and his wife, Republican strategist Mary Matalin, mourn during a taping of "Meet the Press" in memory of Tim Russert Sunday, June 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Tim Russert was an extraordinary journalist, and his passing is a sad loss, but the news media went a bit overboard this weekend, writes Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle. “We now know more about Tim Russert than Vladimir Putin,” she points out. Did the country really need hours parsing Russert’s relationship with his dad, son, and hometown?

It made sense, of course, for "Meet the Press" to devote an hour to its departed host, but the other breathless tributes just proved that cable news “can only do one story at a time and then they overdo it.” Journalists are naturally inclined toward praising each other, but this week they forgot an old professional maxim: “We are not the story.”