Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Overkill for the Dead

Last Friday when I heard of the death of Tim Russert, my fragile heart broke. I was sad as hell for his wife and son and father. Just like that, whoosh, he was gone forever. I felt I had to do what I usually don’t do. I had to post over Fred the Cat’s post on Friday. I wanted to say something about Tim Russert’s death, and I did.

But then something began to happen on TV. Everyone began to talk of Mr. Russert’s death and give verbal tributes to the man. At first it was fitting and admirable, but as the hours and days passed, these tributes became noise and chatter. They made him bigger than life and more important than I think he himself would have admitted.

By Sunday morning all had been said that could be said. All had cried who wanted to cry. More memories had been exposed than maybe should have been shared. By midday Sunday it went from reverence to ridiculous.

There comes a time when it is best to allow the dead to remain as such and silently grieve if that is what is in your heart. What the media did to this man’s death was to use their own emotions to the point of overkill. At some point, their chatter and redundancy became irritating rather than sincere. When that happened I feel they were dishonoring his life and his death.


Blogger Distributorcap said...

msnbc has become a visual forum for their grieving

it is overbaked and ridiculous.....

how about a mega-tribute to all the soldiers who died so bravely for george bush's ego - no one gives them a minute of time

and it hasnt ended. you have to love how the media basically becomes a charicature of itself when they go so overboard with stuff like this. it is actually quite laughable when it should be so sad.

remember the revisionist history of st. ronald reagan? at least when anna nicole died that they treated as the soap opera it was.

June 17, 2008 2:09 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Dcap said it well. The media itself should never become the story at that level.

I am sorry for his passing and am respectful.

That said, people die in Iraq- American soldiers and countless civilians every day.

People die in Darfur every day.

People die in our own country - due to starvation, stress and all manner of untimely endings, every day.

They have overdone Russert.

You are one wise woman PoP!

June 17, 2008 3:22 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

I guess I am lucky the TV didn't get turned on this weekend. It would have made me mad.

June 17, 2008 3:38 AM  
Blogger ZILLA said...

So typical of the media. Thanking my lucky stars for the OFF switch...

June 17, 2008 4:21 AM  
Blogger diamondmc said...

I also heard yesterday that Hillary is bringing a bill to name a highway in Tims name. You would think he was some kind of world leader, instead of just a good reporter and tv talking head.

June 17, 2008 4:35 AM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

I avoid watching television altogether. I'm thinking of starting my own cult but I'm having trouble coming up with a theme song. Got any ideas?

June 17, 2008 4:51 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

it's been too much. now, sadly, it looks like ratings.

June 17, 2008 5:32 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

sherry's certainly onto something. It was a perfect storm for the bigwigs: one of their own died, and Americans will be glued to the teevee if it's someone famous, and Russert was that.

I'm sure some other stuff was going on in the world, but we can always talk about that later on.

June 17, 2008 6:06 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

We watched a bit of the news on Friday, then we didn't watch for the rest of the weekend. In some ways I think the pundits were eulogizing themselves. News people are becoming obsolete, the dinosaurs of our times. Russert's death gave them an opportunity to remember themselves, bigger than life.

June 17, 2008 8:00 AM  
Blogger TaraDharma said...

Tim Russert was a journalist I greatly admired. Having said that, t.v. news is doing what t.v. news does: going on and on and on and on and on and on, rehashing and sensationalizing. I think Tim would be embarrassed.

June 17, 2008 9:38 AM  
Blogger Targa said...

Tim Russert died? Really? Hadn't noticed.

My first thought on Saturday was, "They should give this much attention to soldiers dying in Iraq & Afghanistan.'
It's one gigantic Media cock suckfest. Hey, Tim was a great man, no doubt. But to elevate his status, in death, as if he were a world leader gunned down in his prime...???
Anyway, dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.


June 17, 2008 10:29 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

Waitll Cronkite croaks.

It wont be just MSNBC then.

June 17, 2008 3:02 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Yeah, it was seriously overdone. Whatever dignified life he might have lead has been overshadowed by the coverage of his death.

Cable news wants to turn everyone into Anna Nicole Smith after they die.

June 17, 2008 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We only get two stations which don't come in, and one of them is Mexican, so we weren't exposed to the hype. I still feel bad that he died though, jeez so young.

June 18, 2008 12:00 AM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

POP, you are right - it was overkill. I have to confess I didn't even watch Russert much so I had no idea he was this flawless paragon of virtue. I felt very sad for his family and I'm sure we did lose a good journalist but enough already. He wasn't Ghandi.

June 21, 2008 9:17 AM  
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