Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle nails it:
Sitting in my favorite watering hole, Capitol Lounge on Monday, I was chatting with guys who described themselves as “Russert guys.”
“He was us. He loved the game of politics,” said one new friend. Really? Is that why the rest of America needs to be more upset about his loss than Iowa’s displaced or our honored dead? Folks have tried to convince me that Russert changed how politics was played, because to be on Meet the Press meant to wager your candidacy. Shouldn’t that always be the case?
And is politics really that important? It is to me, I suppose, otherwise I wouldn’t have my job. It is to the fellow who says he’s a Russert guy. But what a breathless loss of perspective, one that, among journalists, seems a dereliction rather than a tribute.
Russert was a man, all in all. Take him for what he was. We shall not look upon his like again. But have some sense of proportion, if only to spare yourself the embarassment.
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