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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The AP Slams Tony Snow Even In Death

Veteran newsman, and recent White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, has died after a long bout with cancer.

This comes at the very heels of the extremely abrupt death by NBC's Tim Russert. American journalism has lost two powerful, professional voices.

If you want to read a truly wonderful blogpost eulogising his life, get yourselves over to Optimistmom's blogpost about it:

"I took perhaps too much delight when he put Helen Thomas in her place. I know there won't be the outpouring of gushing praise for him like happened with Russert's death. But I didn't cry for Russert. I do for Tony."

Beautifully put, and me too, Ruth Anne.

But I had heard a lot of viewers felt the 24-hour coverage one got from ALL news media channels for Russert was a little excessive -- they wrote in by the hundreds. I've no sympathy with such feelings, but I knew if something similar happened (a newsman dying suddenly after Russert) next time, the coverage would be more muted.

Little did I realise the Associated Press would take this attitude of restraint, and transform it into a cheap shot at a dead colleague who just happened to lean Conservative.

Just take these few excerpted paragraphs on their article announcing his death:

With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.

During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

"If not always command of facts"? "First press secretary to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates"? Are you kidding me?

Did the AP mention that Russert worked for Democrat politicians, Moynihan and Cuomo, and was a life-long Democratic Party supporter AND draw some kind of smear from these facts? Never. It's not germaine THEN.

AP have completely lost whatever shred of neutrality they clung to, these past few months in 2008.

Doing so at the expense of a dead man whose politics they didn't agree with, and then cloak it with insidious little jabs at his legacy is just the last straw for me.

Tony, thanks for your life's work and dedication to your craft. You did it better than many others I can mention, but even when they pass, I won't snarkily point out their failings, real or imagined, in their obit. And I'm just an amateur.


UPDATE 14 July 2008: President and Mrs. Bush will be attending Tony Snow's funeral on Thursday. They were also present at Tim Russert's wake. I knew the President wouldn't let the very very discrete coverage of Snow's death go unmourned more officially.


Tim Russert -- Dead
In One Year

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  • What kind of soul-less Scrooge would one have to be not to have liked the guy?

    Incidentally, I believe even fairly early reports hinted that it was going to be fatal. I think he knew for sure when he quit the WH job.

    By Blogger JSU, at Sat Jul 12, 10:50:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I think what the AP tried to point out was that here was a guy in a government position as press secretary raising cash for Republican candidates. That's somewhat different from an anchorman raising cash for Democratic candidates. Anyway, DMNNB.

    By Anonymous madcynic, at Sun Jul 13, 09:36:00 am GMT-4  

  • The AP has become simply snot-worthy: good only for wiping on a tissue and flushing away. Shame on them.

    Tony Snow was a good-natured, optimistic man who never allowed his political leanings affect the way he treated people. He will be sorely missed!

    By Blogger benning, at Sun Jul 13, 05:38:00 pm GMT-4  

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