Monday, June 16, 2008

Remembering Russert the Right Way

Let's remember the man for what he really was - a good person, not a particularly good journalist. His efforts got us into the war in Iraq and his actions in Plame-gate were inexcusable. Those two deeply extended moments alone were horrifyingly disastrous for this country, perhaps resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, including more than 4,000 of our own.

This fear of remembering people for who they really are is something I'll never get - it doesn't take away a single thing from the people who've moved on. None of us are saints and all of us are humans; remembering only one side is to ignore the complete person. Commemorating people for their humanity isn't being disrespectful; it's a way to make sure each generation truly succeeds one another.

Remembering the full picture is an overwhelmingly good and positive thing to do. If we don't remember the complete person, how are we ever going to truly learn from one another? How are we going to make society better? There are lessons to learn from the good and bad. So, let's remember Tim Russert as a guy who worked tirelessly, but perhaps without the right efficacy. Let's remember him as someone who could often ask the right questions, but not the right people. Let's remember that he could bring a country together every Sunday, but not act to save it from a disastrous war. Let's remember him for being someone who was almost the opposite of Edward R. Murrow: not as someone who could stand up to a Bush or a Nixon, but as someone who earned the kind of ratings that will forever make Meet the Press his own. Most important of all, let's remember him as he truly was, not as a saint, but as a human.

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