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Mourning Tim Russert: Meet the Insecure Press?

russertinsec.pngWas insecurity behind the “excessive,” emotional, days-long Tim Russert remembrances? That’s what Howard Kurtz seems to think and not just because television is full of middle-aged white men who maybe got a sudden unwelcome taste of their own mortality. Kurtz says it actually has to do with the fact that,

Russert was a popular figure in a field whose practitioners are often mocked and derided, a credible commentator in a widely distrusted profession. Journalists of all stripes wanted to be associated with him, perhaps hoping a little of the magic dust would rub off.
Not only that, it seems that even though Russert was hugely successful producers today “are terrified of boring the audience” (apparently notwithstanding fireside chats) and basically the fear is that without Russert we’re all destined to get our news off YouTube or from cable loudmouths, which if newspapers continue their current decline doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea, though as Kurtz points out “the last thing embattled journalists should do is remain mired in the past, dreaming of the glories of Russert’s heyday.”

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