Saturday, June 14, 2008


There is something to be said about not liking someone and still respecting him or her for what they do. There are few people in my social circles and associations that make the grade of liking and respecting. Far too many people (which might be a weakness in my character) that I do not like but, to have someone teeter on that thin line of not liking and respecting, that is big news to anyone that knows me. What that means is that no matter what you say and or do, I will defend your right to “exist”.

I know reading that last line you are like "DAYUM "that is cold … to “exist”? Though it might be a bit arrogant or dismissive to the very nature of people, in this complexed World of countless personality types, not all people are suppose to mix and work in perfect harmony. Often when two strong personalities or those with conflicting view points with conviction to defend them with fervor and principle, you can often get into heated situations that boarder on the pinnacle of War; on persons, self, spirit and ideology.

In my background of Politics, Economics, Community, Social and Religious beliefs, there isn’t a time when debating or auguring points of view that can leave two people standing ground on opposite sides of the line civilly BUT it is the exceptional person (people) who can still remain cordial, respectful or claim the point of view of, “Agreeing to be Disagreeable”. On Sunday mornings, I wake up and put myself into that state of mind to listen to all the Political Pundits expound on issues and topics they are paid to guess at. A few are good enough to get people thinking outside of the box or almost get it right or are so on point you thing they are the actual idea givers to the Politically Inept.

Navigating through the one-sided opinions, ideological grandstanding, comportment of promptitudes, regurgitations of revisionist history and associations and lots of political jargon, I wake up early to get my mind right for a workout on playing that Political “reality game” called TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES. This is where I try and find the truth in what is said and not said in order to realize the effects and or consequences of just accepting THAT which is broadcasted as the FACTS.

Stepping through the manure that make up George Stephanopoulos, Chris Matthews, The McLaughlin Group there is a time tested political show called Meet The Press hosted by the Pit Bull of political pundits, Tim Russert. Now I will tell you, he was not a very kind person on the show. Going on Meet the Press with Tim Russert meant getting your “BEAT DOWN” moment before the World. There was no tolerance for jargon, half-truths, political innuendos, stray alludes, seeded misdirection, casual passing of accountabilities or even the occasional “rock star” stance. You come on Meet The Press you got the MAFIA TREATMENT; broken down to broken up and if you didn’t come on the show, it was WORST because that statement alone displayed a sense that you were SCARED and HIDING something from the closest thing to a representative Press that for years has overtly suffered from NOTasking” the questions needed to be asked. In essence, Tim Russert's Meet the Press was mandatory Sunday viewing for the state of Washington DC to the World for over 17 years. You knew this because like a teacher in a classroom, you know the one's that do their homework. Tim Russert, in comparison to his competitor's, was the valedictorian of his craft.

A bit hash in his interviewing tactics, a person can’t help but recall the scene between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in the film, A Few Good Men where Nicholson’s character; Col. Nathan R. Jessep, cries that famous of all lines, “You can’t handle the truth!” Tim Russert dogmatically drilled each and everyone that sat across from him channeling that same energy that made Tom Cruise’s character; Lt. Daniel Kaffee, all the better when he replied “I want the truth!” And when Tim Russert didn’t get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, out came the Video Tape and put your “WORDS” out in the street for all to see so that even the PUBLIC can jolt your memory for the truth. Guess what? If you don’t have the commitment to tell the truth to Tim Russert because of your lack of forthcoming, your attempt to dodge the question, your ability to sit and randomly and conveniently call forth Alzheimer’s, it just won’t cut it because Tim Russert’s Meet The Press don’t play. You can either come away from an interview Squeaky Clean or a Shity Mess. The way you enter Meet the Press isn't decided by the Politician but by the interviewer and you know this by the very first question. Can Tim handle the truth? Tim Russert knew people, body language, politics and agendas and as such hungered for the truth. He could and made damn sure the rest of America could as well. Sometimes a bit harsh in his interviews, after two cups of coffee and few doughnuts (or in my case herbal tea and bagels) you soon get over the nature of the person and understand that it's only business and in times like this, the "sugar coating" of the News, and especially with politicians, wasting his time and the public's is OVER. Tim Russert was a Political insider from both sides of the aisle and he knew the art of avoidance and misdirection, so in knowing that, the WAR OF WORDS and word usage was little more than fluff. On Meet the Press with Tim Russert, the lies of Politics and intensions were exposed. Tim Russert was the KING of exposure and not even YouTube could compare. When it was Sunday it was Meet the Press.

Tim, Russert, according to his friends and colleagues was a great man of distinction. I can’t say I moved in his circles but I do know enough from his books, personal interviews and the people I do know and respect whom have met and worked with the man, I am told he has a whole other side that was less lethal than his trademarked tongue lashings. Although there are a few people on my short list I would have loved to had seen him interview, I can honestly say that the one’s he got around to bringing the Journalist Bat to, I am quite satisfied.

While working, my co-worker ran from the employee lounge and yelled, “Tim Russert. He just died”! The whole office turned in shock and a few just sat quietly. Others went to work with their fingers typing “www”s searching to confirm the tragic details. I watched on the flat screen the retrospectives on a Journalist's Life and then asked myself, “Self? What are your Sunday’s going to be like now without the only person who would ask the questions you would ask, questions the way they needed to be asked and hold people to answering?

Tim Russert may not have been a buddy of mine and he did rub me the wrong way often in his approach to people on the show (people I liked and respected mostly), especially when he allowed certain people to get off only with a few bumps and bruised and not going for the jugular enough BUT I did respect him. MORE when you look at what his competition was and his accomplishments. That, if anything else, is grounds for RESPECT. This is a serious blow for journalism since no other has the on-air backbone to get at the Truth and do it in such a way that it carries throughout the entire fabric of America. I may not have like you Tim Russert but you were a hell of a journalist and I respect you. My condolences are extended to his family and GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL.

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