We have just concluded the fifth day of the Russert consecration, with a sixth day guaranteed in MSNBC’s Wednesday live coverage of his memorial service! Shall we also have a seventh day, perhaps a “Tim Russert in Retrospect”? All of this reminds me of the Iranian “hostage crisis,” with ABC’s Ted Koppel ending each of his evening broadcasts with the line about this being the 5th [or 6th, 10th, etc.] day that Americans were held hostage in Iran. When it became evident the hostages were to be held for months, Koppel was locked into the mantra. Had he stopped using this end-line, it would have shown disrespect for the hostages and, perhaps, a lack of patriotism. I wonder if this problem will arise at NBC. Can this network ever safely stop referring to the man without being accused of treating him with disrespect?
Perhaps the funniest line I saw expressed was from an MSNBC viewer who e-mailed: “Tim Russert made me love politics. I am so sad and so sorry.”11:14 pm on June 17, 2008 Email Butler Shaffer