Tim Russert : ‘Misspeaks’ Galore

The following story was written, with the intention of follow-up stories regarding Tim Russert. In all fairness to the very sad and very tragic passing of Mr. Russert on 13 June 2008, we ask readers to keep in mind that this article was critical of what we consider factual misspeaks that were repeated throughout the nomination process and not a critical review of his career or contributions, thereof.   We are deeply saddened by his passing. – 14 June 2008

– 4 May 2008, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, CA; by Binx101

As Though it Were

“… only asking the tough questions of the Bush administration when it wasn’t actually news worthy any more.”

Sunday mornings always used to include Meet the Press in our home, long before Russert came to town.  As a kid I started watching it when Lawrence Spivak* hosted it.  About a year ago, long into Russert’s tenure, we have opted to watch it occasionally but mostly not at all.  Today’s lure was Barack Obama.  We’ve watched sporadically in the recent past, but we’re likely to tune in when the show includes those that have distinguished themselves with public service.

MTP lost any value to my family when they lost their spine, their will to exist, their purpose.  We found that most indelibly represented when they began waving the flag and only asking the tough questions of the Bush administration when it wasn’t actually news worthy any more.  In fact, when everyone had caught their breath and worked out their story.

We believed that they were performing – theater, if you will, and we didn’t have the stomach to watch any longer.  We also sold some stocks that were advertising on the show after writing letters to the corporate giants that buoy the show with their institutional ads and not receiving a single reply.  It was the same experience we had with NBC News, so … we took our business elsewhere.  We actually go out of our way to not buy products that are featured on the show – sure – its absurd, but it makes us feel better.

* After publishing this story we learned that Lawrence Spivak passed away on 3 May 2008 – RIP

Russert and Many NBCers Makes Material Misstatements – Routinely

“… the continuous hum of inaccuracy and misleading statements …”

We will presumptively exonerate Rachel Maddow and David Shuster as a matter of principle. Today’s was the one though that gets us crazy.   He’s done it a number of times and some, not all, of his colleagues in the MSNBC cadre do the same thing.  He referred to Barack Obama as a candidate for President.

This is patently untrue.  It may be the wish of these alleged luminaries, but if any political science student made that statement in a paper – they would be looking at a failing grade.  Failing because it decries a greater misunderstanding of our system and its detail.  Something that Russert is allegedly an expert – or why else would he be Washington DC bureau chief.

Barack Obama is competing for the privilege of being the Democratic candidate.  He is not the candidate yet. Plain and simple.  Poly Sci 101. We feel very strongly that the continuous hum of inaccuracy and misleading statements, that sometimes are later edited or amplified, are an enormous disservice to the public good and if not for organizations such as Media Matters, we may never understand the rot in our electorate that these misstatements contribute.

We respectfully submit that as Americans we must demand something different of News Agencies as we do commentators.  This column is commentary.  Tim Russert is the Washington DC Bureau Chief for NBC News.  He should not be permitted ‘misspeaks’ without officially losing his authority to continue to make them.  While we aren’t suggesting a public whipping, we do highly recommend something that would protect the public, no less than a department of health warning on a eatery with one too many cockroaches.

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