Bernie Goldberg (Bias, Some Other Shitty Book About Al Franken) writes about his fondest memory of Tim Russert…which is actually one of his fondest memories of himself that happens to involve Tim Russert.
No, what made Tim Russert different, and better, I think was his willingness to listen to — and take seriously — criticism about his own profession. He was willing, for example, to keep an open mind about a hot-button issue like media bias — an issue that so many of his colleagues dismiss as the delusions of right-wing media haters. (Trust me on this one, I worked at CBS News for 28 years and know Dan Rather personally.)
What I remember best about Tim Russert was how he regarded me; the way he noticed my deep, soulful eyes, my cleft chin, my firm-yet-unclenched buttocks. I was part of what made him a great man.
He had me on his CNBC interview show, and we talked about bias for a full hour. He had me on his show two other times. About five years ago, we turned the tables and I interviewed him for a book I was writing on the arrogance that I believe pervades too much of American journalism.
One time, I saw Russert at Quizno’s. I love Quizno’s. They make my favorite sandwiches. What struck me that day was that Russert ordered my favorite sandwich – my favorite sandwich! – and ate it, just like I did. That reaffirmed something I always knew about myself, that I eat the sandwiches of great men, adorned with the sauce of kings.
His many friends in journalism — the ones who spend their lives inside that comfortable, elitist bubble — would do well to take those words to heart. Facing up to their biases and making a conscious effort to get rid of what Tim called “preferred positions” on important social issues (for abortion and against guns, for example) would be a lasting tribute to Tim.
And all you turkey-eating cocksuckers better recognize – Tim Russert loved my fucking sandwich. Like a goddamn baby loves his ba-ba.
See James Wolcott for more.