June 16, 2008
Someone Had To Say It
Jonathan Schwarz over at This Modern World:
How Tim Russert Helped Plant the Seeds for Iraq WarHere's an "obscene" example of tears shed for Russert:
December 19, 1999: With Al Gore as guest, Tim Russert says on Meet the Press: “One year ago Saddam Hussein threw out all the inspectors who could find his chemical or nuclear capability.” Russert asks Gore what he’s going to do about this.
Soon afterward: Sam Husseini leaves a message on Russert’s answering machine, and speaks to two of his assistants, telling them the inspectors were withdrawn by the UN at the request of the United States.
January 2, 2000: With Madeleine Albright as guest, Tim Russert repeats the error on Meet the Press: “One year ago, the inspectors were told, ‘Get out,’ by Saddam Hussein.” Russert asks Albright what she’s going to do about this.
January 21, 2000: Sam Husseini writes a letter to Russert, again laying out the facts, and requests a correction.
January 22, 2000-March 19, 2003: Russert never corrects his error.
March 19, 2003-present: Hundreds of thousands of people die in Iraq War. Russert dies, not in Iraq War. Official Washington weeps copious tears for Russert and his Extraordinary Journalistic Standards.
It's surely no consolation to his family if we note that Russert dedicated himself to the pursuit of a noble cause: journalism, the free flow of information, the First Amendment, the need (more than ever) to hold politicians accountable for their words and actions. That, in fact, is more than a noble cause. It is patriotism. And his passing is sad proof that a patriot can sacrifice himself for the country he loves without dying in battle.I'll only accept this argument if I never have to hear someone question Barack Obama's patriotism ever again.