Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister has a good reflection at National Catholic Reporter on the untimely passing of NBC's Tim Russert.

One passage:

His kind is rare on U.S. television. We have other such journalists, of course, but we are more inclined to consign them to public radio and television rather than to make thinking the coin of the realm. To the mass of the public, television throws snippets of answers, bits of trivia, or 30 second snatches of ideas rather than serious conversation. For most audiences, the news media write sensational headlines or they dally in gossip.

Russert took on the significant issues of the day. He pursued them relentlessly. He refused either to talk down to the public or to talk over our heads. He enabled people to see the significance of what could seem like remote issues to their own lives.

Tim Russert was trying instead to make citizens out of voters, thinkers out of listeners. He was trying to form a real democracy rather than simply throw pottage at herds of politicized sheep.

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