I have to apologize in advance because blogging is going to be slow-going this week -- my life is nothing but boxes and newsprint this week -- but I wanted to get a couple short things in today.
I'm pretty sure the universe has had all it's had to say about Tim Russert's passing by now. And, yes, my instinct at times has been to bitch about the incessant coverage of a newsman's death as if he were a head of state or something. But this is what you get with a 24-hour news cycle, and honestly if it weren't for wall-to-wall Russert retrospectives, it'd be more of the same Hillary-as-VP speculation masquerading as news instead. If you think we'd have gotten any more or less coverage of the floods in Iowa had Russert not died, you're dreaming.
I watched a good bit of the Russert coverage, mostly because I love getting to see Tom Brokaw being stately again, but also because I'm every bit the homer for Buffalo that Russert was, and it was funny to see what a big part of his legacy that's become. I kind of thought that would end up being a footnote, but a good 30% of the discussion was about his Irish Catholic upbringing (not five blocks away from where I grew up) and his sincere and incessant boosting of his hometown. Any day I get to see my Grandpa in the background on a national TV broadcast is a good day for me.
I saw Tim Russert once at 30 Rock while I was getting lunch. The sandwich counter was super crowded that day, full of tourists, and I am really, really reluctant to approach celebrities in public, because who wants to be that guy? I kind of hoped I'd see him up by the elevator so I could say hello and drop a B-lo reference or two without coming off like a tourist, but I never did. After watching the coverage this weekend and all the stories about how he loved talking about his hometown and boosting people from his hometown, I really wished I had made a point to say hi to him that day. Not only would I have been happy to meet him, but I think he'd have been happy to meet me, a South Buffalo kid making a go in the big city.
Or maybe he'd have taken his pannini and run.