Stump the King: Tim Russert
I'd like to begin this week's offering by adding my thoughts on the untimely death of Tim Russert. I didn't know him personally, so anything I could say about the man would pale in comparison to all the nice things his friends and co-workers have already said.
What I will say is that the irony of Russert dying on Father's Day weekend so soon after writing his book, Big Russ and Me (which chronicled his life with his father as well as his son Luke), is so thick that twenty years from now, it will be hard to believe that it happened the way that it did.
As a guy who rarely watches the news and gets most of my information from The Daily Show, I appreciated Russert's informative and entertaining style of reporting.
What I want to focus on this week is the lameness of TV Guide. I have subscribed to TV Guide for years and throughout all of its changes, I have generally found it to be the best source for TV related news as well as TV listings. However, the one thing that has always bugged me about the magazine is how few of their writers have a sense of humor. While Matt Roush delivers brilliant opinions with a few witty comments, the bulk of their employees are so incredibly unfunny that I wonder how the editors can justify letting their staff fail so miserably.
Case in point is this week's TV Guide. In the Cheers and Jeers column (which I generally enjoy), Bruce Fretts gives Jon Stewart a well-earned Cheer for his interview with Scott McClellan on The Daily Show. He points out specific elements of the interview that made it particularly entertaining, but ends the item with the challenge, "Top that, Russert!"
Now clearly, there is no way that Mr. Fretts could have known that Tim Russert would pass away before this issue went on the newsstands but it helps to serve my point. Was the slim chance that someone would actually find his comment funny worth the risk?
Not to compare the two, but after 9/11, many TV shows and movies went unproduced because they were viewed as bad taste after what happened. This is not to say the projects were no longer funny -- they were just harder to watch and therefore less viable. A lame comment like "Top that, Russert" is already offensive to anyone with a sense of humor. The fact that it's inadvertently disrespectful just makes it that much worse.
Now for this week's question...
Tim Russert is the cousin of which fictional TV character?
Congratulations Jere! Megan Russert is correct.