Monday, June 23, 2008

Why did Tim Russert have a heart attack?


Our Generally Crappy Mainstream Media--It's funny, in Scott McClellan's "What Happened," he talks about how the Bush administration didn't--and we can assume still doesn't--trust the mainstream press. Well, neither does the public, Scotty. That's odd, but Scott writes a lot of contradictory things like that. Do I think he's lying? No, but he's obviously confused about what happened to him during his unfortunate association with George W. Bush and Co. (1999-2006). That's understandishable,and something to bloviate over.

Of all of the single news shows out there, Dick Cheney went to speak on Tim Russert's more than any other. He's mentioned three times in the index of "What Happened," while Michael Moore not only isn't listed, he doesn't get even a passing mention in the entire book. In fact, in the section where Bush first heard that the attacks of September 11th, 2001, we get no mention of "My Pet Goat," though McClellan does state that the president appeared stunned and in a trance. Fine. But this is a little puzzling, and if one looks to McClellan's past behavior, it's congruent with when he was press secretary and deputy press secretary: he's protecting George W. Bush.

So did Tim Russert, and the majority of the mass media we jokingly refer to as the "Fourth Estate," which we can assume means that it's always for sale to the highest bidder. Fortunately, the public is buying this property less-and-less. But Scott-Scott-Scott...he was sick on that Italian vacation, a place that's re-experiencing those heady-days when Il Duce was once popular and vendors could sell little images of him openly in the streets. It's Berlusconi time again, and they've found the Lupercale.

Tim apparently felt "sick," and we're now hearing that he had to put his father in an assisted living facility. I can empathize to an extent. However, unlike millions of Americans, he had the money to cover it--and handily--so we can discount this as a factor in his heart attack. If it was, he was a noodle, not a man, but that appears to be a foregone conclusion anyway. No, it was because he was fat, slovenly, and because the Plame investigation was being reopened. Russert had direct-involvement in the story (something I can relate to!), and had to be coerced by the courts to testify his crucial part of the story in the leaking of the identity of an active CIA officer by government officials within the White House.

This crime was committed to discredit government inspector Joe Wilson's contention that the story that Iraq was attempting to procure uranium-ore ("yellowcake") in Niger was patently false. This was in the immediate aftermath of the illegal invasion of Iraq, and threatened the very rationale for the war: WMDs. As we know, over 1,000 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles were found within the territory of Iraq shortly after our indefatigable troops watched the looting of the national treasures, along with tens-of-thousands of chemical and biological warheads.

Ironically, Wilson also happened to have been sent by the vice president's office to learn if the story was true, and also happened to be the husband of the "outed" CIA officer, but that wasn't a coincidence. That was the crime after the crime, after several-hundred other related crimes. The vice president's office was running the "discredit Joe Wilson" show, and Cheney's chief of staff (not his janitor) I. "Scooter" Libby was involved in the leaks. What's was Bush's nickname for Russert? McClellan's? He won't say, so it must be scatological...

To-the-point: it seems possible that fear of prosecution--at-minimum, a subpoenaing again--and the obvious threat to his career with the reopening of the Plame investigation by the House Judiciary Committee contributed to the death of Tim Russert. The story of his father doesn't wash. The average American would endure more stress over the medical costs than someone as well-heeled as Russert.

He was hardly suffering financially if he was vacationing with his family in Italy. Certainly, the heat of the Mediterranean could have contributed to his heart condition, and of course, too much eating. Autopsy, anyone? Why not? The press seems hard-pressed to bury the man, so what gives? Of all the allies of this administration outside of the GOP, the mainstream press has the most accommodating and loyal. They still are. Here rests the reasons for the never-ending tributes, and the spirit of sincere journalism--six feet under.