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Open Thread: Tim Russert's Death and the Media

Today on the show, we talked to Slate's Jack Shafer about the coverage of Tim Russert's death. Shafer criticized the media response in a recent Slate piece, "The Canonization of Saint Russert."

"I wonder whether the media grievers gave a moment of thought to how this Russert torrent they produced played with viewers and readers. Did the grievers really think Russert was so important, so vital to the nation's course, and such an elevated human being that he deserved hour upon hour of tribute? I wonder whether any of the responsible journalists paused to think, Hey, this is really weird. We're using our unchecked editorial power to soak the nation with our tears about our friend, and that's unseemly! On days like this, I, too, hate the press."

UPDATE: NBC News President Steve Capus talks to TVNewser about the criticism of NBC's coverage.

"I think it's been appropriate, balanced, loving. With all due respect, nobody can expect NBC to be objective. Tim had a remarkable, unique place in America. I can't think of anyone in our industry who would generate those type of intense feelings."