Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow, 1955-2006

Tony Snow is dead. I send my best wishes to his family and friends. I am neither, of course, and unlike most people I write obituaries about, I wasn't a fan, either.

Snow was the best of the four press secretaries Bush had. Ari Fleischer had whatever psychological disease Dick Cheney has. He actually enjoys lying. Scott McClellan was completely overmatched and it was pathetic watching him. Dana Perino should be on TV, attractive and stupid. Snow was a good looking guy and not an idiot.

The problem was that Tony Snow thought the job of press secretary was about Tony Snow. He still had the attitude of a TV star, which he was on Fox News Sunday. He was the first press secretary in history to travel the country campaigning for Republican candidates while he held the job that is supposed to be about letting the public know what the executive branch is doing and why they are doing it. I don't think his actions should be illegal in this matter. You would think that common decency would preclude a person from acting this way, but common decency is in short supply in Washington, and among Republicans it appears to be close to extinct.

Many published obits will mention what a swell guy he was. I honestly do not give two cents about that. I mention the swell guy stuff in obits when I think someone was actually competent and honest like Bill Walsh, or when I had some personal contact with someone, like local newsman Pete Wilson. It's icing on the cake. Tony Snow's cake was rancid, the continuous defense of the indefensible. If I have any human feeling for him at all, it's out of the the simple and selfish reason that a guy six months older than I am died from disease. Whatever I think of how he lived his life, it ended too soon.

Who knows? If he had lived longer, he might have repented. Stranger things have happened.


FranIAm said...

This is a good post- forgive my reference, but it actually is fair and balanced.

God rest the soul of Tony Snow.

When I heard this on the news earlier I had to pause. As someone who takes her faith seriously, I am compelled to reconcile, forgive and to certainly pray for the rest of the dead.

This is when it gets hard. I must lean into my personal distaste and discomfort.

I will have to let you know how it goes, right now I must say I am grateful for your words to help me along on that particular journey.

On a slightly related note, if it were possible to communicate with the departed, I forever speculate on what Lee Atwater might have to share with us.

You are right- stranger things have happened.

Jess Wundrun said...

Well said. I'm not sure why we are supposed to suddenly pretend that because someone is dead they were a great person. The morning news shows made me sick. On several they actually referred to him as a "journalist". If what he did was journalism at Fox then I'm Miss Universe. Tony Snow should posthumously be indicted for the cover-up of several conspiracies. Which I believe was in his job title.

Brady Bonk said...

Add to Snow's resume that he was Rush Limbaugh's favorite substitute host...I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

You're right about all Bush's press secretaries have been blatant liars. I don't think Tony fooled anybody when he said he was leaving the White House for more money. I think he got the word that his time was closing in and had to cut his work week, really spend time with family. But you wrap it up in this post Matty. I think you wrote this as fair as could be and I agree with the other 2 comments as well.

dguzman said...

God can go right ahead and rest Snow's soul (if he had one), but his earthly presence was pure rot. He enjoyed lying; his smugness made me physically ill.

Rocky, Angie & S'more said...

Great post!