Today NBC News Congressional Correspondent Luke Russert wins the prize for how to bring a national story down to really where it ought to be: to himself. No one can fault the network for running a story about how Luke bonded with VP hopeful Paul Ryan. It’s a somewhat intriguing media insider story that will likely draw eyeballs to the site.
But it all feels just a little too zoom lensed on the self, and a tad bit incestuous in terms of lawmaker-reporter relations. Why not just have the memory? Or, write a memoir. Are we going to be subjected to the equivalent of a pissing contest amongst reporters on who is closest with Ryan?
The headline in big bold red: “Luke Russert: Like me, Paul Ryan is driven by personal loss.” The gist…Both lost their fathers to heart issues. Ryan, in a fatherly or older brother sort of way, advised Luke to work up a sweat at least five days a week. They joked about the crappy aftertaste of fish oil.
“He came back in the room and asked me, ‘How old was your dad when he passed from heart disease?” I told him, ’58.’ He said, ‘Mine was 55. My grandfather and great-grandfather both died from heart issues in their 50s, too.'”
“I believe Ryan keeps himself so physically fit in order to downplay the anxious feeling all children of heart disease victims have — the dreadful thought you could be next. I can attest that this feeling spurs you to accomplish as much as possible because the idea that you’re on earth for a limited time is imprinted in your mind daily.”
Read the full story here.