Remembering Russert: Huffington/Kos Reaction

By SteveK 

The New York Daily News posed the question yesterday why it took Arianna Huffington so long to respond regarding the death of Tim Russert on her site, The Huffington Post.

When she did write something on Sunday, the NYDN called it, “detached wistfulness,” that, “didn’t even amount to faint praise.”

Gawker has more on the backstory, but The Huffington Post has consistently been critical of Russert, starting a “Russert Watch” section on the site in 2005, to monitor Russert’s work on Meet the Press. Originally written by Huffington herself, it morphed into a critique of Russert’s perceived softball questioning of certain guests.

Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar, and former Russert Watch writer, wrote in her tribute to Russert, “It was my job to hold Russert’s feet to the fire if he didn’t do the same to his guests, but man oh man did I have to work hard to get there.” (She later recalls Russert had, “really grown on me.”)

In Huffington’s recent book, she writes, Russert was, “one of the temple guards of conventional wisdom,” and, “journalism’s answer to the EZ Pass.”

Another site, The Daily Kos, dealt with some members writing anti-Russert posts and comments as early as Friday that had to be deleted by the site (within the last 48 hours). They got so bad, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann took to the comments section to write, “This doesn’t embarrass you?” and “May whoever or whatever you believe in, forgive you your incredible bad taste.”