Tim Russert, R.I.P.
                            (To a Journalist Dying Youngish)*

                                                            When you helped us go to war
                                                 We knew you really knew the score,
                                                 And now that you are dead and gone,
                                                 Nothing tells us we were wrong.

                                                 Anyone with half a brain
                                                 Knew the case for war was lame,
                                                 But to our everlasting rage,
                                                 You put Dick Cheney on your stage.

                                                 And as he filled the air with lies,
                                                 You passed up all the good replies.
                                                 He said the time was very near
                                                 When atom bombs we'd have to fear.

                                                 He said Saddam should have to pay
                                                 For that bleak September day.
                                                 Dick could have said that white was black;
                                                 Give any reason for attack.

                                                 Aware of who had made you rich,
                                                 You just let him make his pitch.
                                                 And now the accolades come down
                                                 Upon your head just like a crown.

                                                 They come from those by whom we're ruled,
                                                 Who with your help have suckers fooled.
                                                 We knew those lines upon your face
                                                 Spoke not of strength but of disgrace.

                                                 You had your moment in the sun;
                                                 You leave the damage hardly done:
                                                 For us and for posterity,
                                                 A mainstream newsman's legacy.

                                                            David Martin

                                                          *With apologies to A.E. Housman.




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