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To a Journalist Dying Youngish

(Tim Russert, R.I.P.)*

We originally posted this poem parody with the title and subtitle reversed in 2008 in the wake of Russert’s death from a heart attack at the age of 58. We are reposting it now as a reminder of the war-promotion role that our major news media have played in the past and are continuing to play now.

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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