On The Passing Of Tony Snow

Tony Snow, former Fox News anchor, radio talk show host, and press secretary to George W. Bush, has succumbed to the cancer that he has been battling for many years. He was 53 years old.

I have written about Snow extensively over the years, with little positive to say. But this is not the time to dwell on that. Snow leaves behind a wife and three small children, and this is surely a tremendous loss for them, as it is for his many friends, colleagues, and fellow travelers on the Right.

But it is also a loss for our nation and for the pursuit of truth. Snow was the consummate insider. He was there as a speech writer for George Bush Sr. He was there at the birth of Fox News. He has had unique exposure to the twin powers of government and media – an interdisciplinary complex that I believe is far more dangerous than the military-industrial one that Eisenhower warned us about.

When it comes time to wax autobiographical, press secretaries and journalists are often the source of astonishing revelations about the inner workings of their fields. If Scott McClellan’s recent book purports to tell us “What Happened,” just imagine what Snow might have revealed if he had the opportunity to express himself without the constraints of his professional service. Whether he ever would have done so completely and candidly, we will never know. But he has been rather blunt on occasion in the past. ThinkProgress had compiled some commentary by Snow prior to his appointment at the White House that refers to the president as “an embarrassment,” “impotent,” and more.

In his career, Snow has exhibited a reliably rightist tone to his pronouncements in both the public and private sectors. As press secretary, he stubbornly affirmed the lies and misrepresentations of the White House. But he has also ventured off the plantation to deliver unexpected truths about the people and places he’s observed. We need much more of the latter. That’s the sort of forthright expression that can be truly beneficial politically, historically, and culturally.

With Snow’s untimely passing we can only wonder what might have happened; what might have been.


13 thoughts on “On The Passing Of Tony Snow

  1. The beatification of Tony Snow is already taking place in the mainstream press. We don’t need that here.

    The truth is he was just another right-wing shill, a toadie to republican power. He used distortions, distractions, and outright lies in order to cover up the corruption of his superiors, and was paid handsomely for his efforts.

    His life was, at best, wasted.

    • Maybe he was a right-wing shill and a toadie to republican power, but he was also a husband and a father. Give his family a few days to grieve.

    • Partisans dancing upon fresh graves is not a pretty sight. Mark’s right. Let the family, friends, and fans get over the shock of his death. There’s plenty of time for criticism down the road.

  2. you people are fucking morons. Your ideological fascism precludes you from appreciating that there are others, I’m one by the way, don’t share your view. For me, that simply means we differ and debate but respect that we have differing points of view. For you, it means mortal combat whereby your nazi style attacks on anyone exhibiting a different ideology than your own is not just to be disagreed with but resoundingly beat on. You’re cowards in the worst way and lack the moral fortitude to come out from behind your anonymous blogs and face people like myself in person.

    • What on Earth are you talking about? I think you need a refill on your Prozac.

      I write a balanced and complimentary article about Snow and you go off ranting about Nazis and, apparently, challenging me to a fight behind the cafeteria at recess.


    • steve
      you are doing the same thing, only worse, that you accuse the left leaning folks of doing. people in glass houses …

      • Indeed. If he really wanted to promote respect for differing views, he probably shouldn’t have started off by calling me a “fucking moron.” Plus it doesn’t even seem like he read the piece.

        People like Steve are tunnel-vision impaired hypocrites.

    • “You’re cowards in the worst way and lack the moral fortitude to come out from behind your anonymous blogs and face people like myself in person.” – Steve

      What makes you so scary?

      The fact you can spell “fascism” is impressive. The fact you apparently can’t define it isn’t particularly.

      You rant against intolerance and complain of people suppressing free expression (i.e., fascism) while rudely practicing verbal bullying techniques including f-bombing and name-calling.

      Who’s really abusing the anonymity of the Internet, Steve?

    • Some guy who gives his name only as “Steve” wants to rant about the anonymity of bloggers and challenge them to face him in person?

      Which “Steve” are you? Which city? Which state? Which country? So far, it’s going to be pretty hard for our anonymous bloggers here to find you in order to face you.

      I should probably ask “which planet” while I’m at it.

  3. As I frequent reader of Ace of Spades I remember, distinctly, the outpouring of sympathy for the Kennedy Family when Ted was diagnosed with cancer. I just came here and to D-kos (more so over there, much to your credit) to see for myself that the same courtesy and humanity would not be shown to Mr Snow….Let’s face it these Men are fighters in a ring. But when the Bell rings, we all go back to being who we are. Not what we fought for.For those here that will express sympathy for the Snow family, God Bless you….We can always put the gloves on after the funeral.

    • I appreciate your desire for a compassionate waiting period, and I wholeheartedly agree. Politics will go on forever, although none of us will.

      However, I have seen just as much vitriol from the right as you claim to see from the left. At Redstate and Little Green Footballs I saw posts that would make your skin crawl when the news about Kennedy came out. Plus, for every inconsiderate commenter on DailyKos there are usually fifty others who excoriate and down-rate those heartless remarks.

      Let’s face it, they call human culture a rat race because way too many of us are rats.

  4. Thomas,if you were 1/4 the man that Tony Snow was you’d be fortunate. Your life is wasted with the hateful and vitriolic
    statements. There was a time in America when the war of words
    ended when a great man or woman passed away. Yet you can let
    go, my guess is in real life you’re a loser and a coward.

  5. Perhaps Jesse Helms needs a spokesman for whatever he’s doing now–probably trying to keep blacks and homosexuals out of heaven or hell. Snow was a decent, witty and courageous guy who obviously loved his family. But since he also served as Rush Limbaugh’s primary substitute for a time, and then overlooked his own negative views of the Bush administration to join that administration, I do wish he had put his obvious gifts to better use.

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