All I know about Tony Snow, I know from watching and hearing various radio and television programs, interviews and press conferences. While he was very fair and very well informed while working on Fox News Sunday, he really seemed to come into his own after taking the job as White House Press Secretary.
During this administration, more so than others, I feel as though the press secretaries must look at that room as a pack of hungry wolves. Think about it. Every time you see or hear the tell-tale signs of Bush Derangement Syndrome–whether it be at a dinner party, on the news, in the supermarket or on the back of a Toyota Prius–the hair-raising venom and vitriol masked by a thin facade of superficial chipper-ness can be directly traced back to the press room in the White House. In fact, in terms of the epidemic which is Bush Derangement Syndrome, Helen Thomas could actually be patient zero, the Gaetan Dugas of media-driven American liberalism.
Tony Snow faced that conflagration of agenda-driven bias and shallow hatred every day, and he did it with a smile on his face. His press conferences were a joy to watch, and it was amazing to see him hold his own against volley after volley from the often hostile crowd. Even now, many of those people who hang on every word from the mouths of David Gregory or Helen Thomas and frequent the liberal blogs which these reporters and others use to set their agendas are saying vile things about Tony Snow. To do what he did on a regular basis, endure what he endured in both his professional and private life, and still come out smiling at the end of the day takes one heck of a heart.
A few days ago, I wrote about the bitterness I see in many people who caucus with the political left. Tony Snow seemed to be diametrically opposed to such people, facing down death and ignorance on a daily basis, smiling throughout, and bringing joy to friends and strangers in the process. Even though I didn’t know him, he brought a smile to my face, and his passing leaves me shaking my head.
Why is it that the good ones always seem to leave us first?