Two political icons that cast considerable shadows led the headlines this week.
One for his desire to return to the lynchings of the slavery era - through literal castration, the other for his enormous generosity, sense of fair play, and kindness.
On Father's Day 2008, when Barack Obama claimed that any "fool" could have child he could have easily addressed those comments directly to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. When Obama also claimed it took a "man" to raise a child, he would have been hard pressed to find a more brilliant example than former press secretary Tony Snow.
One had to be summarily dismissed this week as a buffoon, the other will be genuinely missed from ideological friend and foe alike. One views himself as a permanent fixture on the political stage, the other shunned it and only stayed on it because he was asked to by the most powerful man on the planet, and even then said, "so-long" only a little more than a year later.
One loves himself more than his family - both legitimate and illegitimate. The other exuded love for his family at every opportunity.
Jackson believes in greivance, negativity, and victimhood. Snow was a shining example of optimism, decency, and charity.
And while it is easy to see these differences merely from their media personas, a series of events in 2004 permanently seared them in my mind forever.
My daily radio show had only been on in New York for roughly a year, but my city was buzzing with the activity of the GOP convention. On the Sunday afternoon kick-off I was invited to a stand-up comedy event that Snow emceed.
Held at the New School University, the crowd couldn't have been greater than maybe a hundred or so. The room it was hosted in was half-empty. It would have been easy for Snow to cash in his duties, but instead poured his highly enthusiastic energy into the late afternoon event and the few dozen in attendance were the benefactors. Tony had guested on my show only three times previous so I was honored when he recalled one of his appearances.
Later that week those of us broadcasting from the convention settled into our spots on radio row in the Madison Square Garden facilities. On the first day, I showed up to discover that Snow was my broadcast position's neighbor. Fox News Radio had only recently launched his daily show but as was the case, despite technical snafus and guest scheduling problems I noted that Tony smiled through it all. Later that week he made one last appearance on my show, and when we were done, he offered sincere congratulations on "making it to New York."
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