Have you ever played a sport marred with bad officiating? The referee, umpire, line judge—pick your sport—constantly botches calls.
Then recognizing he has missed a penalty, the official starts blowing his whistle at the slightest hint of contact. These are makeup calls. The official is overcompensating—making up—for the calls he missed earlier in the game.
Makeup calls ruin a contest.
The media are bad officials who rely heavily upon makeup calls. Just look at poor Tony Snow. His death made headlines. He was, after all, White House Press Secretary. Many media and PR pros insist he was even one of the best.
But his death couldn’t rival that of Tim Russert, who, I think was sainted—or was it martyred? I can’t remember. The media did this hilarious thing with Russert coverage. They broke it as if it were news the moon had exploded.
A couple days later the backlash arrived. And the press were backlashing themselves. Too much Russert coverage, they screamed. As if they never give meaningless events—at least in terms of the world—too much coverage.
And Tony Snow is the victim. He was a makeup call, an easy one too. Coverage of his life and death would be respectful, but pundits and columnists wouldn’t spend too much time on it. They don’t want the Russert rap again, plus Snow was just a shill for Bush, right? And Bush is so 2003 anyway.
If only Snow had some connection to Obama—or that new Batman movie.
Poor, poor Tony Snow, I don’t even think I remember who he is anymore. Isn’t he that motivational speaker with the big smile? That guy died? Man, I loved that guy.