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Bidding Goodbye to Tony Snow

Jul 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday re-aired part of an emotional interview co-anchor Robin Roberts conducted with Tony Snow as he was leaving his position as White House spokesman in September 2007, after his colon cancer recurred. At the time of the interview, Ms. Roberts was just about to begin her own chemotherapy against breast cancer.
Mr. Snow died Saturday in Washington at age 53.
The news of his death touched off a weekend-long wave of remembrances by his former colleagues at Fox News Channel, where he had been one of the founding commentators, from the White House, and from across partisan and TV news lines. Reporters remembered his 17-month tenure as the always witty spokesman for President George Bush’s administration.
Even Whoopi Goldberg, the leading liberal voice on ABC’s “The View,” remembered Mr. Snow at the top of Monday’s show as “a sweet man.”
Earlier in the morning on ABC, Ms. Roberts recalled the helpful advice Mr. Snow had given her as she faced her post-surgery treatments.
“Pamper yourself. I mean don’t try to grind through everything, but on the other hand, don’t hide from life either. I mean one thing that sort of kept me going through this chemo and the one before was that I worked full-time. If you can’t, don’t, but if you can, do,” Mr. Snow said. “I tell people if you’ve got cancer, don’t hide it. People want to love you. Let ‘em.” He teared up and paused. “You’ve got to let ‘em.”
“He was loved and he felt it,” Ms. Roberts said today to “GMA” co-anchor Chris Cuomo. “He brought me so much comfort that day, kind of being like a coach to me.”
Mr. Cuomo, the son of the great Democratic orator Mario Cuomo, had worked at Fox News before joining ABC News, He recalled Mr. Snow as a man who “was what he did. He did it because he believed in it. He was a great journalist, and when he moved on to the political side he was good. And most importantly, we all know, the most important thing was his wife and his kids, and that’s a legacy any man wants to leave. So while it’s sad, he lived life the right way.”
Mr. Snow’s career spanned more than three decades that included a role as a syndicated columnist.
He had written speeches for former President George H.W. Bush and been a deputy assistant for media affairs before becoming the founding host of “Fox News Sunday,” which launched in 1996, before it even had a studio.
After he left the White House in 2007, Mr. Snow was signed as a political contributor for CNN. Illness while he was on a speaking tour forced him to cancel his first appearance. A CNN spokeswoman said he made three on-air appearances and contributed via phone on several occasions, the last one when “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert died in June.
Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes called in to his cable network’s “Fox & Friends” show Saturday morning to recall a visit by Mr. Snow about six months ago. Mr. Ailes said that Mr. Snow has said then, “‘I need to get money together to make sure the family is OK in case this doesn’t turn around.’ He was always thinking of them and always figuring out how to prepare, just in case.”
In a statement over the weekend, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who has fashioned himself as the bete noire of the Bush administration, remembered Mr. Snow as “an optimistic, funny, and courageous man who could set aside his politics and inspire others to do the same. It might surprise many at all political points, but while we could not have disagreed more on policy, we were in frequent contact, even during his days as press secretary, even as I was criticizing his work and he was—in his own words—yelling at the screen as he watched. It was with great sadness that I heard of his death today, and with sincerity I extend my condolences and my staff’s to his family. In the best of us, there is a difference between the message and the messenger, and Tony Snow epitomized that.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Wallace, who succeeded Mr. Snow as moderator in 2003, presided over an hour devoted to Mr. Snow. ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz was among those remembering him fondly.
As President Bush returned from a weekend at Camp David, he told reporters: “He loved to laugh. He loved his country. And he loved his family.”
A report Monday on FoxNews.com said President Bush will attend a private funeral service Thursday at Catholic University in Washington.
Politico.com reported that administration sources say a memorial service for Mr. Snow is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Catholic University’s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
(Editor: Baumann. Corrects Ms. Roberts’ name in eighth paragraph.)

16 Comments

  1. Now that Tony Snow is dead Olbermann says something good about him. Olbermann ran a bunch of stuff making Tony look like an idiot. I’m sure millions saw it.
    As I think about this I can’t remember Tony ever saying anything against Olbermann. Not a word.
    Now that Tony is gone we hear all the nice things. Wait….even when we see the nice things we see no regret on Olbermann’s part.
    It’s awful how politics gets into a person’s heart and makes him say and do such unkind thngs against another person. Especially when the other person did nothing unkind to him.
    What a jerk!

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