Remember that ancient joke about old age and treachery beating youth and skill?
How about we reverse it: old age and skill beat youth and treachery every time. Take a look:
Can I have a standing ovation – right here, right now – for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi?
I'm sure Luke Russert still doesn't know what hit him. How could he? He was handed a prestigious job the year he finished college in 2008, without an iota of training and for no reason than his beloved father had pull at the network.
Aspiring television journalists with the poor judgment to be born into no-name families put in 10, 15, even 20 years covering school board meetings at small-town television stations and maybe a war zone or two before becoming network correspondents in New York and Washington, D.C.
If there had been any doubt that Luke Russert is (literally) not ready for prime time, his question to Ms. Pelosi proves he needs to be sent back to farm team for a few years – not for punishment, but to outgrow his counterfactual prejudice and gain some basic reporting skills.
To be fair, it probably isn't Russert's fault. Some older, grown-up executive who is paid lots of money at NBC made a terrible assumption: that a famous last name can substitute for experience even when the news beat is a difficult, complex political institution that can, sometimes, hold the fate of the world in its hands.
Even if he was thrust into a job he is unprepared for, you would think Russert would have learned something more about "diplomacy and interpersonal skills" in four years on Capitol Hill than he displayed yesterday. He deserves every word of Pelosi's elegant smackdown.
(Hat tip to Faith Olson and others for forwarding this video clip yesterday.)
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Renee Watkins: Journal 10.30.12