Bad Summer For Journalists

The valiant Tony Snow slipped away this morning. Here's the President's statement. And I like this little remembrance.
Character, patriotism and a zeal for the activity of one’s life are all traits that endear because they point to a kind of fundamental gratitude for one’s gifts in this world. Gratitude, it seems to me, may be the starting place of every well-lived life--particularly when it becomes clear that this life, however wonderful, may be cut shorter than expected. I heard Snow interviewed many times and asked about his cancer and in those exchanges I don’t recall anything that even came close to resembling a whine or a lament. He talked of life and of his great loves: America, his family, and his calling.
God first, I think we'd have to say based on his own comments (see for example his wonderful commencement address at CUA last year), but yes. Almost a year ago today he penned Cancer's Unexpected Blessings, from which:
The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution.
I love that line because down deep I think we all long to be freed of fearful caution, the besetting vice of the comfortable.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and perpetual light shine upon him, and may he rest in peace.

Update: Bill Kristol's tribute, and what I think was Snow's last public appearance, just last April. A few items. What's most wrong with the press isn't that it's Leftist.
I want to take a moment to talk about what is the most indefensible lapse of all. And we've seen several examples of it tonight. That is, the failure of the press to shake off maybe the greatest bit of laziness that you see often in journalism, it's what I call 'facile cynicism.'

It's the attitude that, when you look at American life, you look at it with a sense of boredom; you're surrounded by people who are mediocre; the politicians are boring; oh, you look at it with a yawn. There's a kind of an Olympian look down at the people that fails to acknowledge that even now, in a time when we are riven by disagreements about a war and when we are anxious about our economy, this is still the world's dream machine.

In spite of economic downturn:

the fact is that this economy, each and every year, below the surface is churning with creativity. The Dallas Fed a couple of years ago did a study, found out that, that in the year 2006, they estimated that new information going into the global economy was the equivalent of 37,000 Libraries of Congress, or 629 billion volumes.

We're sitting on a volcano. There's excitement out there. Your kids feel it. If you look at them, you watch them text messaging hundreds of times a day -- I don't know how they do it -- but you look at it, and you look at a younger generation that is entrepreneurial, and is enterprising, and is excited, and is filled with the joy of creation, and it is our job to liberate them.

On what everyone learned from Bill Buckley:

there is plenty of success to go around -- you make more of it, you don't try to hoard it.

And that turns out, finally, to be the insight of a free people. We're not dividing pie, we're growing more apples:

if you believe in freedom, you believe that each and every individual on this planet has been invested by God with an unbreakable dignity, and that dignity is something that you want to nurture and grow so you set them free to go ahead and explore their dreams within a regime of freedom. You say, we will try to protect you from fraud and all of these things, but we want you to be the creative engine.

And as a result, the United States of America is the one place where no matter how humble your birth, you still have the possibility to become an engine of destiny.

The other thing is, we're daring. We're brash. We don't want a planned world, we like a world that is full of surprise, full of excitement, full of the unexpected innovation, full of the invention nobody expected -- for me, cancer cure, come on, let's go guys. But the fact is that the rare combination of freedom, and decency, and commitment in the American heart and spirit has us look to do things that nobody else wants to do, to extend the boundaries of life and the blessings of liberty. Bin Laden may be trying to figure out other ways to blow up people, but we're trying to figure out new ways to make people appreciate the joy and blessings of life.

So the belief in freedom, let me say, nothing, nothing -- are you listening Barack Obama? -- nothing is more certain to produce hope and change.