Sunday, July 13, 2008

L.I.P. Tony Snow

Though I am not surprised, I am nevertheless disappointed with the coverage of the death of Tony Snow, former reporter, columnist, radio talk show host, TV anchor, and, most recently, press secretary for President Bush.

For those who don't know, on Saturday Snow, at just 53, finally lost his long and difficult bout with cancer. The coverage of his death has been all positive, from what I've seen, but every report/commentary has missed the central point of Snow's life: His faith in Christ. All these people come out to talk about how humble he was, or how good at his job, or how compassionate, one excruciating reporter called him "humane," and never has the word sounded so creepy. But none of them—not even the news story on, mentioned his Christian faith, even though it was Snow's faith that informed all of the good qualities people are praising him for.

This morning my pastor preached a sermon on Barnabus from Acts 11 (one of the first apostles). He highlighted Barnabus' self-effacing humility, a man who just wanted a job done and done the just and moral way, and didn't care if he got the credit or not. It reminded me of Snow, whom Vice President Cheney called the best press secretary he'd ever seen. I believe one of the reasons Snow was able to so effectively deal with the chaotic environment of the White House briefing room is he knew no matter how those vultures came after him, what they said or wrote about later, Snow's perspective on it all was clear: God was his No. 1 priority, and everything else came a distant second. Yes, he wanted to do his job to the best of his ability, but with his faith-centered perspective, I think it took some of the pressure off him. He didn't allow himself to get bogged down in the muck, because he was confident in his salvation and his moral standing before God. When you have that going for you, nothing else matters quite so much anymore. Contrast Snow's integrity to that sniveling weasel Scott McCellan. Enough said.

But don't take my word for it. The best eulogy I've read comes from Fred Barnes, not coincidentally a fellow Christian.

Or, even better, take Snow's actual words from this beautiful and frank piece he wrote last year.

Tony Snow is not resting in peace, he's Living in Peace in Heaven. I'm just sad to see him go so soon, for there aren't many like him.

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