Dr. Michael DeBakey Dies
But who does George W. Bush publicly mourn?
There's a helluva lot of difference between the lives and careers of legendary cardiologist Dr. Michael DeBakey, who died in Houston last night, and former Fox flak and White House spokesman Tony Snow. DeBakey devoted much of his nearly century-long life helping to improve not just the quality of peoples' health (including operating on my late aunt Annie Fox back in 1974) but also singlehandedly raising cardiology from the Dark Ages (DeBakey once said that back in the 30's, if a patient came in with a heart attack, it was up to God). He championed a program during the Truman administration that would later become the national VA health care system. He invented artificial hearts and machines and pioneered procedures that improved the lives of countless people. In other words, to put it simply, he made the world a better place than he'd found it.
Tony Snow spent his considerably shorter life championing conservative causes, which essentially amounted to spreading propaganda, substituting actual truth and information for personality and theatrics. The one moment I'll never forget was two years ago during Snow's tenure as WH Press Secretary. It was during Israel's own terrorist actions against Lebanon and Helen Thomas asked him a question and Snow had responded, "Thank you for the Hezbollah view."
It ought to be noted that Thomas, as Dr. DeBakey, is of Lebanese descent. Hezbollah being a Lebanese terrorist organization, we can only infer that Snow's insult of Helen Thomas was not a mere snide remark from a conservative to a reporter seeking the truth but a bigoted statement referencing the latter's national heritage and implying that Thomas was a spokesperson for a terrorist organization. Oh, the irony.
Dr. Michael DeBakey spent nearly a century chipping away the mysteries of the human body in a ceaseless quest to improve the quality of human life the world over.
Tony Snow spent a mercifully briefer time covering up truth and lying for war criminals then gave up what he considered a fun job insulting legendary reporters like Helen Thomas not to safeguard his own health but to make more money. We're not hearing about what a thoroughly despicable human being Snow was but, rather, hearing accolades from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main St. about his "candor" and how he loved to playfully spar with reporters.
But someone needs to be fair and balanced in the eulogy of Tar Baby Tony.