Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow passes away

What a shame it is for Tony Snow to die. He was one of the most upbeat guys in politics, and was truly a terrific guy.

I first became a fan of Tony's when he was a columnist for Detroit News, long before FoxNews started. I really liked his perspective in his columns.

In the early 1990's, as the internet was just getting going, I signed up for a AOL account, and started exploring the wonders of the AOL world. I liked to frequent a chat room, called "ACLU" which had a lot of robust political debate. Who did I see there? Screen name TonySnow.

So I emailed him at, asked it it was THE Tony Snow, and he admitted it was. We traded a few emails over the next couple years.

One day, shortly after FoxNews started, I was in Wash DC, and thought "what the heck, wouldn't it be cool to meet Tony?" I called up Fox, got his voice mail and explained that there wasn't any particular reason he should have lunch with me, but I was in town and it would be nice to meet him. He called back right away, couldn't have lunch because he was out of town.

That is the kind of guy Tony Snow was. There was never a pretentious bone in the guy's body.

I next met him when his radio show was on KXL, and he came to town to do one of our "TalkFest" events. He was the headliner, Lars was the warm up act. But the festivities were kicked off by my then 15 year old daughter Jessica, who sang the National Anthem as I stood backstage with Tony.

As she finished singing the song, on stage at the Rose Garden, double jumbo screens on either side of the stage showing her, Tony looked at me, kind of as a dad would who fully understood what another dad might be feeling at that moment, and just kind of nodded. He reached over an patted my back, said: "good job."

I think what made Tony so human is that he was so much more than a colunmist, a FoxNews pundit, a syndicated talk show host, a presidential spokesperson.

He was a father.

THAT was what was most important to him, and it came through in moments like the one I shared with him.

Tony Snow, I will miss you. I can't pretend I was a close friend - really just a person whose orbit occassionally crossed his. But I will miss his sunny dispostion, his upbeat views even in the face of personal strife and illness, and his ability to communicate with people because at core, he was just another dad, in love with his daughter and trying to raise his kids the best he could.


Anonymous said...

Wow that is a touching story about Tony. Is it possible that he really was as nice a guy as he seemed?

You had personal experiences with they guy that sure seem to say so.

Wendy said...

I too am devastated at the news of Tony's passing. It's been very hard for me to deal with his death, but this morning it hit me... what an incredible life he had! He really did live life to it's fullest, made a wonderful contribution, had scads of friends and was addored and respected by millions. I'll soooo miss his voice on radio and his charming smile on television and my prayers are with his family, especially his wife and children. Tears.

MAX Redline said...

I think Tony left a bit of a hole in the life of every person he touched. Even his philosophical opponents had nothing but good to say about the man.

Few can be genuinely liked and admired by so many with such disparate points of view.

Your meetup simply reinforces what many of us have long suspected about him: underlying the good looks and the sharp intellect was a decent, loving, and optimistic human being.

Thanks for the insight.

Anonymous said...

As a young man with a BS in communications, Tony was one of my role models in the world of journalism. I never met the man, but will miss what he stood for, in the dark days of journalism, he was a rarity among men.

Ken said...

I think the thing that I admire most about Tony was his attitude toward life -- he knew he was dying and leaving behind a wife and three kids, but he never complained (at least in public) and was perpetually optimistic. As Bill Kristol wrote in the New York Times:

Tony was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet — kind, helpful and cheerful. But underlying these seemingly natural qualities was a kind of choice: the choice of gratitude. Tony thought we should be grateful for what life has given us, not bitter or anxious about what it hasn’t.

I want to be more like Tony Snow.