At home I have a coffee mug. That mug has the image above emblazoned on it. If you’re fiercely anti-Luke, I suggest you get one for yourself and then fill it with some form of brown liquor before you read any further, because this is some mighty fine Luke Russert-inspired trolling right here.
Yes, for some reason — one probably rooted in the desire to troll — the New Republic thought it was a good idea to publish a “Why does everyone hate Luke Russert?” piece with a straight face. Otherwise one would have to assume that they’re completely oblivious to the fact that executives at NBC/MSNBC handed the Prince of Nepotism a job he’s clearly not qualified for — and one many would murder for — merely because he was once an inhabitant of the late Tim Russert’s ballsack.
“Swagger” is a word that comes up frequently in connection to Luke. Tall and broad both of shoulder and forehead, he dresses traditionally, “like an usher in a church at a boys’ school,” sniped one Hill reporter. (Russert said he gets his white shirts for $19.99 and boasts that he has “never paid for a monogram in my life.”) When he’s talking about Washington’s politics or the media business, his voice takes on a studied, deeper, news-anchor timbre. When he’s relaying an anecdote about reporting or Buffalo, he slips into a folksy drawl that can sound almost Southern. (“When there’s a dad who’s coming home from soccer practice, he’s listening to MSNBC on the radio, ah’m just trying to give him the story.”) Other times, when he is bantering, the drawn-out, laconicness becomes more surfer-bro. His favorite descriptors include “wild,” “interesting,” “absolutely extraordinary,” “very much so,” and, most often, “fascinating.”
Luke-hating is a bit of a Washington bloodsport. A young congressional staffer, upon hearing that I was writing a story about Luke, gleefully began forwarding me a series of emails from her coworkers poking fun at Russert’s most bro-ish tweets. (“God speed Lilly Pulitzer. How many relationships started bc a guy noticed a Lilly dress? Guessing thousands!,” he tweeted upon the occasion of the preppy icon’s death.) A thirty-something Capitol Hill reporter cloaked his distaste in the guise of concern for wasted potential. “Luke is quickly mastering the art of purveying conventional wisdom, and it’s a shame.” Fellow reporters related the meanest anecdotes they could think of—“but not for attribution, OK?”
I liked the New Republic a lot more back when Stephen Glass was fabricating pieces for them. As for Luke Russert, he can just, well, shut the f*ck up. Though he’d probably be a better Meet the Press host than David Gregory, which doesn’t say much for David Gregory.