Skip to comments.Remembering Tony Snow
Posted on 07/12/2012 4:30:04 PM PDT by Dacula
Tony Snow passed away four years ago today. he was a great man who inspired others to do great things.
Rest in Peace Tony, you are nor forgotten.
From the one year anniversary-
Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings
When you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change
Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23 Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomenleading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but resigned August 31. CT asked Snow what spiritual lessons he has been learning through the ordeal.
Blessings arrive in unexpected packagesin my case, cancer.
Those of us with potentially fatal diseasesand there are millions in America todayfind ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.
The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can’t someone else get sick? We can’t answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.
I don’t know why I have cancer, and I don’t much care. It is what it isa plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.
But despite thisbecause of itGod offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don’t know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.
Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.
To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into lifeand that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many nonbelieving heartsan intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to livefully, richly, exuberantlyno matter how their days may be numbered.
Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable easesmooth, even trails as far as the eye can seebut God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehensionand yet don’t. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
‘You Have Been Called’
Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet; a loved one holds your hand at the side. “It’s cancer,” the healer announces.
The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. “Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler.” But another voice whispers: “You have been called.” Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matterand has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our “normal time.”
There’s another kind of response, although usually short-livedan inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tinny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.
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. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.
There’s nothing wilder than a life of humble virtuefor it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.
Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.
We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about usthat we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God’s love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people’s worries and fears.
Learning How to Live
Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God’s arms not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.
I sat by my best friend’s bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was a humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. “I’m going to try to beat [this cancer],” he told me several months before he died. “But if I don’t, I’ll see you on the other side.”
His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn’t promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternityfilled with life and love we cannot comprehendand that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.
Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don’t matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?
When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.
It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us upto speak of us!
This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.
What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don’t know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable placein the hollow of God’s hand.
He was a great guy. We should keep him in our memory.
He is not forgotten, but remembered with a smile.
Wonderful human being. Bless his family in their loss.
A soft spoken yet staunch Conservative. Well loved except by the hate mongering left. Greatly missed.
Thanks for posting that; what a wonderful person he was.
A good man, and we’ve lost many these past couple of years.
He was an inspiration and a comfort.
Bah bah loved Tony. Hard to believe she has been gone for over a year too. ...A year on Mother’s day. Sure miss them both.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know her. We’ve lost so many good people.
Tony Snow was way too good of a person for this rotgut world.
I miss Tony too.
Remarks of Tony Snow ...
Upon Receiving Freedom of Speech Award From The Media Institute Friends & Benefactors Awards Banquet Washington, D.C. October 16, 2007
“Thank you for this award. I am not quite sure why I have received it, but Im not inclined to ask or complain. Instead, Ill express my gratitude by giving the First Amendment a good workout for the next few minutes. First, a confession: I love the news business. I spent 28 years in newspapers, television and radio, and no doubt will return in some fashion to all three. Few professions are as stimulating, unpredictable or fun. At its best, journalism serves as an unending graduate school - a place where one constantly must learn new things, meet new people, encounter everything from garden-variety evil to shimmering new advances on the intellectual and cultural scene, and stand on history’s sidelines, while someone pays you for the adventure. That’s a great deal by any standard. The First Amendment, as others have noted, serves as the foundation for the enterprise, and supports reporters in their quest for truth - or at least for serviceable facts that in time might lead them toward some reasonable facsimile of truth.
We also hear that the First Amendment is under siege. I think that’s true. I don’t believe anyone here would disagree with the proposition that the quality of public discourse isnt what it once was or that it presently achieves levels of excellence and depth that it desperately needs to reach. Yet, while it may be tempting to blame the usual suspects - the government, interest groups, angry factionalists - those forces frequently have always tried to restrict the free flow of ideas, and they always have failed. They’re not the culprits here. Instead, there’s a new and unexpected menace on the block: The media. Let me explain. American journalism finds itself in a highly unusual predicament. In the early days of this nation, the press was wild, untamed, and omnipresent. Papers sprouted everywhere, and not even Ben Franklin could resist the temptation to turn his printing presses into devices for spreading gossip, maligning political enemies, and entertaining readers with items ranging from the important to the grandly weird. Then came a period of consolidation and gentrification. Moguls controlled major media outlets and a handful of elite institutions - the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the three television networks - shaped and defined not merely what counted as news, but what counted as acceptable opinion. The press lost its Wild West flavor and became what Tom Wolfe described as: a Victorian gent.
Now, far be it from me to derogate the heat-seeking one-liner. Insults have a long and proud place in American politics. One of my favorites took place years ago, when drug testing was all the rage. A pretender to Fritz Hollingss seat demanded that the old boy take a drug test. This prompted Hollings to reply: I’ll take a drug test just as soon as my opponent takes an I.Q. test. That, my friends, is a wonderful insult. It’s also a lousy surrogate for analysis or information. In one of those horrid quandaries that now form the bane of editors existence, consumers claim to despise such stories. They’re lying, of course - as ratings and web hits demonstrate. People love juicy, titillating, humiliating, crass, gross and slimy tales - always have. Millions will stare slack-jawed at car ambling down the 5 in Los Angeles, or gobble up the latest about Brittney and her babies. Sensational stories are incredibly tough to avoid - but they shouldnt form the bulk of Washington reportage.
The third news-cycle pox: Polls. Polls provide a ripe source for conflict because pollsters regularly reduce complex questions to queries of mind-numbing simplicity: Do you want America out of the war? Would you like it if the government guaranteed health care? Should the government guarantee full employment? Should we spend more on education? Should we cut your taxes? The answer to each of the above is, Well, sure! But note that the questions are asked in a vacuum, as if the object of a respondents desire could be had for free, without consequences. Pollsters routinely ask if people would like something unobtainable - guaranteed employment, for example - and politicians take the wistful answers as holy writ. Someone opposed to a guaranteed employment scheme can expect to be accused of supporting joblessness or hating the poor, at which point the mud would fly on both sides - all because of a poll question based on an idiotic assumption. Dumb questions beget dumb debate. In short, media organizations have been seduced by process, conflict and polling stories, and along the way have sacrificed the tradition of looking for creative ways to understand and explain the world. They have become hostages to the easy and shallow stuff and strangers to stories that touch peoples hearts and characterize their actual lives. Indeed, journalists seem to have developed an elitist contempt for the daily concerns of viewers, listeners and readers - and the public has noticed. This explains the across-the-board slippage in newspaper circulation, and viewership of broadcast and cable news.
This brings me to the final dangerous factor - a cramped view of the First Amendment itself. News organizations gleefully embrace the First Amendments protection of a free press, but what about the two other freedoms - of religion and assembly? The three are linked indissolubly. To assail one is to weaken the other two. But the journalistic establishment doesn’t seem to appreciate this fact. Religion in this country - Christianity especially - has been redefined as a menace, rather than a bulwark of our social order. Schools no longer acknowledge Christmas, for instance, but they celebrate Kwanzaa. The onslaught against traditional religion is palpable and real. Despite this, religion flourishes - revealing a profound and growing disconnect between the journalistic establishment and the public, not to mention the political elites who have put many of the strictures in place. The press does a horrible job of discussing religion - reporters are less likely to attend worship service than the public generally, and are less likely to take a skeptical view of those who want to constrain religious expression. In some cases, one can almost hear a muffled cheer when a court or organization puts a muzzle on those who merely want to express their religious beliefs.
Similarly, we spend too little time defending the rights of people to assemble freely, including those determined to make perfect fools of themselves by expressing outrageous views. Campaign-finance reform is an abomination to the First Amendment. It limits the ability of citizens to express political views during political campaigns, thus taking the attack on free assembly into realm of electronic communications. The McCain-Feingold law has restricted the right of people to express themselves in the most basic public forum of all - the political town square. Predictably, campaign-finance reform did what it always does: It reduced the power of average citizens to affect political campaigns, and strengthened the hands of the wealthiest among us. McCain-Feingold destroyed political parties and educational and organizational institutions, drove out moderating voices, lifted the lid on spending - theres talk of a billiondollar presidential race next year - and seems only to have enhanced the standing of cranky billionaires.
I’ve raced through a lot of issues here, but you get the point: The media have embraced practices and policies that actually erode First Amendment freedoms and weaken the practice of journalism itself.
Now, I’ll conclude with good news and bad news. First, the bad: The public hates politics and the press. People don’t trust either institution, even though they sustain our system of free intellectual enterprise. Those of us involved in either profession - or in my case, both - shouldn’t complain. We need to ask how things reached this state, and how we can fix the problem. Now the good news: I don’t think any of the weaknesses I have cited are inherent or irreversible. I have spent nearly 30 years of my life in the business of journalism, and with luck, I’ll get 30 more. I love the business and the people who work in it. My experience as White House press secretary confirmed what I always have known: Reporters are curious, aggressive, eager to learn, and interested in ideas. They share many of the frustrations I have mentioned this evening. They want to range wider, dig deeper and explore more broadly than they can today. They hate censorship. They love what they do. They see it as a noble calling. They want to get better at their jobs, and they want to grind their competitors into dust. They know the public has become sick of vicious political discourse and the media who pass it on. They know the country teems with new kinds of stories, incredible innovations, novel ways of attacking the problems we all confront. But everyone needs to realize that the days of the old-fashioned newsroom are over. It’s a different world out there - wilder, more competitive, and much less predictable than even a decade ago. Rather than cursing innovation, journalists need to embrace it. They need to get out of their cubicles and plunge into the task that drew most of us into the business in the first place the challenge of engaging a chaotic world filled with willful fellow human beings; a world of joy and agony; of triumph and crushing failure; a world united by love and atomized by hatreds and aggression, The democratic media provide new tools for examining our world, new competitors for reporting about that world, and new reminders to the press establishment that markets really do work - and people want better than they’re getting.
I come not to bury journalism, but to celebrate and challenge it. It’s a cliche that every crisis presents an opportunity, but it’s true: The democratization of the media is a good thing. We now face competition from all quarters - including from people who have specialized expertise that journalists lack. We ought to welcome the new participants in the game and learn from them. They should do the same with us. Theres an old boast in the business - that the job of a journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The thing is, we never realized that we were becoming The Comfortable - with good pay, job security, and access to movers and shakers all around the world. We need to cast off our coziness, venture away from safe stories and presumptions and into the wilderness of new topics, new ideas and new sources of information. In that quest lies the possibility of fulfillment and joy - and the hope of keeping alive the text and the spirit of the First Amendment.”
I’ll never forget when Tony substituted for Rush in 1997 the day of the mass suicide in San Diego where the leader convinced many vulnerable people to drink the kool aid and be transported to the nearby Hale-Bop comet passing the earth.
Tony told the suicide leader to rest in hell.
At the time, I had just pulled into the beautiful Point Lobos state park, on the ocean; near Carmel, CA with my family. The contrast between the time we were enjoying and the meaningless death of these followers was stark.
Tony had the right words at the right time.
RIP Mr. Snow.
I was just thinking about Tony yesterday and did not realize it was four years ago today he went to his heavenly home.....
I was thinking how I miss him.....and I cannot imagine how much those who knew and loved him must miss him.....
Rest In Peace, Tony, and our prayers are with your loved ones.
Comparison: Tony Snow vs Jay Carney
THANK YOU.....I just found out last week that a shirt tail cousin is dying of brain tumors....has 12-15 months, he’s been told...in his 50’s....I think I will send this to his Mom....for the right time...can you tell me who is “CT?”
if Tony Snow was still with us today, i think he would be on Romneys short list.
To compare Tony with his Obama successors is comparing a diamond to very cheap cubic zirconia. A gentleman and role model to the end, fighting the good fight as long as he could. I know where he is but I pray for his family!
American Journalism and the Constitution (Tony Snow)
Imprimus | December 2001 | Tony Snow
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 5:09:00 AM by leadpenny
“All Americans have a deep interest in maintaining the Constitution. This might seem especially true of journalists, who owe their livelihoods to the founding document that frames our freedoms. Yet for some reason, American journalists in recent decades have assailed that document with startling vigor - and have seemed blissfully ignorant of their treachery. Fortunately, the Constitution itself supplies a cure for this malady...”
What a guy.
Miss you Tony.
R.I.P. Tony Snow
RIP Tony! Your spirit lives on.
RIP Mr. Snow
CT is Christianity Today:
I’m very sorry to hear about your cousin. I think his Mom may find some comfort in Tony’s words. I hope so.
respect and bump.
I was just now thinking about him.
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