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Breaking news: Tony Snow dead at 53

tonysnowwhhse.jpg

I gasped when I read this at the LA Times blog just moments ago:

After a long, candid and public battle with colon cancer, former White House press secretary and radio talk-show host Tony Snow died early this morning.

Immediate details were sketchy. But the news bulletin moved shortly after 7 a.m. Eastern time. Snow was 53.

He previously served as chief speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush and as a frequent host on the Fox News Channel on Fox News Sunday, Weekend Live and The O'Reilly Factor.

He also guest-hosted for Rush Limbaugh and had his own radio talk-show.

Last September after 17 months in the White House job Snow retired as President George W. Bush's third press secretary, saying with his cancer he needed to earn more for his family than the job's $168,000 salary. He was succeeded by Dana Perino.

Popular and inevitably cheerful, even during his draining chemotherapy treatments, Snow was well-liked among the White House press corps and with the smooth practice of a broadcaster seemed to genuinely enjoy the public sparring with media and explaining his boss's positions.

I was on a couple of blogger conference calls with Mr. Snow when he was press secretary for President Bush, and he was so nice and kind. I was thrilled when, upon getting the chance to ask him a question, he remarked how much he liked my posts and that he wanted to email me to tell me so but didn't know how to contact me. Naturally, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Tony Snow knew who I was.

This is such a shame. Why does it seem like only the good guys die young and not the evil ones like Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jung Il?


Update:
Of course, Fox News has a comprehensive piece on Tony Snow's life and career in radio, television, and finally, the White House.

Update II: Shannen Coffin at The Corner writes about Tony's days in the White House:

The day of Tony Snow's hiring at the White House was electric. To call him a "rock star" was an understatement. He brought substance to every meeting he was in and every subject he covered. He was unwaveringly conservative at the principals table, but like all good servants of the government and the president, when a decision was made, he fell in line and became an advocate for the president, not for Tony Snow. It isn't hard to conclude that he was one of the best presidential press secretaries of all time, if not the best.

Indeed.

Update III: Ed Morrissey has a personal memory on Tony:

This weekend will bring many personal tributes, but allow me just a minor example. At the 2004 Republican convention, when I had been blogging for less than a year, I was introduced to Tony almost accidentally. I was shocked when he knew my blog, and maybe even more shocked at how he treated me -- as a colleague, an equal in an arena where most of us bloggers felt like Cindarella among ten thousand stepsisters.

House Republican Leader John Boehner released a touching and respectful statement:

Churchill said, 'I like a man who grins when he fights' and that was Tony Snow. For 35 years, as a writer, broadcaster, and spokesman, he fought fiercely for what he believed in, and he did it with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. His loss is a loss for our country. His newspaper columns and television and radio shows illuminated issues with grace and humor and solid insight. He served twice in government, distinguishing himself as a speechwriter in President George H.W. Bush's White House and as a spokesman for the current President. Despite everything Tony did and achieved in life, he never forgot his hometown roots or those who grew up with him. He was a proud son of Cincinnati, and I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jill, and their three children.
Update IV: From Outside the Beltway:
His death, while hardly shocking given his health problems, is sad. Like so many media personalities, I had the sense that I "knew" Tony Snow after spending so many hours with him in my living room. He seemed like a decent guy and, certainly, 53 is far to young to die.

Update V: Fox News' Brit Hume did a video montage of Tony's career first in broadcasting and then to the White House:

Hat tip: Ed Morrissey


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Comments (29)

Very sad. I expect the Left... (Below threshold)

Very sad. I expect the Lefties to exhult, but I think Snow would laugh them off.

He'll be missed.

I am saddened. I pray for h... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am saddened. I pray for his young family that they have the strength to keep it together. Tony was definitely one of the good guys. ww

I so wanted this man to be ... (Below threshold)
Diane:

I so wanted this man to be President one day.

What a shame. He w... (Below threshold)

What a shame.

He was a bright articulate guy with so much heart and soul. Tony Snow will be missed.

I'll really miss him. Cond... (Below threshold)
philw1776:

I'll really miss him. Condolences to his family. And bad kharma to AP and others who insert snide political put downs in the news announcing his passing.

Very sad. Way too young to ... (Below threshold)
JAP:

Very sad. Way too young to leave us.

Kim, would You please remov... (Below threshold)
JAP:

Kim, would You please remove comment #7 from Herman?

Disgusting and sickening.

A great loss. Yes, Tony wa... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

A great loss. Yes, Tony was definitely one of the good guys. He treated everyone with respect and dignity. My heart goes out to his wife and children.

He will be missed.... (Below threshold)
tyree:

He will be missed.

I sure liked this guy a lot... (Below threshold)

I sure liked this guy a lot. I could care less about any political differences I had with his views, because he was a great host and journalist. I always enjoyed FOX News Sunday when he hosted it, although Chris Wallace is very good as well. This is so deeply sad.

Man what a loss for news me... (Below threshold)

Man what a loss for news media. I really liked and enjoyed his programs on Foxnews channel. God bless his family.

Tim B.

There will be people whose ... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

There will be people whose view will be other than mine but it is with much confidence that I say, "anyone who knew Tony Snow loved the person." When I say "knew", I mean that in the sense that we "know" those whose belief and character are revealed by the constancy of their public conduct and utterances. Tony Snow was a consistently intelligent, affable, and decent man who never stooped to the cheap shot, nor did he ever participate in the scurrilous type of exchange that has come to typify so much that we are exposed to in political discourse these days.

My deep respect and genuine affection for Mr. Snow have caused this news to hit me as if a family member were involved. American political dialogue has now, in short order, lost two of its most intelligent and considerate spokesmen, men who never had to stoop to denigrating those on the opposite side from their own views, but rather, in admirable fashion, exercised a quality of persuasion we would all do well to emulate.

My heartfelt condolences to Tony's family and friends. He is a man who will be missed by millions

I figured he really wasn't ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

I figured he really wasn't well went he retreated from the public eye. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Seems like the year of losi... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Seems like the year of losing good guys.
Mr.Snows family is in my prayers.

So very sad. I loved Tony ... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

So very sad. I loved Tony Snow. May he rest in peace. Prayers to his family.

I never liked Tony Snow on ... (Below threshold)
Jamie:

I never liked Tony Snow on a political level but I am very sad to see anyone die at a young age and leave behind a family. I hope to god that I am able to see my kids have kids of their own before I am taken. R.I.P Tony Snow and everyone else who has cancer or leaves their family behind.

I'll second Diane's comment... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

I'll second Diane's comment; Tony Snow would have been a great choice for president. I'm also certain that he was a fine father and husband. God bless you Tony. RIP.

My condolences go out to hi... (Below threshold)

My condolences go out to his family.

He will be missed.

Having dh checked for colon cancer ASAP.

On Fox News Sunday Tony cam... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

On Fox News Sunday Tony came across as your average wig stand (Ted Baxter's "brighter" brother). No harm, no foul. Notable mainly for his high-pitched vocal inflections and his physical resemblance to floor model wig stand.

Then he expanded to talk radio and became the epitome of Bush administration political cant. A veritable TASS News Agency shorn of any necessary nationalist red meat. Tony passed it through whole, Chimp via Chump: Open Borders ist Gut! Libby is a "persecuted" Great American. National debt is an illusion yet the WTO is a wonderful thing without which the earth could implode so let's talk about Democrat follies of the day, etc.

The high/low-light of the Tony Snow Show week was his Wednesday wheeling-in of former CREEP fellatrix and presently decaying gravyboat, Lucianne Goldberg. Her expertise being to croak, "Yes" and "That's right, Tony".
The laziest "insider" evah meets Tony the Tool! NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

Needless to say, Tony's latest and troubled time at the belly of the beast he served so long from outside was an ironic capstone for a courtier like himself. I'm sure it was illuminating in a sunlight-disinfecting way.
depp=true
notiz=stepping over the ine, will get you every time

And if you want a look at t... (Below threshold)
glenn:

And if you want a look at the real mindset of the Left in this country go to SFgate the website of the SF Chronicle and read the comments. Keep a barf bag handy.

Hard for me to agree with m... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Hard for me to agree with much of what the guy said, but even harder not to admire the way he went about doing his job. First with WFB Jr. and now Tony Snow, I have to say that Conservativism has lost two of its most entertaining and witty voices in the past year.

bryanD,(the D must stand fo... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

bryanD,(the D must stand for dip$hit)

you certainly demonstrate the quality of liberals, swine at every opportunity.

Not one person from Wizbang will ever show up at the home websites of any of you liberals to gloat at anyone's death, yet look at you, shallow, worthless, and oh so brave upon a computer screen, come to cast your swill at the commemoration of a beloved figure for many.

This I suppose is your method for demonstrating that natural grace and superiority of the liberal message. Do you think we understand the message yet?

Was very disheartening to h... (Below threshold)
Doc:

Was very disheartening to hear of Tony's passing. He often spoke of his family on his radio show and our hearts go out to them. He was a true artist in the way he sparred with reporters and got the most from his show's guests, all while being decent. A master.

As I thought of his career I remembered some of the tasteless and hateful comments on the KOS when he was originally diagnosed. It shouldn't surprise any of us that small people like BryanD show up spouting their tripe here. The saving grace maybe that somewhere in the deep recesses of their brains they know how petty and insignificant they really are compared to a Tony Snow.

"bryanD,(the D must stand f... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"bryanD,(the D must stand for dip$hit)" -mc

Nope. My D is a Middle English variant of the Gaelic for "black oak". A sept of Clan McDonald. Pissing folks off since 300AD. Picts, Gallo-Britons, Northumbrians, Mercians, Vikings not of Orkney or Man, Anglo-Danes, McLeods, Lancashiremen, Yorkshiremen, and half the McDonalds during during the Stuart regime. Eventually transported to James City County, Virginia by way of Ulster (Counties Antrim and Down where it ALL began, the Scots being originally from Ireland, circa 300 AD).

(I think "dipshit" is Old Saxon, maybe.)


Herman, as we have come to ... (Below threshold)

Herman, as we have come to know, the conclusions you occasionally stumble your way into or over are simply laughable.

Scott McClellan's conscience, wherever it is (look in his wallet for a clue) never got in his way as Bush's Press Secretary. If you're looking for a role model for ethics (that's real ethics, herman, not situational ethics) then look to Ron Ziegler. But don't lecture us on the day of Tony Snow's passing with anecdotes about opportunists like McClellan and juvenile word games about the deceased.

Why are liberals like Bryan... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Why are liberals like BryanD and Herman such miserable people?

Why let people like that ev... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Why let people like that even post? Wizbang loses lots of respect from people for giving human waste a forum to share their hate and agony.

It's quietly ironic, but I ... (Below threshold)

It's quietly ironic, but I was just wondering the other day when Tony would come back on the air.

I really, really liked Tony; in fact, he and his talk show (before he became PS) were a big influence in shaping my turnaround in becoming a Republican.

The guy was just sharp, witty, pointed and knew his stuff, flat out.

Man, this is real heartbreaker.

May all the peace of God be with Tony and his family.

I meant bryanD is a piece o... (Below threshold)
Yep:

I meant bryanD is a piece of sh*t.

Learn to write in ENGLISH, LOSER!
depp=true
notiz= Inappropiate, no love lost sockpuppet




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