Christopher Hitchens quickly dispenses with those annoying remarks about “miracles” happening during the coverage of Tim Russert‘s death: John McCain and Barack Obama sitting next to each other, Bruce Springsteen playing a song in memory of Russert, and the freakin’ rainbow that appeared after the funeral.
… I think this media myth-making, however tongue-in-cheek some of it may be, helps our understanding of why people are theists. After all, just remember why we mourners of that day were gathered in the first place. One of our friends and colleagues had been struck stone dead by his coronary arteries, in the prime of life, at just the moment when he had been celebrating his son’s graduation. He had had everything to look forward to. For my part, I was distressed by all this, and sorry about it, which is why I donned a tie and went along to bow my head. But now I read that, because of room-temperature political politeness and the vagaries of the weather, I was supposed to have been grateful for the bereavement? What if it hadn’t been an election year? What if the network couldn’t have contacted a rock star? What if the sky had been merely sunny or had filled with lightning?
Then the media would’ve found something else to promote to super-symbolism.
As they always do.
Isn’t Russert’s legacy enough? Why try to supplement it with “miracles” that were really just a combination of coincidence and personal requests?