BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Boston murder kills a dream

8/3/09: Barnicle juxtaposes killings in Dorchester and Lawrence over the weekend, focusing on the the sad, personal story of a hard working immigrant who was murdered while delivering Chinese food and living the American dream.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Media coverage of those who sacrifice for our cou...

7/27/09: Barnicle tells the story of Marine Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, a local 21-year-old man who died recently in Afghanistan, and the minimal newspaper coverage of his and other soldiers’ deaths.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Tom Watson still a winner

7/20/09: Barnicle pays homage to 59-year-old Tom Watson’s recent run at the British Open.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Michael Jackson funeral coverage over the top

7/8/09: Mike laments the over-the-top coverage of the Michael Jackson funeral service the day prior, citing the foolish and the fringes dominates the news.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Remembering Michael Jackson

6/29/09: Barnicle remembers Michael Jackson and his place in history.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Barnicle remembers shooting stars

6/26/09: Barnicle remembers Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

From WGRZ-TV Buffalo

Tim Russert’s Best Friend Remembers Him


Tim Russert.jpeg

Mike Barnicle was Tim Russert’s best friend.

“I miss him everyday, I miss him everyday,” says Barnicle.

“I miss his companionship, I miss his sense of humor,” he adds.

They were two Irish Catholic guys from blue collar families, one from Buffalo, the other from Boston.

Tim was Godfather to one of Mike’s sons.

Scott Brown: “If you had three or four words to describe him, what would they be?”

Barnicle: “Generous, loyal, honorable and loving.”

The two men shared a love of family, and sports, and politics.

“He knew what it was to lead a real life, largely because of his upbringing in Buffalo and largely because he was unchanged as he progressed through his life.” said Barnicle.

“From working for Senator Moynihan and Governor Cuomo of New York, to becoming arguably the most important media figure in the country on Meet the Press, he never changed, he was always just a real guy.”

Scott Brown: “Did he talk about South Buffalo and the real people and the steelworkers and the guys he grew up with?”

Barnicle: “Nearly everything that Tim brought to the table was always about South Buffalo, always about where he grew up, always about the Catholic church, the parochial school, the nuns who taught him, his father’s friends, the VFW post, the Legion Post, his dad’s experience in World War II.

“Everything, everyday within there was South Buffalo, he could be living in Washington, D.C. he could be in Paris with the president, he could be with the Pope in Rome and he always brought South Buffalo to the table, that was part of his magic.”

Brown: “How often did his love of Buffalo and the Bills and the Sabres and everything else come up in conversation?”

Barnicle: “You could get Tim in an instant bad mood with two words: ‘wide right’. You’d be talking about Scott Norwood missing that field goal in the Super Bowl. Two words, wide right he would go into a funk, for years he would go into a funk after that event.”

Brown: “Can you tell us how Luke and his wife Maureen are doing these days?”

Barnicle: “I think they’re doing as well as can be expected. And yet lingering over the two of them obviously is the fact that Tim is gone and they can still, I’m sure as I can, as many people out there can, still hear his voice. He still has a resonance in their lives, he always will. So it’s a burden they carry, the loss of a husband and a father, but they’re doing pretty well.”

Tim’s death a year ago was the ultimate of ironies.

The man who considered himself the luckiest guy in the world died on Friday, the 13th.

The guy who wrote a best seller about his father died on the eve of Father’s Day weekend.

Brown: “What is this Father’s Day going to be like without him?”

Barnicle: “It’s going to be a very difficult day, Father’s Day. But I think every day is a difficult day for anyone who has lost a loved one, it’s particularly tough for Luke and Maureen because they suffered such a public loss, but every day has been difficult Scott.”

Brown: “What’s a great Tim Russert story that encapsulates who he was and what kind of fun he had?”

Barnicle: “Tim loved to come to Fenway Park and sit with me and by the third inning he would have mustard all over his golf shirt and people coming up to him asking for autographs. A fellow comes up to him, this is several years ago, and asks him for an autograph, Tim takes the pen and signs and thanks the fellow very much and the guy says ‘I want to thank you very much for the ketchup too’ because Tim had slobbered ketchup all over the autograph paper (laughs).”

Brown: “It seemed like he squeezed every bit of joy and fun and excitement out of those 58 years?”

Barnicle: “Yeah he did, he sure did. He had more fun in his life than most people have in two or three lifetimes. And he had fun everyday and the best part of the fun that Tim had was whether it was at work, whether it was on Nantucket, whether it was in Buffalo at a Bills game, he didn’t have to work at having fun, because having fun came naturally to Timmy.”

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: A local student’s death is a reminder not t...

5/15/09: Barnicle talks about the fragility of life after a local college student is killed in a car accident.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.


I am thankful for all the thousands of people who took the time to write an e-mail telling me how the death of Tim Russert touched their lives and I am grateful that we have a President-elect who has met a noun, a verb and an object and can use them all in a complete sentence.


11/10/08: Veterans Day and how these days people just treat it as another day.

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Nation Still at War

8/18/08: A tragic story from this past week of two service men from Cape Cod killed in Iraq and Afghanistan

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Story about the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl...

8/11/08: Story about the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl over the weekend

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: The High Cost of Gasoline

7/21/08: The high cost of gas prices … and why

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“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.

MIKE BARNICE ON MORNING JOE: Barnicle’s bad weekend

Mike Barnicle had a bad weekend. After a week of sadness and mourning over the loss of his dear friend Tim Russert, Barnicle accidentally ran over his family’s dog.

Watch the Morning Joe segment, via Huffington Post.


Mike Barnicle joins friends and colleagues of Tim Russert in remembering and celebrating his life and spirit.



Read the transcript of Mike Barnicle’s speech:

MIKE BARNACLE, JOURNALIST: I’m Mike Barnacle. I’m the head of Luke

Russert’s security detail. And I’m here today for Eaton, Tierney and

Quilty (ph). And to all the Episcopalians in the audience, Al, don’t

get worried. It’s not a heating and plumbing outfit.

They, Dennis Quilty, Bob and Doc Tierney, along with Judge Dick Eaton

and so many more are only a few of the many friends who knew and loved

Tim across all the years, apart from politics and outside the media.

Knew him through christenings and ballgames, weddings and wakes.

Laugh-out-loud funny e-mails, phone conversations, sometimes about

nothing. And they are here today, sitting silently like you, carrying

a cargo of grief.

We know Timmy at 12 and 13 from sister Lucille. The parochial school

lad with fine power method penmanship. And a mischief in his eye.

Laying out his clothes on Saturday night for children’s mass on Sunday

at 8 a.m.

We know him as the young man, shaped by the twin poets of Empire state

politics, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo. And we

know him as someone who can give ill advice to Al Hunt saying, “Dress

well,” as well.

Taking that-taking that advice from Tim.

I mean, I’m not one to speak but-from Betsy we know him in his glory

at NBC and “MEET THE PRESS.” With the MRI machine that is television

today, provided millions of Americans with a soul-deep scan of a man

they grew to love and admire for his authenticity and credibility.

And we know him now and always as the friend, the husband, the father,

the son, the brother. The mentor to so many. A guy who was uniquely

without envy. Tim enjoyed your success, took pride in your

accomplishments. But we know that, don’t we?

So let me tell you about Tim in the summers of his life. His favorite

season, I think, even more perhaps than the political parade of fall.

When I shut my eyes, I see him at dusk on the grand porch of the

Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He

has a Rolling Rock in one hand and a newspaper in the other, and Luke

has at least $1,000 worth of hats, representing every major and minor

league team in existence.

I see him and Maureen taking Luke to summer hockey camp in Boston.

Maureen, baffled at the idea of ice skating in August. Tim, a Rolling

Rock in one hand and a newspaper in the other, looking at Luke and

seeing Wayne Gretzky.

I see him on a fishing boat in Nantucket, the great fly caster from

Holy Family Parish, Tom, in South Buffalo. A man who would need hand

grenades to get fish out of the ocean.

I see him in Connecticut with Maureen, the love of his life, running

Luke’s third birthday party the way he ran the Washington bureau.

Efficiently, kindly, generously, listening to everyone, with a Rolling

Rock in one hand and helium balloons in the other.

I see him at baseball all-star games in Denver and Philadelphia and

Boston with his boy and my boys, and I see him wearing his constant

summer uniform: the T-shirt or double X golf shirt. The ones with the

ketchup and mustard stains all over them. The pants, drooping from

the BlackBerry and the cell phone coupled to his belt, a Diet Coke in

one hand. He was doing “MEET THE PRESS” by now. And a couple of

hotdogs in the other.

And always wearing the huge smile that invited complete strangers to

approach him, as if they all grew up together in the same parish. And

in a very real sense, they did. Tim and his nation of admirers who

recognize authenticity and found him contagious and without guile.

I see him crying after helping Luke move into a freshman dorm at

Boston College.

I see him grabbing my son Timmy on a memorable night-I’m sorry,

governor-in October, 2004 when the Red Sox came all the way back to

beat the Yankees in their own house, Yankee Stadium, winning the

American League pennant. Big Tim and little Tim, both excited beyond

belief. Big Tim and little Tim, both acting their age: 12.

I see him in the summer of 1991 when the Barnacles and the Russerts

decided to visit the Brokaws in Montana. Tim is from a cement

sidewalk, as am I. Two guys who never mowed a lawn, never rode a

horse, and rarely saw a river without a paper mill or a steel plant

built at its edge.

In Montana, Lewis and Clark had an easier time navigating than we did.

Two families, two cars. Chevy Chase and John Candy on vacation.

Tim had a great idea. Get the kids walky-talkies so they can

communicate car to car. Luke was 6. He rode with Tim and Maureen.

Our two boys, 6 and 7, drove with us.

Tim’s other big idea occurred about five mile outside Jackson Hole,

Wyoming, on the way to Livingston. We would race to see who could be

first to get to the Brokaws.

Well, we sped along this flat ribbon of road for miles. Neither of us

had ever seen anything like it. Just flat as a ribbon. No traffic,

none at all. Cloudless blue sky. And we must have gone for 15, 20

miles, at about 80 or 90 miles per hour, until we noticed the blue

light in the rearview mirror.

We pulled over. Montana state trooper gets out, comes up to the cars,

takes our licenses and registrations. By now, the kids had retrieved

the walky-talkies from us, because Tim and I were using them more than

they were, and they were talking real loud and real fast, and it was

very quiet by the side of the road. And the quiet, the peace of the

Montana landscape, was pierced by this shriek of one of the

walky-talkies: “Dad’s getting busted.”

The trooper went to his car to get his ticket book, and he came back

with a puzzled look on his face. He told us he had a problem. We

were both speeding, but he only had one ticket left in his book. It’s

a true story. It’s Montana. One ticket.

Tim looked at him, he looked at me. He looked at the rental cars.

He looked back at the trooper. And said, only as Tim could say,

“Well, I was following him. Is that helpful, sir?”

So I see our friend in summer. I see his face. I hear his laugh, I

feel his joy, his absolute delight in the life God gave him. Timothy

J. Russert, noble, honorable, intensely loyal. He loved and was loved by

his wife, his son, his family, his friends, and a huge slice of this

great country of ours.

He was a boy of summer. He met his wife on a summer day. His son was

born in summer. And so it is that we blow him a kiss goodbye on a

soft summer evening, this sweetheart of a man who always, always left

us smiling.


Watch Tim Russert’s friends and colleagues remember him today.

Live video: MSNBC coverage of memorial service for Tim Russert

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: The 40th anniversary of RFK’s Assassination

6/6/08: Robert F. Kennedy: The 40th anniversary of RFK’s Assassination

Listen here:

“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 6:55a & 8:55a.


A regal funeral closer to home

Mike Barnicle, Globe Staff

7 September 1997

The Boston Globe

Long before yesterday’s funeral began, a huge crowd assembled inside the magnificent church where everyone gathered in a crush of sadness over the death of a sparkling young mother who touched many lives before she was killed in a horrific car crash a week ago, across the ocean, far from home. Mourners came in such numbers that they spilled out the doors of St. Theresa’s Church, onto the sidewalk, and across Centre Street in West Roxbury as police on motorcycles and horseback led two flower-cars and three hearses to the front of a beautiful church filled now with tears and memory.

Yesterday, the wonderful world of Mary Beatty Devane was on display to bury her along with two of her daughters — Elaine, 9, and Christine, 8 — who also lost their lives on a wet road east of Galway City as they headed to Shannon Airport at the conclusion of their vacation. Her husband, Martin, their daughter Brenda, 5, and their son Michael, 2, survived the accident and, after the hearses halted at the curb, Martin Devane emerged from a car, his entire being bent, injured, and slowed by the enormous burden of his tragic loss.

The Devanes represent one of the many anonymous daily miracles of this city’s life. They lived around the corner from where Mary grew up in a house headed by her father, Joe Beatty, the president of Local 223, Laborers Union, who arrived in Boston decades back from the same Irish village, Rusheenamanagh, where Mary’s husband, Martin, was born.

He is a construction worker. She was a nurse. They were married 11 years and their life together cast a contagious glow across their church and their community.

Now, on a splendid summer Saturday, when the world paused for a princess, up the street they came to cry for Mary Theresa Beatty and her children. There were nuns and priests, cops and carpenters, plumbers, teachers, firefighters, and nurses side-by-side with farmers who flew in from rocky fields an ocean away. A global village of friends inside a single city church.

Bagpipes played while 16 pallbearers gently removed three caskets from the steel womb of the hearses. The weeping crowd formed a long corridor of hushed grief as the caskets were carried up the steps and down the aisle toward 17 priests who waited to apply the balm of prayer to the wounded mourners.

Mary Devane worked weekend nights in the emergency room at Faulkner Hospital. When she was not there, she was either caring for her own family or tending to the dying as a hospice nurse.

During her 31 years on earth, she was many things: wife, mother, daughter, sister, nurse, neighbor, healer, helper, compassionate companion to the suffering, angel of mercy for the ill, smiling friend to an entire community that stood yesterday in collective silence in a church cluttered with broken hearts.

As the pallbearers transported their precious cargo, 22 boys and girls from St. Theresa’s Children’s Choir rose alongside the parish choir to sing “Lord of All Hopefulness.” No cameras or celebrities were present — simply the pastor, the Rev. William Helmick, along with all the others there to celebrate a life lived well and taken too soon.

The 70-year-old church swayed with psalm, hymn, and gospel; with the “Ave Maria”; with voices of youngsters struggling to sing for their classmates Christine and Elaine, who had been scheduled to start third and fourth grade at St. Theresa’s grammar school, 50 yards away.

Larry Reynolds stood in the choir loft, high above the congregation. With strong, rough carpenter’s hands, he gently held a fiddle and began to play “The Culan,” a 400-year-old Gaelic song. As communion commenced below, each of his notes echoed a tear throughout the immense stone building.

Reynolds himself is from the County Galway village of Ahascragh. He has known both families, the Beattys and the Devanes, for 30 years, and after he finished, Mary Twohig, a nursing school classmate of Mary Devane, walked slowly to the podium to recite “A Nurse‘s Prayer” and share an elegant eulogy with all those devastated by these three deaths.

Then, the Mass ended. Incense caressed the air as the pallbearers retreated through the church and out to those hearses idling at the curb before the big crowd drove off in thick traffic for the sad trip to St. Joseph’s Cemetery, where Mary Beatty Devane and her two precious little girls were set to final rest, three members of a truly royal family.