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.

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2009/07/08/7809-tv-coverage-of-michael-jackson-funeral-service.aspx

“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: Former VP Dick Cheney like your “crazy uncl...

5/13/09: Barnicle talks about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s poor judgment and why we shouldn’t care about what he says.

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2009/05/13/51309-vp-dick-cheney.aspx?ref=rss

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


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

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/11/10/111008-veterans-day.aspx

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

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Mike Recommends the Book “Generation Kill&#...

8/22/08: Mike recommends the book “Generation Kill” by Evan Wright

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/08/22/82208-book-generation-kill.aspx

“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

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/08/18/81508-nation-still-at-war.aspx

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


6/23/08: The CIA and Al Queda

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/06/23/62308-al-qaeda.aspx

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

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Memorial Day and what it means to different peopl...

5/23/08: Memorial Day and what it means to different people.

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/05/23/52308-memorial-day.aspx

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

MIKE BARNICLE IN THE BOSTON HERALD: His history, public and private, always entw...


By Mike Barnicle

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It seems as if he’s been with us always, his history, ours; his voice, his views taken for granted like some permanent landmark that would forever be part of life’s landscape. Now, a medical bulletin changes everything. Mortality, always there in his own mind, has potentially arrived with the cruelest of phrases: Malignant brain tumor.

So, Edward Kennedy, at 76, rests comfortably in Mass. General, waiting for tests and treatment that will put a number on his days. He is, this very public man, part of the last, unique chapter of a great sprawling American story shared by whole generations.

He is a walking compendium of history, political and personal – as if the two could ever be separated given his last name. He can sit on the front porch of his home in Hyannisport, beneath the cloudless sky of a crisp autumn day and clearly recollect the long gone morning in the summer of 1944 when a priest and a soldier arrived to tell the family that the eldest boy, the one to first carry the father’s dream, Joe, was dead at war; his plane exploded over the English Channel. The end of chapter one.

“Oh yes, I remember,” Ted Kennedy told me once. “My mother was in the kitchen and dad was upstairs. I remember clearly.”

The deaths, the disappointments, the wins and losses, the tragedies, the historic along with the self-inflicted, have all been there like open, very public wounds that halted a nation and, with one, road-blocked any ambitions Ted Kennedy had of gaining the White House.

We have all been there for the ride. The country has careened across the decades with the man. From Dallas to Los Angeles to Chappaquiddick and Palm Beach, very little has happened outside of the harsh glare of publicity.

But the man has endured and today he remains the most accessible and familiar of our politicians.

In Bedford this morning, a man named Brian Hart greets the day with an added measure of grief, knowing Kennedy as something more. Hart is a transplanted Texan, a conservative Republican and in October 2003 he and his wife lost their only son, Pfc. John Hart, to the ill-planned and ill-fated war in Iraq.

On a cold day in November, after their boy was killed in a Humvee that offered the protection of tissue paper, the Harts buried their noble son in Arlington National Cemetery. The father, turning from the grave, saw the familiar face of a man he’d never met.

“That’s the first time I ever met Sen. Kennedy,” Brian Hart once told me. “I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall and he didn’t know me. He came out of respect for John’s service.”

Brian Hart was outraged at the Pentagon’s indifference and incompetence. Like thousands of other soldiers, John Hart, 20, had been sent to battle without the best equipment he might have had.

“Within one month after John’s death, I had several meetings with Sen. Kennedy and he started Senate hearings and he changed things for a lot of other soliders who might be dead today if it were not for him,” John Hart said. “You tell me: Is that being a liberal? I would do anything for Sen. Kennedy.”

Now it is October 2006 and Ted Kennedy, days from being re-elected for the eighth time, is home again in Hyannisport. It is a spectacular Cape Cod day, the water glistening beneath a late fall sun. The senator’s boat, the Mya, sits in the harbor, perhaps 500 yards in the distance, swaying with an Indian summer breeze.

“When you’re out on the ocean, when the color of the sky and water change and you’re sailing,” he was asked. “Do you ever see your brothers?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ted Kennedy answered, his eyes welling with tears. “I see them all the time.”

And so too, we see Teddy.

BARNICLE’S VIEW ON WTKK: Shipmates on the USS Nimitz

5/2/08: PBS mini series “Carrier,” a 10-part series that focuses on a core group of shipmates during their six-month deployment on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier.

Listen here: https://barnicle.969fmtalk.mobi/2008/05/02/5208-pbs-shows–5208.aspx

“Barnicle’s View”, with Mike Barnicle, Imus in the Morning, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 655a & 855a.


‘This Is It’

Dismissed as an also-ran just a few weeks ago, Sen. John McCain is back, and fighting toward the finish.

Mike Barnicle


Updated: 4:38 PM ET Jan 3, 2008

Oh, he sure has had a long, interesting life, filled with joy and pain and defined in part by a nearly six years of captivity after he fell from the sky in 1967 fighting a war where so many young died to satisfy the criminal pride of old politicians. And here he is now, bouncing from hamlet to town hall to house parties to VFW Posts in a state where people of all political stripes seem to truly like him, almost always wearing a smile that declares he’s glad to be alive and well in a country he loves more than the job he seeks: the presidency.

“I realize it’s my last time around the track,” said Sen. John McCain, sitting on his campaign bus. “I know this is it.” He is 71, back from the dead after being counted as a casualty of a political war that devours candidates who lack the ammunition called money. His near-fatal failure happened after his candidacy was clobbered by those who fear illegal immigrants more than the eternal flame of true terrorism.

But politics–despite 21st-century sophistication, numerous polls, thousands of blogs that have created a nation of 300 million columnists as well as the constant tide of information spilled across the Internet, cable TV and talk radio–remains a people business in the precincts of New Hampshire. And as voters got a good look at the field of candidates, many clearly decided to give McCain a second glance.

“I think he tells more of the truth than the others do,” said Ed Bell, a 48-year-old salesman, after attending a McCain event. “And he knows what it’s like to be hurt, too. He’s a real human being.”

McCain is the Babe Ruth of town-hall meetings; he does them better than anyone. At VFW Post 8641 in Merrimack, N.H., it was 60 minutes of theater-in-the-round, with the Arizona senator energetically pacing the floor, microphone in one hand, ballpoint in the other, talking, laughing, taking questions, telling stories, giving answers; every second and each physical movement–some limited by injury–a reminder that while Mitt Romney runs ads hammering him on immigration and taxes, McCain remains unafraid of his beliefs.

“Why are you in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants?” a woman at the back of hall asked.

“I’m not,” McCain told her.

“I was informed you were,” she insisted.

“You were misinformed,” he told her.

“People know a desperate campaign when they see one,” McCain said later about Romney as he sat eating a hot dog and talking about the December welterweight title bout he saw on TV when Floyd Mayweather Jr. beat Ricky Hatton to retain the title. “He’s got maybe the fastest hands I’ve ever seen,” McCain said of the prizefighter.

Like Mayweather, McCain has a fighter’s heart. Part of him enjoys a hostile question and the occasional antagonist. After all, he’s faced tougher interrogators than those who come at him with a press pass or an ideological difference. McCain sports the roll-the-dice attitude of a guy thrilled to see each sunrise, who has learned to live with disappointment and put bitterness in the rearview mirror. Yet, he has the humility of someone quite aware that each day is a blessing because for him, so many were, quite literally, torture.

Now, McCain will return to New Hampshire from Iowa, fully alive again in a uniquely American process that saw his political obituary posted just months ago. He is back because he did not quit–not when he fell from the sky all those years ago, and certainly not when he fell out of favor in the days before voters began paying true attention and measuring character as one of the ingredients in the making of a president.

Mike Barnicle has been a newspaper columnist in Boston for 30 years and is a commentator forMSNBC.

MIKE BARNICLE FOR THE TODAY SHOW: A son and dad deal with the cost of combat

Mike and his father, George Burke, have an uncanny bond: They both fought in a war and now they’re both struggling with the weight of it. NBC’s Mike Barnicle has their story.


MIKE BARNICLE ON HARDBALL: Will the president’s top military man tell him ...

Will the president’s top military man tell him it’s time to get out of Iraq? “Hardball” guest host Mike Barnicle talks to cycling legend Lance Armstrong on how the next president can win the war on cancer. Plus Michael Eric Dyson, Marcia Dyson, Julian Barnes, Charlie Hurt, Dan Gilgoff, and Susannah Meadows.


MIKE BARNICLE ON HARDBALL: Do we stay or do we go?

A new intelligence report says Iraq’s government will become more precarious over the next six to twelve months. Does that mean we stay or we leave? Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Melanie Sloan, David Rivkin, Perry Bacon, Julie Mason and Eamon Javers talk with “Hardball” host Mike Barnicle.


MIKE BARNICLE ON HARDBALL: Will comparing Iraq to Vietnam help President Bush?

President Bush looks to history for help on his unpopular war, but will comparing Iraq to Vietnam really rally the county? Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America discusses this with “Hardball” host Mike Barnicle.



MIKE BARNICLE ON HARDBALL: Is the war in Iraq working?

Mike Barnicle, filling in for Chris Matthews, talks with Brian Katulis and Mike O’Hanlon about the surge in Iraq.

MIKE BARNICLE ON HARDBALL: Will American troops get caught in the crossfire?

Today, top U.S. generals tell senators that the violence in Iraq could turn into a civil war. Will American troops get caught in the crossfire? On “Hardball,” host Mike Barnicle talks with Saxby Chambliss, Jack Reed, Dan Gerstein, Al Sharpton, Mark Zaid and Max Cleland.



Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Congress there was no cover-up in the Pentagon’s investigation of Pat Tillman’s death. “Hardball” guest host Mike Barnicle talks to Sen. Joe Biden, Holly Bailey, Chris Cillizza and John Feehery.



Mike Barnicle, filling in for Chris Matthews on “Hardball,” talks with Sen. Joe Biden about the war in Iraq, General David Petraeus, the Bush administration, Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, and running for President.