Posts Tagged ‘Dean Barnett’

Dean Barnett: Blogger, Prominent Conservative, Red Sox Fan, 1967 – 2008.

October 28, 2008

Local conservative, sometime talk show host and Weekly Standard contributor Dean Barnett died today of Cystic Fibrosis. I wrote in praise of him after he did a guest stint on 96.9 FM in August.

I first met Dean a couple years ago at my favorite place — the NECN green room. He looked somewhat buff to me so I started to engage him in a conversation about weight lifting and going to the gym. It was only after several minutes of chit chat — I started to ask about treadmill performance — that Dean told me he had CF.

In a region of devoted Red Sox fans, he was one of the most passionate. It was love for the team that drew him into blogging.

In a way the whole conversation gave me an eery sense of deja vu. It reminded me of my first encounter with Harvard Crimson star reporter Teresa Mullin. I sat with Terri outside the Crimson — both of us sneezing and hacking. “I’ve got allergies too,” I said to her. She shook her head and bluntly said, “no, CF.”

She was the toughest, most courageous person I had — or have — ever met. Before she died in England at age 22 awaiting a lung transplant, she wrote a memoir, The Stones Applaud, about her experiences. Here’s my tribute to her from 1991.

Dean was luckier and lived twice as long as Terri. He was so productive online and guest hosting for Hugh Hewitt, he began to fool me. I started to think he might somehow actually escape this cursed affliction known for taking its victims young.

He will be missed.

Dean Barnett a Hit on WTKK

August 13, 2008

For the first time in a long, long time, I turned on talk radio and found a very literate, well-informed local voice — Dean Barnett. I caught part of a discussion on the crisis in Georgia and thought he came across very well. He was natural and comfortable on air.

During the snippet I was listening, Barnett got a caller who had actually been to Georgia and wanted to tell the audience what he had learned there. Barnett listened and held the caller to the other side of the break. This is exactly what I used to love about the Gene Burns Show almost two decades ago. Burns used his show as a forum to stimulate discussion and got some of the smartest callers in the country. I’ve felt that’s been missing in town for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Michael Graham, who has worked mightily to make his way in what can be a tough market, and the charismatic duo of Braude and Egan is great. It’s hard to believe, but Jim and Marjorie have been on the air now for almost a decade. I think Barnett, who is local although he writes for The Weekly Standard, is exactly the type of newer voice the market needs.

I’ve met Barnett a couple times through my appearances on NECN. Like Michele McPhee, he’s got Boston in his soul. I hope we hear more of him.