The late Tim Russert initially refused to host Meet the Press because, in his words, he was "ugly." Sad! He just looked like a regular fat dude to us, no grosser in appearance than plenty of other fat guys you might see on television any night of the week, as SNL cast members or wacky sitcom neighbors. But Doree Shafrir points out that you don't generally see ladies who look like Tim Russert on television, and certainly not hosting important news programs. "We expect our female pundits and news anchors to be intelligent and beautiful," Doree says, "but men can get away with being overweight and unattractive." We kind of disagree with that.

Because yes, you can be fat and not-pretty and host a television news show, if you are a dude. (Poor Candy Crowley has been at CNN for 100 years and they still won't let her sit down in a studio for an hour.)

Or maybe you could've been back when Tim got his job? Look at the current crop of TV newsanchors-even the genial ugly old dudes of yore are gone. Whither Walter Cronkite? Now it's Brian Williams (BriWi!) and Anderson Cooper. Chris Matthews is reportedly losing favor over at MSNBC to lantern-jawed demo ratings favorite Keith Olbermann. The days of the ugly male anchor are rapidly receding. Now the unrealistic standards are slowly being applied to everyone!

(This is because The Gays run the Internet, maybe?)

So R.I.P. Tim Russert, and R.I.P. ugly fat guys with their own news shows. They will probably replace Katie Couric with Zac Efron.

[USA Today via Doree]