The invitation was extended to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), the late Alaska congressman whose death months ago opened up the congressional seat he occupied continuously beginning in the early 1970s. Zack Brown, a former communications director for Young, explained the problem on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, @chucktodd, I don’t think Congressman Young’s schedule will allow him to be on Meet the Press with you tomorrow, but I’ll circle back if that changes,” Brown responded. “Thanks for reaching out!”
Unfortunately, @chucktodd, I don't think Congressman Young's schedule will allow him to be on Meet the Press with you tomorrow, but I'll circle back if that changes. Thanks for reaching out! pic.twitter.com/NP2QCFNGH3
— Zack Brown (@ZackBrownDC) June 9, 2022
First sworn in as Alaska’s only representative to the House in 1973, Young held the title of longest-serving member of Congress before his death on March 18, 2022. Although a cause of death was not specified, his office did reveal that he passed away “while traveling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved.”
When responding to the show’s invitation, Brown clarified that Young’s appearance would simply be impossible and acknowledged the touching tribute they had done in the congressman’s memory.
“Sadly Congressman Young passed away in March, but you all did a lovely tribute to him!” Brown wrote.
Throughout his lengthy career, Young’s vision centered around providing citizens with the “opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future,” as detailed by his official biography. This led him to receive a number of career recognitions, including the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) “Hero of the Taxpayer” award in 2008 for voting with taxpayers on 85% or more of the issues tracked by ATR.
While reflecting on his former boss’ career, Brown pointed out that “Congressman Young has not only passed two of his bills through the House from beyond the grave….but he’s also getting Meet the Press booking requests as well.” This, he concluded, amounts to “A successful post-life career by any measure.”
Twitter users responded with amusement to Brown’s posts about the situation.
“If they pull that off it would be the greatest booking of all time,” replied Fox 5 News anchor Tom Fitzgerald.
If they pull that off it would be the greatest booking of all time. pic.twitter.com/3314SSnBLK
— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) June 9, 2022
His former communications director also believes that if Young witnessed the whole ordeal, he would “cackle about it for 5 minutes before asking me to print it and laminate it so he could show all his friends on the House Floor during votes.”