Tim Russert (1950-2008)

Just heard the news that NBC’s Washington Bureau Chief and host of the long-running “Meet The Press”, Tim Russert has died today at the age of 58. According to MSNBC, Russert collapsed from an apparent heart attack while recording voice-overs for this Sunday’s upcoming episode of “Meet The Press” and died on the spot. So sad…

Even casual beltway junkies will agree that Russert was one of the coolest, most down-to-earth and totally fair political experts out there. When he said something, Christine and I, and millions of other Americans listened. Russert was real, honest, funny and so smart and savvy he made my brain hurt sometimes. But I loved him for it!

Seriously, Russert was no light-weight pundit, he asked the questions we all wanted to hear answered and he did it with style. Unlike so many of the political bull dog interviewers on cable, Russert was a charmer who got politicians to open up and be themselves. And for that, he will be greatly missed.

While I was never up early enough to see him on the Today show, Christine would always Tivo Russert’s guest appearances for me. And if some juicy political shit went down overnight — and in a roller coaster election year like we’re in right now, that was EVERY night — you can bet your ass Russert had an opinion on it.

I think I’m probably most sad about the fact that Russert won’t be around to comment on all the political drama that is sure to unfold over the next few months as we prepare to elect our next president. In my eyes, Russert was kind of a towering figure in network news and his death today is a real loss for all of us.

I know it sounds cheesy to say, but, really, he really was one of a kind and our thoughts go out to his family and colleagues at NBC during this difficult time.

RIP, Mr. Russert…you rocked our political world.

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3 responses to “Tim Russert (1950-2008)

  1. I have tremendous respect for Russert as a journalist because, despite his personal political views whatever they may be, he was equally challenging (and charming) to Democrats and Republicans alike.

    He was fair, but hard hitting. And nobody got a free ride (which was good for people like me who think both political parties essentially suck).

  2. yeti9000

    I know what you mean, man. I agree with almost everything you said — except for the part about both parties essentially sucking! — and was especially moved by today’s episode of “Meet The Press”.

    Don’t know if you caught it or not, but, wow, was it good. The show opened on Tim Russert’s empty chair at the main desk then Tom Brokaw appeared and guided a panel of Russert friends and co-workers through a beautifully crafted summation of his life and work.

    Longtime friend and colleague, Doris Kearns Goodwin was there, as were a very emotional James Carville and Mary Matalin and California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver — who traveled to Cuba with Russert a few years back to interview Castro — even chimed in from time to time via satellite from Idaho. It was really touching. And when Brokaw started crying on camera and Carville was heard audibly sobbing in the background…wow…it really brought home the magnitude of Russert’s loss.

    As Brokaw said towards the end of the hour-long tribute, Russert himself had even joked that this was “the best year of his life”, not just due to the rousing presidential race, but also because his only son, Luke, had recently graduated from Boston University.

    Wishing Tim a posthumous “Happy Father’s Day”, Brokaw signed off with a montage of Russert’s family photos set to the music of Bruce Springsteen’s haunting “Thunder Road”. And let me tell ya, there was not a dry eye in our house…:(

  3. I missed the whole thing. 😦

    Hopefully I can catch highlights on NBC.com or YouTube.

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