Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert (1950-2008)

I’m stunned by the death this afternoon of NBC newsman Tim Russert.

I paid attention to every word he spoke during this campaign season. We have lost a source of wisdom and great passion in American journalism.

To remember the quality of his game, please watch this 3-minute clip of Tim Russert moderating a February presidential primary debate.


Anonymous said...

This is a devastating blow to journalism.

I had a sense of comfort with this old-style, traditional journalist. I also appreciated the love he had for his father.

My last good memory of him was when he announced after Obama won North Carolina that "It's over". And he said it rather matter of factly.

When Tim spoke, people listened!

May the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace. Blessings to his family.

wanda loves... said...

Saddens the hell out of me too, David. I liked Russert, so it's a bit of a shock.

I guess you never know when the day will come. 58 isn't even that old. And he had just did a Q&A on the election earlier today.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Damn! Damn!
I was stunned when I read the news on Huff Post. You'll find me in a bottle for the rest of the evening.

Kellybelle said...

I'm with you on the shock. Russert was from my hometown, Buffalo, NY. He had that special Nickel City something that made him connect with presidents and commonfolk alike.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fellow Buffalonian as well. Grew up in the same South Buffalo neighborhood Tim did.

Buffalo is sometimes known as the City of No Illusions. Russert typified that. The collar remained blue.

We were proud to call him ours because he never let us forget he was one of us, and proudly remained so.

--jorge reyes

Bone Crusher said...

I sat one table away from him and his father two years ago at Connor's restaurant in West Seneca NY. He took the time to say hi to everyone that stopped by his table and seemed embarrassed by the attention. He was a class act. Not to mention a Bills fan!!

Dick Stone said...

It won't be the same watching the election coverage this year. I saw the news on the WTOPNews website here in DC. I was stunned. He was on the air this morning for an interview. He will definitely be missed.

Anonymous said...

May I offer a dissenting opinion? While Russert's death is undeniably sad, the "wisdom" he exemplified always struck me as the conventional kind. This segment shows why. Does anyone's future depend on the Clinton's releasing their tax returns? But Russert and the rest of the establishment press view this as some vital issue. It isn't. It's a distraction, the sort of which put Bush in the White House.

There are, of course, far more egregious figures among the Washington press, but I don't see Russert as much more than the best of a conventional lot.

Still, it's sad he was only 58.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I get what you're saying, Doug. And I don't disagree.

Anonymous said...

I literally screamed when I read it on the HuffPo. I can't even imagine the presidential race without him. Since Meet the Press comes on too late over here, I always watched it online the next day. Mondays won't be the same for me. My heart goes out to his family. He was too young.

maria said...

lennieg--not to my kinds of journalism.

i tried to leave a similar "dissent" on nyt but it never posted.

i suppose the rule is never speak ill of the dead, but i never was very good with rules.

i had a serious dislike of russert. he was mean. he was impatient. he was rude. his whole MO was to play a tape of someone on his show--totally out of context--and then demand some sort of retraction or apology. like it was just a game with him.

he savaged hillary and she didn't deserve it. he was often unwatchable.

he interrupted his guests. he didn't let them answer. he didn't listen. he was oppressive.

sorry, no tears shed for his absence from tv.

he gave journalists a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's not nice to criticize someone who's just died, but I don't think his death is any great loss to journalism.

Russert was better than the Fox News gang, of course, but otherwise he was just another member of the ingrown, incestuous Mainstream Media crowd, who pal around with the same people whose feet they're supposed to be holding to the fire.

I'm already sick of the never-ending tributes to the guy on the tube.

Ken Tucker said...

With all due respect to you, David, here's the dissenting opinion on Russert that I wrote for my blog, which also appeared on


Anonymous said...

Gwen Ifill remembers.

On a personal level, he must have been amazing guy - however problematic his style of nonjudgmental, "two sides to every issue" journalism has become.