Russert's Office to Museum
I guess the display of Julia Child's kitchen in the Smithsonian broke the ground for this type of thing, but it's still startling to see that broadcaster Tim Russert's office will be displayed in the Newseum next month.
Russert, who just died in June 2008, was a working stiff, but famous in the Washington political way. He was famous in the TV way, too, which accounts for the interminable eulogies that NBC News did after his unexpected death. That's not to say Russert wasn't a swell person -- my cable guy said Russert met with him the morning of his death, giving him access to his son's new apartment and chatting about their kids and Father's Day.
Russert asked good questions and knew how to follow them up if an interviewee slipped away from a real answer. That's hardly a rare journalistic skill. Maybe what is rare is that the public had the sense that after the questions were asked and answered, he was someone with whom they wouldn't mind sharing a beer. Hardly the qualities that land you in a museum, you'd think -- Russert was on the Newseum's board as well -- but popularity is sometimes as important as accomplishment.
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