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More On Tim Russert

The death of NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert continues to dominate the worlds of politics and journalism.

The Fix is on the way to Las Vegas for a few days (and, as a result, posting will be light) but thought we'd share a few of the best pieces penned about Tim's life and legacy by some of our colleagues.

* David Broder, who appeared on "Meet the Press" more than any other guest in history, wrote of Russert: "Family came first, but he took the time for friendships, and he nourished them. That is why his death yesterday leaves such a large void in this community."

* Dan Balz, who puts big moments in politics and journalism into a larger context better than almost anyone in the country, penned a tribute to Russert's doggedness on and off the campaign trail.

*David Remnick, a former Washington Post reporter and now the editor of the New Yorker, offered his own thoughts in a piece for the magazine: "Russert was defined as much by what he was not as by what he was," wrote Remnick. "He was not lazy or lax, he was not an ideologue or a cynic. Beyond his family, Russert's passion was politics, and he cared enough about the game to try to keep it, and its players, honest."

* NBC News political director Chuck Todd, a Fix friend, offered his own heartfelt thoughts on Russert.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 14, 2008; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Next: Weekend Wag the Blog: Town Hall Tussle

Comments

Re Tim Russert's mother, I read a comment that because they were so poor, the family couldn't afford a mother and Tim was raised by the lady next door. Surely an investigative reporter can come up with an answer to this much asked question.

Posted by: Jack Tennier | June 18, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Russert is gone. Meet depressed.

Posted by: Optimyst | June 16, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I would love to know about Tim's Mother. I really cared a lot about Tim....why his mother is not mention...I know he has one or had one/

Posted by: wmsmith | June 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I wonder too about his mother. No mention is made of her. It's great to adore your father but it takes two to tango.

Posted by: Richard | June 16, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What was he doing the other 6 days of the week?

Any truth to rumors that he had a tattoo that said "BORN TO LOSE" on it? That he had a 3rd hand Harley he'd bought off a guy in Rochester for $1000 and a framed photo of Ron and Nancy?

Posted by: DexterManley | June 16, 2008 4:50 AM | Report abuse

TO ROBERT BOZELL AND ALL MEDICAL REPORTERS,
RE: TIM RUSSERT'S SUDDEN DEATH/ENLARGED HEART:

Something still seems odd about Tim Russert's death.

There is no doubt that he died of a "sudden heart attack." But what induced the heart attack, and the autopsy finding of an enlarged heart? Here are some nagging questions:

What were Russert's CHL/LDL levels in recent examinations?

Were classic heart attack enzymes present in Russert's blood samples at autopsy, and at what levels?

Russert's heart was enlarged at autopsy. Did any earlier examinations reveal an enlarged heart? If not, what might have caused a rapid onset of heart enlargement?

Could ingestion of a chemical or drug, or exposure to an external force such as microwave energy, have caused heart enlargement? Could such exposure have caused cholesterol that was present in arteries to coagulate and clot?

Did Russert suffer chest pains, tightening, fatigue? If not, is his history consistent with the enlarged heart found at autopsy?

Yes, people drop dead every day. But given Russert's position, and the vitriol he drew from certain quarters, it seems prudent to raise these questions now, when the pain of his death may motivate further inquiry.

If earlier exams revealed no evidence of an enlarged heart, that in itself seems enough to warrant further inquiry and examination.

His own physician's explanations did not reveal reasons for the enlarged heart, nor did he explain why that condition was not detected during past examinations.

This case calls for further journalistic examination. Please do it while memories are still fresh.

Posted by: Forensic Inquirer | June 15, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse


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No mainstream media outlet has covered this insidious phenomenon. Please read that link -- and take action to spread the word.

Posted by: Paul Revere | June 15, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I will miss you so much on Sunday morning. In 1992 you became food for my mine. Tim Russert you taught me so much about politics Watching you over the year I learned how to study people, so you what to ask and what to say.
Thank you, Cardella

Posted by: Cardella Beatty | June 15, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Russert was a dominating figure in political fact finding and interviewing (or interrogating?). He seldom makes mistake except one, i.e. he disregarded all the facts found in all the physical tests on him such as stress test, echo test so that he could continue driving on the fast lane. These tests would surely show that his heart and circulating system are defective and in danger of heart attack and death, which made himself the No. 1 news in the world on Friday the 13th.

Posted by: austin | June 15, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

MEMO TO NBC News President Steve Capus:

Until a clear MTP moderator surfaces, return to the show's original panel format... a true "meet the press" venue.

Use frequent MTP reporter roundtable guests as questioners, along with the moderator designate. Chuck Todd should play a key role, but he's too green to be considered as host. He would be an inspired pick for Washington bureau chief and he could grow into the moderator chair when he gets that touch of gray.

DO NOT consider Matthews, Olbermann, Mitchell or P. Williams, because they are tainted by their political biases and/or past affiliations. Brokaw should be considered as a George Will- type wise man, not as moderator. He's been there, done that. Gregory is great as a panelist, and if he loses that smirk, he could work as moderator. But there is a preferred choice:

DO consider Brian Williams as permanent moderator. He gets better and better with time. He has mellowed and matured and is ready to rival the great TV anchors of the past. A MTP showcase would exploit his talents while promoting the Nightly News.

His SNL riff revealed a likeable personality behind the Double O-7 patina, and as MTP moderator, he'll grow even more personable. Sometimes the obvious choice is the best choice.

Posted by: scrivener | June 15, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Its a sad weekend for those of us who watch and are glued to the TV sets covering this election.. Sad indeed...

Posted by: Scott | June 15, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Tim reminding people of what they've said before was a good thing, not a *gotcha*. Most interviewers let their guests get away with the most outrageous lies because they have no idea of what their guest has said before and oftentimes no idea whether their statements are even factual in the first place. Cheney is a notorious example of someone vigorously denying what he had previously said, and were it not for Tim, he'd still be getting away with it.

Posted by: annieroo | June 15, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I saw an old Brokaw interview this morning that took place right after Tim's second book about fathers came out. He said his mother, Betty, had recently died of cancer, that it had moved very quickly and that all the children were there. He said she was a strong woman who made sure the kids did their homework every night at the table before they were allowed to eat dinner and he obviously loved her, but he always seemed to me to be most attached to his father. That wasn't unusual for those of us who grew up in the '50's. Our mothers were the disciplinarians who were always there and took care of every daily need and had all the real responsibility. He mentioned that if anyone did anything wrong the neighbors got on the party line to tell your mother. Our fathers were the nice guys who worked a couple of jobs and just wanted to relax and enjoy their families whenever they got a chance (and handed out my .25 cent allowance).

Posted by: maddiegroves | June 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Two days now after the sad news. There are probably many ways to honor Tim Russert's memory. But here's one. Get involved. It doesn't have to be on behalf of Obama or McCain. It could be for a local candidate or a candidate for Governor or Senator. It could just be volunteering as an election official on Election Day, or registering voters over the summer. Tim Russert's joy in American politics was so infectious--if you volunteer in any way, I think you are honoring his legacy.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | June 15, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Such nice, respectful coverage of Tim Russert's death. I notice there is none of the hounding of the family like you usually see the media do with other celebrities; they really take care of their own.

Posted by: proteusdecision | June 15, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Cnn did a article on Obama courting the Latino vote. Which said The Obama campaign said in a statement: "It's not that we will grant citizenship, but we strongly support requiring them to legalize their status and allowing them to earn their right to commit to this country and eventually become citizens."

What a bunch of crap when Barack currently discriminates against American Hispanics.
I tried to post this on Cnn for this article and comments closed. CNN allowed only three comments. I know they have shown bias but protecting Barack Obama through censorsship is going to far!
Barack


Posted by: J. Alanis | June 15, 2008 3:19 AM

I emailed watchdog@barackobama.com
about chaos45i when it opened still nothing? Guess it is true that Hispanics are being dicriminated against in Ilinois. And Barack Obama is standing by and doing nothing. Feel free to email him this info yourself. We should see something soon right?

Posted by: Daren | June 14, 2008 11:32 PM

I noticed these on another article here and wanted to know why no one in the media is talking about chaos45i? I read some of his posts here and elsewhere. Like it or not it needs to be covered. And this assertion that Barack Obama is in some way discriminating against any American is a lot more important than some of the other things Barack has addressed.
I also will e-mail watchdog@barackobama.com and hope you do also.
It is after all what his anti-smear site was set up for.


Posted by: Becky | June 15, 2008 3:37 AM

I would like to know more about chaos45i. Not that Tim's mother was not important but most people that are still alive should care about this more right now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Tim's mother, I was curious too. I found the following, which will answer your questions.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/28/AR2006052801122_3.html

Posted by: CMartin | June 15, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Tim was my Sunday morning coffee companion for many years. Through all the changes in my life, he was there with humor, direct questions, kindnesses and intelligence. Like millions more, I will miss him greatly. Heartfelt condolences to his family - he unapologetically showed his love for you to all of us.

Posted by: pbird | June 15, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I two would love to know about Tim Russert's MOTHER -- she is the reason he was even on this earth!!! (don't think he came from an egg) He also has sisters I never heard him talk about. I always though he had something against woman.

Posted by: John | June 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm still looking for an answer to the question: "Why has there not been any mention of Tim Russert's mother among the multitude of tributes provided on TV in the last 24 hours"?

Posted by: Gil Liss | June 15, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Tim Russert had a mother ? (only kidding).

Is Russert's mother alive ? If so. Does anyone care about her loss or feelings ?

You may think me "uninformed" on the subject of Russert's mother. Then again. Trhy to find any mention of this women, and mother, in any way, shape or form from the so called people who knew and loved Tim Russert so much.

Then again. Russet himself is so to blame for the total blackout of his mother and her contribtions to his life.

Then again - then again. Maybe she offered sooo very little to timmy that nothing at all is worthwhile mentioning of her.h

Obviously no one at NBC or MSNBC cares even if she alive or dead.

There is no mention of her. ANYWHERE ! What is this ?

Posted by: Mike | June 15, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

For Gen X'ers and younger, Tim Russert was our Cronkite, to the extent that someone could fill those shoes in the 24hr cable news era. He was one of the few political hosts that you could count on for unbiased, challenging, truth-searching coverage. He will be sorely missed.
Thankfully, he was able to launch the career of Chuck Todd before he went. Chuck can't fill Russert's shoes yet, but he has the best chance of anyone I currently see at NBC.

Posted by: vshawnt | June 15, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I DO BELIEVE THE OBAMA CAMP IS IN DISARY AND IS IN DEEP TROUBLE.

THE DEMS MADE A BIG MISTAKE BY LETTING THE PRESS AND MEDIA BECOME SO BIASED AS TO BE
RESPONSIBLE IN A MAJOR WAY FOR THE BOWING OUT OF HILLARY. WE, THE PEOPLE, WILL RUE THE DAY.

IF OBAMA HAS TO GO SOOOOO FAR AS TO HAVE HIS OWN WEB SITE IN DEFENSE OF HIMSELF AND HIS ANTICS YOU GOT TO KNOW THIS MAN IS A BIG FAT ZERO AND IS COMPETING WITH ANOTHER BIG FAT ZERO, MCCAIN.

IF WE CAN ,DRAFT HILLARY AT THE CONVENTION, IT IS AMERICA'S SURVIVAL AND THE NATIONS FUTURE THAT WOULD HAVE A CHANCE FOR A POSITIVE SURVIVAL FROM THE DESTRUCTION GWB AND CHENEY HAS CAUSED.

GEORGE W BUSH IS AN EVIL MAN, CHENEY IS AN UGLY MEAN CORRUPT MAD DOG, ROVE IS A SNEAK AND A #ONE NAZI

(SAME AS dADDY bUSH) LETS GET HILLARY BACK IN ACTION AT THE CONVENTION. NO V P FOR HER. OBAMA WOULD DESTROY HER POLITICALLY. SHE HAS TOO MUCH TO OFFER,AND THIS CLOWN ONLY OFFERS WHAT HIS SPEECH WRITERS PUT ON PAPER FOR HIM!

Posted by: LYNN PARKER | June 15, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Russert was a class act. When I heard the news I drew in a gasp. While my husband and I only know Russert from his television work, he was a constant presence in our home during the evenings when we watch MSNBC during and after dinner.

I have to admit at times literally cheering Russert on when he asked the pointed question on Meet the Press that hadn't yet been asked, and that *needed* to be asked.

It's my hope that his extremely hard-working lifestyle did not contribute to his untimely death. He seemed to be on MSNBC at midnight election night and then be on Morning Joe at 6:00 a.m. the next morning.

Tim's family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Heartland Moderate Gal | June 15, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to add that I believe Tim Russert would try to get to the bottom of this.

Posted by: Becky | June 15, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Cnn did a article on Obama courting the Latino vote. Which said The Obama campaign said in a statement: "It's not that we will grant citizenship, but we strongly support requiring them to legalize their status and allowing them to earn their right to commit to this country and eventually become citizens."

What a bunch of crap when Barack currently discriminates against American Hispanics.
I tried to post this on Cnn for this article and comments closed. CNN allowed only three comments. I know they have shown bias but protecting Barack Obama through censorsship is going to far!
Barack


Posted by: J. Alanis | June 15, 2008 3:19 AM

I emailed watchdog@barackobama.com
about chaos45i when it opened still nothing? Guess it is true that Hispanics are being dicriminated against in Ilinois. And Barack Obama is standing by and doing nothing. Feel free to email him this info yourself. We should see something soon right?

Posted by: Daren | June 14, 2008 11:32 PM

I noticed these on another article here and wanted to know why no one in the media is talking about chaos45i? I read some of his posts here and elsewhere. Like it or not it needs to be covered. And this assertion that Barack Obama is in some way discriminating against any American is a lot more important than some of the other things Barack has addressed.
I also will e-mail watchdog@barackobama.com and hope you do also.
It is after all what his anti-smear site was set up for.

Posted by: Becky | June 15, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

We will miss you Tim Russert.

Posted by: claire | June 15, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Russert was a good, hard-working reporter and we should all feel the pain of his family at this moment. But the fact is that he lost all objectivity this year with his gushing approval and anointment of Obama. I write this only because I cannot not stand the "team" at MSNBC (Oberman, Mathews, et al.) who, like Russert, have lost all creditability for the same reason and for their attempt to use Mr. Russert's untimely dead as a vehicle to self-aggrandize their network and themselves. We lost a good reporter, not a United States president or a true icon. The NBC staff has become the FOX News of the left, "fair and objective" to only their point of view. Please bring back true fairness and objectivity to the TV news business.

Posted by: Syeve Wilson | June 15, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH


NBC ANNOUNCES WORDS OF WISDOM AND 37th&OSTREET WILL CO-HOST MEET THE PRESS


Obama camp in disarray


Axelrod said to be "livid" complains NBC is turning on him, says that he is personally hurt by decision.

Plouffe says NBC decision is "like a stab in the back from a close friend."

Michigan and Florida Voters Cheer Decision - Celebrations in the Streets of Lansing and Miami.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH


NBC ANNOUNCES WORDS OF WISDOM AND 37th&OSTREET WILL CO-HOST MEET THE PRESS


Obama camp in disarray


Axelrod said to be "livid" complains NBC is turning on him, says that he is personally hurt by decision.

Plouffe says NBC decision is "like a stab in the back from a close friend."

Michigan and Florida Voters Cheer Decision - Celebrations in the Streets of Lansing and Miami.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

My father died suddenly 28 years ago at the age of 52. Whether someone is in the public profile, as Tim Russert was, or not, it's a difficult time to live through. My heart and prayers go out to Tim's family, but I also offer the advice that was given to me many years ago - "would you want him back." When we know a loved one has a deep faith, we also know that they are in a better place - where we will once again come together. As a parent of Tim's generation, I'm pleased that I've lived long enough to see our children succeed. I'm sure as he looks down on us and his family, he's sorry that he's not here to watch Luke as he moves into the world of adulthood.

My one regret - we won't have Tim's knowlegable insight in this year's presidentail election. However, that's our own selfisheness. That you, Tim, for your insight into the American political process.

Posted by: C Fouts | June 14, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

My father died suddenly 28 years ago at the age of 52. Whether someone is in the public profile, as Tim Russert was, or not, it's a difficult time to live through. My heart and prayers go out to Tim's family, but I also offer the advice that was given to me many years ago - "would you want him back." When we know a loved one has a deep faith, we also know that they are in a better place - where we will once again come together. As a parent of Tim's generation, I'm pleased that I've lived long enough to see our children succeed. I'm sure as he looks down on us and his family, he's sorry that he's not here to watch Luke as he moves into the world of adulthood.

My one regret - we won't have Tim's knowlegable insight in this year's presidentail election. However, that's our own selfisheness. That you, Tim, for your insight into the American political process.

Posted by: C Fouts | June 14, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I loved Tim Russert and trusted what he said more than any other reporter. I know I am biased toward Irishmen, but he always appeared fair, unbiased and enthusiastic. How much his friends and colleagues valued him is a testament to him as a real person - beyond what we can see on T.V. I understand why NBC and MSNBC feel the need to honor him to the degree they have been. My condolences to all.

Posted by: Susan Fay-Wilcox | June 14, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

There have been a number of people on the previous post from Chris, critiquing Russert for being biased against Hillary.

I think an old journalism adage is helpful here.

"Don't blame the messenger for the message."

Journalists sometimes are lousy. But journalism as a whole, even the best, will ALWAYS be critiqued because it involves the truth. People don't like the truth. They like their own version of the truth, especially with 1000s of blogs and media outlets ready to suit every individual taste.

When supporters of XYZ candidate are confronted with a truth about their candidate that makes them uncomfortable, they attack the journalist for bringing it forth rather than for taking a hard look at their candidate and themselves instead.

We're living in a world with an array of alternative universes in which everyone lives within their own version of the truth.

Tim Russert did a better job than most of drawing out the truth, trying to create a common universe (even within the conflicting words of the guests themselves) testing his guests, and forcing them to state their views in the most consistent and truthful way possible.

I believe it's true that MSNBC in particular took a liberal slant and even a pro-Obama slant over the last months. I admit this as an Obama supporter. (I also believe ABC's This Week with Stephanopolous took a clear Hillary slant, by the way.)

Russert did appear with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews on election coverage. I haven't watched all of that enough to be able to state definitively from my perspective whether or not he was drawn into their biases. I'll leave that for others to hash out.

I do think, however, that on Meet the Press he really was impartial and served the truth, even if some want to blame the messenger for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

By far the worst thing about the interent is people feel they can post tasteless comments without having to defend themselves. I wonder what need that fulfills in them.

Russert was a great man by all accounts, respected by both sides and will be missed by the vast majority of Americans.

RIP Tim.

Posted by: jim | June 14, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I have read several accounts of Tim Russert's life. For me he was the most most prepared and credible journalist. His passing is truly a devastating loss to our Nation. However, the accounts of his life only refer to his father and son. Did he have a mother? If so what happened? She also probably contributed to the person he became.

Posted by: Lou J | June 14, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bob Fanning | June 14, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Tim Rutten does an interesting piece in the LATimes where he often holds forth intelligently. The basis for his dissent re Russert here is that Russert was a liar, posing to wish not to reveal to the FBI and the congress what he had indeed, already revealed. Not being sufficiently informed on the matter I must take Rutten at his word, for I have not known him to be a liar. On the other hand, he might have saved this piece of information for Monday.

How's your plague Rutten?

Posted by: Richard McDonough | June 14, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe people are really shocked by his death. He was very overweight, had a high-stress job and had pre-determining factors like heart disease and diabetes. Duh! It's sad anytime someone dies but this should not have been a surprise. Exercise more and eat less people!

Posted by: jane | June 14, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Hearing about Mr. Russert from all of his colleagues, I was struck by how all their observations about him contained the element that Kipling referred to:"If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue or walk with kings --- nor lose the common touch. ..."That seems to have been Russert's genius. For all of his success he never lost the common touch and we will miss him. To those of us out here in the hinterlands he was our man in Washington, asking the questions we wanted asked but always respectful and polite., minding his manners as it were. We shall not see his like again, I fear.

Posted by: Robert Thornton | June 14, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

My family and I all responded the same way as we each encountered the letters spelling out the words that told of us his death on our TV screens: a loud shocked gasp, and then a strange inability to absorb what that meant. My father was, in a word, disappointed. Though coming from vastly different worlds, different generations, and in many ways different experiences - he still enjoyed watching meet the press or following Tim's commentary on MSNBC. It wasn't until this morning that it dawned on me why we all responded with such a deep sense of loss: selfishly we were faced with the understanding that he would be absent from intense scrutiny of these elections. No more will I be able to say, "oh - wait to see what happens on meet the press ... so and so will be on!" Sunday brunch with a pot of tea for an hour -- knowing that the conversation would be perfectly seeped in context, perspective and moments of transient but astute charm. Considering what is happening in the world today - it was an hour we looked forward to that, even though the topics were hard to broach in any normal way, were carefully orchestrated in a discourse that was palatable, thoughtful, and yet provocative without falling apart into emotional tirades when so easily it could have. He was Catholic ... whether you are in the east or whether you are in the west - the soul is immortal. I can't help wondering if he isn't sitting at the greatest desk of all inquiring of God, "Well did we get it right?" In some eastern philosophy the soul is thought to remain in this physical plane for some time before it surrenders to the other dimension of eternity. Apparently it can visit the all knowing souls of ourselves that float in a space few are aware of ... our souls are thought to have the recorded knowledge of all of our lifetimes, and therefore the lifetime and history of this world - it must be one damn great interview for him right now! But it probably would not matter if it was the east or the west, though the question may be posed a little differently: "Do you think we got it right?"

Posted by: Homeward Bound | June 14, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I got to agree. I would love to go to Vegas and do my job if I felt like it. Post lightly Chris. Get your strength back. Bragging really takes alot out of you. It is not like there have been scandals posted on your blogs we would like written about. But take your time.

Posted by: Jerry Odell | June 14, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Here we go Chuck Todd and fix. Who ya know keeps no talent guys like you connected to MSNBC. With Ruussert gone I thought the fix would not be appearing on that network any more. There are much better pundits to choose from. Chuck Todd no doubt will help keep your foot in the door.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

His passing is a great loss to the whole world. He was a man of great integrity, values, intelligence, and a great lover of humanity. He is irreplaceable. My deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all of his colleagues throughout the media.

Posted by: Doris Morrison | June 14, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

His passing is a great loss to the whole world. He was a man of great integrity, values, intelligence, and a great lover of humanity. He is irreplaceable. My deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all of his colleagues throughout the media.

Posted by: Doris Morrison | June 14, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't a huge fan of Russert's but I'm moved by the genuine outpouring of emotion his untimely death has inspired. Seeing Chuck "the numbers guy" Todd so upset is just surreal.

Not to nitpick, but where are these interviews shot that there is always so much chatter, cell phones ringing and ruckus in the background? It's always annoying but it seems incredibly disrespectful given today's subject matter.

Posted by: Erin D. | June 14, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I certainly was sad yesterday upon hearing the news. He was relatively young; he was also one of the better Sunday morning show hosts. Brinkley was clearly better, but after David retired, there was a vaccum, and Russert's show picked up the ball and ran, to Tim's credit.

His main technique of putting up an old quote, tediously reading thru it, and trying to catch the guest in a "gotcha" contradictory moment was occasionally effective, but since that was his only technique, it was a bit old. It probably provided good TV theatrics, but is also symptomatic of the shallow, ADD infected culture we live in, and Tim was a fine exponent of that. There are ways to ask thoughtful, analytical, and meaningful questions w/o word tripping and extracting shallow and apparent contradictions from your guests, but then Russert's ratings might have been a fourth of what he had.

He definitely wore his bias on his sleeve, which was brazenly apparent in the most recent primaries. That is an unfortunate trait in a journalist supposed to be impartial and fair. However, on this score, he is perhaps no more guilty than any one other media person in this country - EVERY SINGLE damned media person has a large bias, which comes thru the minute s/he opens his mouth. This is particularly true when it comes to political coverage. Indeed, at this point, media people are little more than paid prostitutes; their job (with the exception of a few people covering difficult assignments like being posted in Iraq or Afghanistan) are not that difficult in the first place, but even so, they fail miserably.

However, be that as it may, this hero worship is too much. Every day, many dozens of very fine Americans die - some of these are scientists, physicians, nurses, entrepreneurs, social workers, and so on. We never even hear about them. Our culture is made for worship of people we see on TV and who are notorious in some way or other thru the media; people whose contributions are minimal, debatable, are hailed as great heroes, while real heroes are forgotten.

Posted by: intcamd1 | June 14, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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