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Remembering Tim Russert

It was a year ago this weekend that Tim Russert, a journalist in every positive sense of the word, passed away.

This is how we choose to remember him.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 14, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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There is more than one way to remember anyone who passes on. There is the personal, as in friend, extended family, or core family; then there is the professional person who is remembered for his or her work. From all accounts Tim was a devoted family man, ardent fan of local teams, and a good friend if you were his friend. Since I was none of the above I can only remember him as the “Meet the Press” anchor which was the talk show of choice for the G.W. Bush administration. It’s how the GOP got to spin their story without any real laser beam follow-up questions. In a sense he was one of the many who helped the great tragedy of Iraq to happen. For example: He never challenged GWB on more than one occasion when the opportunity presented itself on the “why did we invade Iraq” question. On one occasion Bush answered: Because they wouldn’t let the inspectors in. I guess Tim forgot that Hans Blix was in Iraq, with carte blanche to go where and when he chose. I always thought that was a pretty important point, one that a news person should have jumped on, especially a “noted” news person. Well, some questions are just to embarrassing to ask. I suggest we remember the family man, friend to his friends and the sports fan and not raise any embarrassing questions. RIP Tim.

Posted by: rggilbert1 | June 15, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Thunder Road is a good way to remember Russert. I'll always remember the look on his face when Carville and Matalin brought out their daughters after a particularly contentious debate. Perhaps the only thing Russert liked better than a good political debate (and Buffalo sports teams) was family.

Posted by: mnteng | June 15, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I opened up the fix to read positive comments about Tim. I am so saddened to read the hateful vitriol that people are sending in to the Fix. This is the hatefulness that causes things such as killings to take place, Shame on you!!! What ever happened to "if you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all." I am sure that you have really made Luke and Maureen to feel the sadness of the hate in this country. RIP Tim & may God bless the Russerts

Posted by: 9xgrammi | June 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow...some readers / writers on Russert's passing have seriously emotional axes to grind. Imagine having your dad leave for work one day, then die on the job...whatever job your dad does or did. Can there be a greater loss in a family than to loose a parent unexpectedly? Except to loose a child, there is no greater loss than for your mother or father to die young.

Of all the "wonks" hosting Sunday a.m. talk shows, whether or not he was, Tim seemed "like one of us" from outside the beltway. Many of the others, to include David Brinkley, seemed credible enough and sometimes pandering; but not like us. Call me naive, but I liked Time Russert's style he, at least, had the background to ask his guests some pointed questions when the rest of us were wondering, "how the hell did THAT happen", in response to an administration's gaff.

Perfect? Not by a long shot...but hey, I'm like the rest of life is punctuated by mistakes, so take a good look in the mirror before/as you take your swipes at TR.

Best Regards, Skiloypet

Posted by: skiloypet | June 15, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Can't you lousy GOP trolls take a break from the nastiness for one bloody day? The guy is dead for chrissake. He didn't do anything to hurt the country."

Honestly, I think its more the lefties who hate Russert more for his role in the Plame scandal.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 15, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Papist Russert was a "journalist"/facilitator for the Roman Anti-Christ which, for any bothering to act like a patriot and know the truth, financed the rise of Hitler from the American Roman Catholic collection plate through Vatican banker Rockefeller and Rockefeller front for five generations, a Bush(Prescott); used the Knight of Malta-led Roman Catholic CIA to kill John Kennedy to restore Rome's bankers in the unconstitutional Fed to control of our money supply and keep us as military catspaw in their latifundial estate of Vietnam; and, after only the RC's on the SCOTUS voted illegally to stop the recount in Florida (Viz. Breyer dissent 'Bush v Gore') committed 9/11 (Viz. "The New Pearl Harbor") as Reichstag Fire Redux for false war, power, profit, heroin and Iraqi oil.

Russert didn't miss any of it: he helped it happen. He was no journalist, he was a propaganda agent and is cursed for the traitor of the Roman Anti-Christ's "Fifth Column" that he was.

Death for Treason

May the rest of Rome's traitorous sectarian faction get the same.

Posted by: iamerican | June 14, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way, has NBC selected a permanent replacement for Tim Russert ? ?

I sure hope they hurry and get one, bcause the ratings of Tim's old show are falling into the dumper.


Posted by: swanieaz | June 14, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for running this, Chris. I miss him too. Boy, would he have loved the 2008 election and all that has gone on since. I hope his wife and son are okay. RIP, Tim.

Posted by: shadowshopper1981 | June 14, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Can't you lousy GOP trolls take a break from the nastiness for one bloody day? The guy is dead for chrissake. He didn't do anything to hurt the country.

You guys are loathsome. Give it a rest, go torment a puppy or something.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Are we going to have this syrupy tribute stuff every year?

Was he more than a left-leaning talk show host?

Posted by: gdennie | June 14, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

@whirlwind - And you are an anonymous nothing.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 14, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Tim Russert was a Washington conventional wisdom suckup.

Posted by: whirlwind81 | June 14, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Tim was a class act who will be greatly missed. For those who scoff, he reinvented Meet the Press and made it THE show to see on Sunday morning.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 14, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

i love ya, chris, but tim would have preferred you remember him by posting one of his remarkable fact-based interviews.

Posted by: rimbar | June 14, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Two thots: this is still the United States of America, thus the right to freedom of speech, expressing opinions, still counts, for all. To suppress someone's speech because they do not agree with you about Russert risks your own freedom/right to speech/opinions.

That said, I wasn't a major fan of his, either. I had no dislike for the man at all, but having run into his show on Sundays only in the latter years of his work, I was just not seriously impressed. The show did not attract my attention all that much.

But one thing that must be remembered, is that the end show, the latter years, of what Russert did, was by no means all that his journalistic career amounted to, and if we were privy to the earlier years, those times when, to me, he did not even exist, sad to say, as I am 51 myself, and merely did not pay attention, we might have a totally different viewpoint regarding Russert.

I think the lesson here is to not judge that which we do not know.

Posted by: rm8471 | June 14, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who didn't care much for Tim Russert or his journalism, why are you wasting your time here reading a post honoring his memory? I thought he was an excellent journalist and person and I miss him dearly. He would have loved the rest of last year's election season and Sarah Palin would never have gotten away with not appearing on Meet the Press. Unfortunately for David Gregory, Tim's shoes were just to big to fill and MTP has gone downhill. I can't believe he's been gone a year and I'm glad The Fix posted something to honor him - thank you.

Posted by: JLF03 | June 14, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I do miss Tim's nailing of the biggies with all the stale quotes he used to dig up. On this anniversary of his death, however, I am most grateful that his very annoying son has more or less disappeared from the airwaves.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | June 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dwight Collins.

Posted by: JakeD | June 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

if russert were still here, he would be asking obama, what are you doing to my country...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the Russert hagiography. There are many people who weren't all that impressed. I for one, though thinking him a good Joe never thought him much of a journalist. He filtered everything though the lens of his self perceived insider status and desparate, desparate need to be the good ol' boy from Buffalo made good.
As for Meet the Press, Russert degraged the brand to the point that we are now supposed to take David Gregory seriously.
Russert was just a pawn in the dumbing down of the media hyped by the PR machines at NBC. Especially please spare us Russert's son, that whole thing is pathetic.

Posted by: SoCali | June 14, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Tim Russert was a giant in journalism. The likes of him don't come around often. What was great about him, was his warm and very likable personality and his total fairness in interviewing people. Everybody got tough questioning, there was no softballs to liberal dems or conservative republicans. You came prepared or be prepared to be embarrassed.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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