Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert, 1950-2008

By now, you've heard the sad news about Tim Russert who died yesterday, doing what he loved - prepping for Sunday's Meet The Press.

I never knew Tim Russert personally, although we have spent almost every Sunday morning together for the last 17 years. For a political and news junkie like me, Meet the Press is required viewing. When I lived in DC, I survived working Sundays at Hogan because starting at noon, the local NPR station replayed all the Sunday morning political shows (Meet the Press, This Week with David Brinkley, Face the Nation, and the rest).
Tim Russert was the best of the best as far as political journalists go. His research on each guest was impeccable. Although he asked tough questions, he never entered the arena of "gotcha" questions. And he listened to the answers. Whatever his own personal political beliefs, you didn't know it when watching MTP.

And certainly, Election Nights were nothing without Tim. In fact, Tim Russert is credited with coining the phrases "Red State" and "Blue State." His goal was to explain complicated electoral politics to the Average Joe. We all remember his famous white board from the 2000 Election Night.

Of course, Tim is also known for what he's done for Father's Day. His love for his dad and his son were evident everyday of his life. And his book "Big Russ and Me" probably brought many fathers and sons closer.

I will miss Tim Russert deeply. No one holds a candle to him. And the 2008 Presidential Election will be poorer for his untimely death.

I have no idea how his shoes will be filled, although at least for tomorrow, Tom Brokaw will attempt to fill the void on Meet the Press.

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