Saturday, June 14, 2008

RIP Tim Russert

Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press" died today while at work. It was completely unexpected. And, I'd say, a huge loss for modern journalism.

Guys like Russert aren't supposed to die early. They're supposed to be there every Sunday for decades, just like they were the week before. You expect to see them take a dignified retirement, only to pop up again as guest commentators during particularly monumental events when the journalist in their blood refuses to NOT be there to help cover the story. It was certainly what I expected for Tim Russert.

I really like Russert. I might not always have thought he was chasing the right path (like the Clintons after the impeachment. Man, he was nuts for that story), but not only did he get great guests (I mean, seriously... it was like people were afraid NOT to show up for Meet the Press), but Russert had crazy enthusiasm for his job. You could feel it every week, as well as whenever he showed up on another show. One got the feeling he didn't just love being a witness to the mix like so many political journalists, but Tim Russert was always happy to be the one to mix things up with anyone who showed up to talk with him.

I cannot imagine what NBC will do at this point. And, if I may, it seems unfair that a guy like Russert dies at 58 when he seemed to be moving at cruising speed.

We'll miss you at The League, Russert. We may have been spotty in how often we made a point of catching Meet the Press, but it seems inconceivable we'll be finishing the 2008 election without you. Let alone, entering into a new presidency without the staff having to come by your table to explain themselves and pay their dues.

Washington Post 1
Washington Post 2
Buffalo News

So long, Mr. Russert.


Unknown said...

I've watched just about every tribute to Russert over this weekend and I still get choked up each time. It doesn't help that I still haven't completely shaken the sadness of this holiday since my own father passed in late 2003. But to know that he left both his own father (when no parent wants to outlive their child) and his son (who he was so proud of) just tugs strongly at my heartstrings each and every time I hear it.

On top of all the feelings of losing Russert the person, losing Russert the journalist is just as crushing. He was such a great interviewer, sometimes to the chagrin of his guests. The rest of the election season won't be the same without him.

The League said...

Well said, Kevin.