I'm not going to sit here and tell you how much I thought of Tim Russert as a journalist. That would be hypocritical. I always thought he was far tougher on Democrats than he was on Republicans. I frequently expressed frustration with him
, because I thought his "20 years ago you said A and now you said B" game on Meet the Press
was partially responsible for the lionization of guys like George W. Bush as "resolute", when what they offered was really just a foolish consistency. That said, there's no denying his importance to television journalism, and there's also no denying that broadcast journalism is far poorer today without him.
But I didn't know the man and I filtered my view of him through my own politics and perceptions. What I'll always remember is THIS interview:
(Part II here
So it's better left to those who knew the man to share their memories of how Tim Russert enriched their lives, and in this way shall WE know him as well.
(UPDATE: John Cole says what the rest of us don't dare to
...and he's right. Skippy too picks up the baton
. And they're right. I don't begrudge the folks at NBC pre-empting their programming yesterday for a video wake. Russert was one of their own, and a Very Big Gun in the arsenal of what they do. But enough already. Doing on-air group therapy in the immediate aftermath of a shocking and sudden death is one thing; holding a week-long on-air wake is quite another, I don't care how much you loved Tim Russert as a co-worker. Skippy and John are absolutely right, that this continued rending of garments on national television is a symptom not of the love that these people had for Russert, but of their own egotistical need to be Part Of The Story™. Of course in an odd way, this is quite a fitting tribute to Russert, who was often guilty of the very same kind of egotism.)
Labels: Tim Russert