Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, R.I.P.

From the Buffalo News:
Buffalo native Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press" and author of books about his family and experience growing up in Buffalo, has died from a heart attack, according to the New York Times and the New York Post.
The New York Post reported that Russert collapsed at NBC's Washington news bureau. Russert, who once served as press secretary for former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and as chief of staff to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, went on to become a force of his own in Washington politics through his position as interviewer on "Meet the Press."
Russert, 58, grew up in South Buffalo and attended Canisius High School. He frequently referred to his roots on his television show, and remained a booster of Buffalo's sports teams even after becoming one of the best-known faces in the Washington press corps.
His books include "Big Russ and Me," a memoir of his childhood and the lessons learned from his father, who still lives in South Buffalo. He also is survived by his wife and son, Luke.
Russert was one of the most aggressive and well-informed interviewers in TV news. His sudden and unexpected death is a tragic loss for American journalism.

UPDATE: The New York Times:
Mr. Russert was a towering figure in American journalism and moderated several debates during the recent presidential primary season.
Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC Nightly News, came on the air at 3:39 p.m. and reported that Mr. Russert had collapsed and died early this afternoon while at work. He had just returned from Italy with his family.
My God, what a terrible thing. Russert was a blue-collar Democrat who was sometimes accused of liberal bias, but who could get pretty tough on Democrats, too. As I wrote just yesterday at the American Spectator blog, it was a question from Russert that started Hillary Clinton's meltdown:

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin writes:
He was a fixture of Beltway political journalism, good on the entitlement crisis, and by all accounts, a good-humored guy. One small personal experience: When I was a lowly videotape library aide at NBC News in 1992, I sent him a critique of the information-gathering system -- and he was kind enough to send a reply.
Kind to young right-wingers? Wait until the Netroots find out about that.

UPDATE III: MSNBC adds details:
Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s "Meet the Press" program when he collapsed, the network said. He and his family had recently returned from Italy, where they celebrated the graduation of Russert's son, Luke, from Boston College. . . .
He was "one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time," Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of "NBC Nightly News," said in announcing Russert's death. "This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice."
I can think of nobody in TV news today who will be able to fill Russert's shoes.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve been feeling more and more cynical. The first thought, when I heard that Tim Russert had a heart attach is, “He was a busy guy, probably slept 4 hours a night or less, probably at meals on the run, and it caught up to him.

    The second thought I had was, he was taken out by the Clinton’s because he asked Hillary hard questions, he, I think, was the first pundant to call the race for Obama. In a world were the Clinton’s have long memories, hold grudges, and don’t play fair, I’d say there is at least a chance he was target by Billary for extinction.