Oh man, I came back from a meeting to find out that Tim Russert, one of NBC’s iconic journalists, died in the NBC offices today. I’m still processing it now, I grew into my political maturity watching Russert, a fellow Buffalo Bills fan (one reason I liked him I think), on Sunday mornings, and later, with the advent of technology and my inability to get up on Sunday mornings after a 5 a.m. crash time the night before, downloading “Meet the Press” to my iPod, spending part of the day walking Pickles (my dog) and listening to the show. Sometimes arguing with him or his guests, like any political junkie does I guess. (my neighbors must think Pickles and I had the strangest arguments)
I never understood a lot of the vitriol thrown at Russert from partisans on the right and the left. To me, he always tried to call it straight down the middle, being fair, yet tough, to the people he had on the other side of the table. To me that was the epitome of fairness – when both sides were attacking you for your “bias,” that usually meant you were doing something right. Watching Russert, I tried to learn how he was able to dissect a complex issue and present it to his viewers, and his guest, in a way that was to the point. I can fault him slightly for not having the biggest BS-O’meter in the world, but on a personal, and a professional level, I respected his candor and tenacity.
Being a political junkie himself, Russert will at least be able to enjoy this election from on high, sharing a drink, and debating the presidential election with people like Edward Murrow. (Not to mention trying to get that post-death interview with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.)
The interview table got a little smaller today. Via con dios, Tim.