Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, RIP

NBC host of Meet the Press Tim Russert died today of a heart attack. He was 58 years old, too young.

He was a firebrand interviewer, famous for making Republican and Democratic politicians squirm with this jabbing questioning style. Anyone who'd watched Meet the Press couldn't help but feel sympathy for the guest who showed up unprepared, without a plan or a consistent history of policy thinking who found themselves being expertly dissected by Russert's questions; Russert's reputation as a passionate, thorough yet fair inquisitor was legendary, and one was left to wonder why any politico, elected or otherwise, would bother showing with less than their best game.

His effectiveness had something to do that he seemed to do his homework , and his staff was very good at finding past guest statements about issues that contradicting more recent utterances where opinions and agendas were at least mollified, softened, or at least soft pedaled. No one was better in revealing politicians who desired power for its own sake rather than use for doing the people's business.Tim Russert will be missed, and one hopes NBC has the good fortune to replace him with some of similar punch.