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.


  1. Anonymous9:21 AM PDT

    Dear Teddy,
    Thanks for your comments. Mom and I both shed tears over the death of that big, beefy Irish guy from Buffalo. Russert was one of the best interviewers around, and a genuinely decent guy. A rare combination. Your description of Russert was on target, as usual. He will be sorely missed.( Hope this was smart enough for you.) Bet he's conduction more interviews in heaven right now. Tim Russeert interviews Raul Wallenberg,St. Francis, Harry Truman, etc. XOX Maria Hansen

  2. Anonymous4:31 PM PDT

    I will not miss Russert.

    Doing "gotcha" interviews that teach us nothing -- but make the interviewee squirm accomplishes little of value. It's merely entertaining.

    He added very little to the quality of information and understanding of politics. He avoided the big issues and nitpicked at unimportant statements in search of a flipflop.

    I'm sure he was a great guy and did not deserve to die. But from where I sit in a flooded midwestern mudfield, his contributions to the world seem minimal at the moment.


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