Friday, June 13, 2008

In Memoriam


I'm speechless.

I had just learned of this and was writing this post when NBC made the official announcement:

Tim Russert is dead.

Seriously, a tremendous loss to television journalism.

17 comments:

kelley said...

I am so saddened.... he was my favorite.... I will miss those smiling eyes - he always looked so joyful, you could tell he loved what he did...

Blade said...

This is what happens to those who totally own a high ranking republican on national TV :(

RIP Tim.

Deacon Blue said...

I hope he was mentoring some folks and/or has one or more actual proteges somewhere, because Lord knows we cannot afford to lose too many real journalists with actual skill these days...given the proliferation of egomaniacal blowhard non-journalists serving in "journalist" roles on TV.

We'll miss you, Tim.

Anonymous said...

im in shock. Russert was brilliant.

-hecubus

sherry said...

I am, ironically, working on an article on political media bias. I'd been thinking about how Russert was one of the few good guys left and then I heard this sad news. Damn it all.

Amanda said...

One of the few people left in the industry that I looked up to and respected. One of the most respectable journalists left on television. I had the pleasure to meet him once after he spoke on campus. I had to talk to his driver and wait for about an hour, but Russert autographed my book and talked shop with me for a minute while the president of the university waited for us. Not all famous folks are so friendly. A tremendous loss, not just for the network and the industry, but for the viewers as well. Here's hoping that a few people are inspired to continue practicing the type of journalism that Tim did.

Anonymous said...

Yes. He was one of the good ones, if not the only good one. Unbiased. Factual. Sensible. I never changed the channel on him.

Anonymous said...

So true.

In an arena dominated by showmen, Tim Russert was a true NEWSman. He'll be missed.

nancy said...

That is sad and shocking indeed. Sunday mornings and election coverages will never be the same....

Anonymous said...

absolutely - hellva guy and a great journalist.

Chris said...

A colleague just leaned over to me as we watched tape of Russert grilling Cheney and said, "The wrong person had the heart attack."

Jacki Schechner said...

I'm really sad. We've lost a legend. He was one of the good guys.

Marilynn said...

Truly Russert was the one to listen to when you wanted the facts - no fluff, just pure journalism at its best; the old school type, just get to the bottom of the story, back it up with research and data and above all, don't make things up!

He will be very much missed in our household and I am saddened that my young kids won't have the privilege to watch a true professional journalist in their element.

Goodbye Tim and RIP.

Michael J. West said...

It feels like a bulwark -- the bulwark, perhaps -- of respectable, hard TV news is gone.

He was the only remaining news personality I could name whom even the most shameless pundits wouldn't DARE accuse of partisan bias.

Without his integrity to stand in their way, I fear the corporate execs will finally be able to kill real television journalism entirely. Scuttlebutt here in Washington is that Brokaw may come out of retirement to serve as interim Bureau Chief until the election; me, I'm counting on a reality game show called Who Wants to Host Meet the Press?

Anonymous said...

Tragic. I'm curious to see what Colbert and Stewart will have to say.

VOTAR said...

Believe it or not, the shameless pundits will still (even unconsciously) try. I purposely tuned to Fox News yesterday; Russert's passing occurred during Neil Cavuto's program. At one point his on-air ad hoc eulogy contained the phrase "...despite Russert's liberal orthodoxy, he was..." yada yada. A classic, if unintended, back handed compliment.

In Cavuto's defense, it appeared he didn't even realize what he had said. That kind of subliminal partisanship is so second nature to conservative pundits it happens apparently by rote, even in the context of a eulogy for a man whose character is so obviously unassailable.

I spent a little time tuned in to MSNBC as well, which was quite difficult to watch. As fired up as Keith Olberman gets on Countdown, watching him try to navigate this tragedy while obviously choking back the compulsion to completely break down live on the air was utterly heartbreaking.

Even when I am the most weary of the circus that political discourse can become, there was always a comfort zone watching Russert. Meet the Press was an oasis of information in a swamp full of hot air and hype.

His journalistic integrity aside, I was struck also by the realization, listening to the various eulogies and letters pouring in from journalists, politicians, and world leaders, that here was someone whose life was an example to all of us. Not someone who would ever even suggest how you ought to conduct yourself, he simply lived it.

It's a clumsy comparison but I feel the same now as I did when Phil Hartman died, "of all the people, why him?" I rarely say things like this, but from what admittedly little I know, it's obvious that we have lost one of the best of us.

Anonymous said...

Has irony fled the room? One of the good ones? Please. It's sad he died so suddenly. I'm sure he wasn't a terrible person. But his true colors revealed during the Libby trial tell all. He was no journalist. One step up from the buffoonery of Matthews. I'll just assume you're all being ironic here.