Saturday, June 14, 2008

R.I.P. Tim Russert

I was shocked this afternoon to learn that Tim Russert, long-time moderator of NBC's Meet the Press died today from a massive heart attack.

Of all the political analysts on network and cable television, Russert was top notch. He was intelligent and engaging. He was also absolutely and completely non-partisan. He favored no party and showed no favor to anyone. It didn't matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat, man or woman, politician or pundit, he asked fair, tough questions that held our public officials and talking heads to account. More than that, he did it without being confrontational or divisive.

Meet the Press with Tim Russert is the only Sunday morning politics show I watched. I was looking forward to watching and listening to Russert provide pointed, but fair, analysis in the upcoming presidential race.

The world of journalism is a darker place for having lost Tim Russert.

9 comments:

Cele said...

The amount of emotion and tribute shown by his collegues speaks volumes about the man.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: The only other journalists I feel this strongly about are Peter Jennings and Helen Thomas. The rest are only interested in the sound of their own voices, but Russert and Jennings were the real deal in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow. And Thomas is a ball-busting, hard-hitting journalist who doesn't take crap from anyone!

speener said...

How crazy is this? Way too young - I didn't always agree with him, but he always did a great job. Sorely missed especially at this stage in American politics. We'll miss him going into November's election. It's amazing to say that about a journalist.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Spencer: Way crazy! And yes, way too young. I didn't always agree with Russert (although, I agreed with him more times than not), but I liked his ethics: accountability, intelligence, and thoroughness. I was looking forward to this year's political analysis leading up to and into the election. Now? Not so much.

lacochran said...

I can't imagine who is going to take his place. Nobody seems to be at the same level.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Lacochran: I agree. I keep thinking Keith Olberman, but his temperament is too much like that of Bill O'Reilly. Chris Matthews is just too, too much. They've got to find someone intelligent who will do their homework and ask questions of accountability, like Russert. Not sure who that will be...

talkingbudgie said...

It's just awful. He was a good man and a brilliant journalist. More than ever the world needed him before this election. As others have said, it's going to be so difficult to replace him.

Adriana Velez said...

Great tribute -- and yes, a terrible loss, especially at this moment! So young, too. SIGH

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

E:) : Hear! Hear! He always did such a great job of explaining the political process to the educated and the average person without being patronizing to either. His is going to be a tough act to follow.


Adriana: Thanks. And yes, it seems the good die young and the mean die old. Going with that theory, this means Bill O'Reilly and James Carville--both pundits I can't stand--will live well into their 90s spouting off their bitterness and anger and doing little to contribute to intelligent dialogue in the political process. It's so unfair.