Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Tim Russert

I just heard that Tim Russert died, probably of a heart attack. He was only 58 years old. I wanted to pay him my respects because his was the only show that I would watch not because of the guests who were to appear, but rather because he was the interlocutor. I always found him thoughtful and interesting, hard in his questions, but kind in his person. I don’t remember him ever saying anything just for the sake of apperaing to seem smart. He seemed the kind of common man who was a natural and unpretentious human being; quietly proud of having made his way, always with gratitude to those who helped and sacrificed on his behalf, especially his father. He loved his father and was grateful to him because he did his duty (and then some), never whined, and didn’t participate in that now common fake introspection that our most visible public citizens favor. Although he was a Democrat, he was of the old fashioned sort, the one who I always felt perfectly comfortable with. He, and they, loved his country not only because it was his own, but because it allowed him to come up to the level of equality that the Harvard types thought was their entitlement. I never got the sense that Russert thought he was entitled to anything, but he appreciated to have the opportunity to do things he loved. He seemed to me to have more smarts and a better character than the rest of his fellow talking heads combined. I will miss him and my good wishes are with his family. R.I.P.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Tim Russert was a good guy. The right kind of journalist and the right kind of Democrat. Washington needs more like him. We'll miss him.

Russert did indeed appear to be a decent fellow, and that, combined with the premature nature of his death, makes it that much more unfortunate.

I think he's getting too much credit here for his professional conduct, though. Let's not forget that Russert's show was the preferred venue for Cheney in ginning up support for the war in Iraq, at least in part because it was thought that he/the White House could "control the message" there. As with so many other MSM network politics talk shows (that are so regularly, and wrongly, stamped as "liberally-biased"), Meet The Press gave more airtime and guest slots to conservatives. I would probably say that Russert WAS better than many other hosts of such programs, but let's be honest, that's still pretty faint praise.

Kind in his person? - most probably so (but I never met him; most tv hosts do come off as nice enough, except for Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck). Hard in his questions? Well, it would depend on the day, and the guests, I'd say. His very unfortunate death doesn't change his professional record, though.

It bespeaks more about my snootiness than Russert's linguistic capability, but I can't get out of my mind the time (many years ago) he referred to the author of Faust as GOO THEE.

But how often do you hear anyone on tv refer to Faust? As noted above, Russert spoke American with a rare fluency.

I'll cut him a break on mispronouncing Goethe.

4: "Cut him a break." Exactly. One of the many good things about Russert was that he was living proof, in our increasingly stratified society, that one can still (and by honest means) be a brilliant success without going to a name college or having successful parents. Even more so, that one can do this without being or becoming an insufferable jerk. The stress is probably greater for a man of humble beginnings who finds himself in such a high place. It may well have contributed to Russert's untimely death.

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