AndyO Blog

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tim Russert - In memoriam

Update - 6/22/08

I just read that Tom Brokaw will be taking over for Tim Russert on "Meet the Press." I don't think anyone else could have taken over, at least on the NBC roster, as Brokaw was the most popular news anchroman when he stepped down in 2004. Brokaw will bring the authority that NBC needs in an election year.

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When I read about Tim Russert's death last Friday, it seemed a little surreal. I had practically just seen him at my work two years earlier, on June 8, 2006, where he talked to the small crowd, and then signed copies of "Wisdom of Our Fathers." I wasn't going to buy the book, but just listening to him talk about it sold me (it was a collection of letters from people who talked about the wisdom of their fathers). I gave it to my Dad for Father's Day, and he really enjoyed it.

I have to admit I didn't watch "Meet the Press" too often, but I did see Mr. Russert on other news shows. He always came across as a serious journalist. When I saw him in person, Russert seemed like the kind of guy you could sit down with and have a few beers -- a friend. It was this quality that made him so popular with TV audiences.

Thinking back on the hour I spent with Russert, thinking about the brief exchange we had when he signed my book, I'm reminded of how one person can make a difference. In this age of media spin and information overload, it was refreshing to find someone in a position of influence who knew how to cut through the B.S. Who knew how to shine a light on the Truth.

It's rare to see such an outpouring of sympathy and mourning for a journalist. From what I've read, Russert's funeral was much like a state funeral -- with mayors, senators, presidents, colleagues, and presidential hopefuls in attendance.

I think that Russert would have been shocked by the amount of attention his funeral received. I think he would have worried about what wasn't being reported on because of his funeral.

But sometimes people need to stop and pay tribute to a person who changed the world.

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posted by AndyO @ 1:05 AM   0 comments links to this post