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Tim Russert Dies At 58

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the never-stop-asking dept.

Television 196

SputnikPanic writes "Tim Russert, NBC News' Washington bureau chief and moderator of the popular Sunday talk program Meet the Press, has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 58. Russert was known as an even-handed journalist who did not shy away from asking direct and often difficult questions of politicians regardless of their political persuasion. Earlier this year, Russert had been named by Time Magazine as one of the '100 most influential people in the world.'"

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196 comments

Most influential (-1, Flamebait)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785757)

Well, Windows is the most influential OS in the world, and 1918 influenza outbreak was the most influential flu in the world.

Doesn't mean Tim will be missed much.

Re:Most influential (2)

Bawls (452044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785815)

rip

are you seriously turning this into an os debate

Re:Most influential (5, Insightful)

mactard (1223412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785819)

Well he'll be missed by those who don't make dumbass analogies.

Re:Most influential (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786163)

More than you'll be missed when you go, which can't be soon enough!

Re:Most influential (-1, Troll)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786693)

And that tells you something sad about American society.

Did we get a slashdot obituary for the first black PhD chemist who discovered steroids?
Did we get a slashdot front page story for Randolph Chase who died this Monday?

But just because this one guy was good at reading teleprompter...

Re:Most influential (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787175)

Somebody call the waaaaaambulance! We've got a bleeder!

Re:Most influential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787221)

Well, Windows is the most influential OS in the world, and 1918 influenza outbreak was the most influential flu in the world. Doesn't mean Tim will be missed much.

All of your contrarian posts on slashdot indicate that you are begging for attention.

You need to invest in psychotherapy; at the very least we will ask you to stop posting your cries for help, thinly veiled as legitimate opinion, here on slashdot.

Once again (-1, Troll)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787811)

Once again, I find myself rather glad that I don't know who some random celebrity is.

This year's race won't be the same (5, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785773)

I always looked forward to how Russert handled interviews and debates. Left or right, loony or sane, one always got a fair hand from him. He'd get on anyone who was hiding something, but I don't know of many who left his presence angry.

He was a rarity in the world of political journalism.

Re:This year's race won't be the same (5, Insightful)

Veramocor (262800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785855)

I fully agree. Tim Russert was the embodiment of what 'fair and balanced' should mean. He asked probing questions, slammed politicians with fact based evidence when they flip flopped or lied, liberal and conservative. If all journalists were like him our countries politics would be much better on both sides.

Re:This year's race won't be the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787001)

oh I don't know.

He seemed to have some kind of love-in with Huckster during the primaries

Re:This year's race won't be the same (-1, Troll)

Phairdon (1158023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787569)

Fair and balanced? Isn't this the same Tim Russert who seriously compared George Bush to Adolf Hitler? The same Tim Russert who said that Bush wanted 9/11 to happen? Before he hosted a tv show he worked closely with several high profile Democrats. He is a former counselor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo. He's hosted the Democrat National Conventions. He was anything but fair and balanced. However, I am sad to see him go.

Re:This year's race won't be the same (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785885)

"I always looked forward to how Russert handled interviews and debates. Left or right, loony or sane, one always got a fair hand from him. He'd get on anyone who was hiding something, but I don't know of many who left his presence angry.

He was a rarity in the world of political journalism."

I have to agree....I loved to watch him on Meet The Press. He asked tough questions, and wouldn't generally let the guest doubletalk their way out of not answering...and I thought he was nothing but fair no matter which side of the aisle the guest was. Damn....

Man...so many famous people are dropping like flies last month or two...Bo Diddley, Harvey Korman, etc. Those guys were quite old, long lives...but, Tim was so young looking. I'd not heard he'd had any health problems....wow.

R.I.P., you'll be missed.

:(

Re:This year's race won't be the same (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787339)

Those guys were quite old, long lives...but, Tim was so young looking. I'd not heard he'd had any health problems....wow.

Not to belittle his death, because he will definitely be missed by many (myself included). But one had only to look at him to realize that he wasn't exactly in prime shape (or anywhere near it, for that matter).

Not to speak ill of the dead ... (-1, Flamebait)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785929)

Re:Not to speak ill of the dead ... (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786195)

but... in your own weaselly way, you have.

Whether or not he did or didn't do anything, how is it that you can't see your way to honoring him as a human being?

Were you honoring Pol Pot as a human being (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786449)

when he died? And no, I'm not comparing Tim Russert to Pol Pot. I'm just saying that "honoring" *any* person, just because they die, is silly.

Re:Were you honoring Pol Pot as a human being (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786785)

Of course you are. But hey, I am impressed you didn't go for the Hitler analogy.

You're just a mean spirited bastard. I hope when it's your turn, you're remember well anyway.

The question remains: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787737)

Did you honor Pol Pot as a person when he died 10 years ago? It's a simple "yes" or "no" question.

Re:Not to speak ill of the dead ... (1)

j79zlr (930600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786241)

You are trying to smear possibly the only relatively unbiased guy on NBC with a Huffington Post article, on the day he dies. You sir, are a worse man than I. And you get modded informative, nice.

Re:Not to speak ill of the dead ... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786575)

That has got to be one of the dumbest articles I have read all year. It is just nitpicking. Russert didn't lie in that regard.

Completely agreed (4, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786245)

The world of political news, especially with this historic national election coming up, will be poorer for his passing. I wish he could have lived to see it and report on it.

Re:This year's race won't be the same (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786517)

Agreed. We needed more Tim Russerts .. Tim Russert was actually fair and balanced as opposed to the fake Fox "Fair and Balanced"... He asked the questions many of us would want to of many in the world of politics.. He held many feet to the fire, not tolerating BS, from democrat or republican...

thoughts are with his family...

Re:This year's race won't be the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787895)

We're lucky to have him to inspire us.

Very sad (1)

dustinl (840171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785775)

Sundays will never be the same again. We lost one of our best journalists around. Goodbye Tim.

Quite sad (2, Insightful)

SuperBry (1242668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785777)

America has just lost one of the last great newsmen out there. I know my sunday mornings wont be quite the same.

I think I speak for everyone (-1, Troll)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785779)

that does not live in American when I say..

who?

--
Free Playstation 3, XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii [free-toys.co.uk]

Re:I think I speak for everyone (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785905)

Why can't you just fucking google him [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Re:I think I speak for everyone (0, Flamebait)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786581)

Why can't you just fucking google him

Of course, you can also just fucking google Zico [google.com] , or Evert Taube [google.com] , or Pajarito Buitrago [google.com] , but it still wouldn't be "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters".

Re:I think I speak for everyone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786395)

Look, everyone! A trolling cocksucker with sig that spams for free video games!

Could someone banhammer this fucking idiot NOW, please?

Re:I think I speak for everyone (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786443)

that does not live in American when I say.. who?
What country do you live in where you're too stupid to use Google or Wikipedia?

RIP, Tim (5, Interesting)

justanyone (308934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785781)

The irony is, on his show recently someone referred to his dad, "Big Russ", as being deceased. Tim had to correct him.

Re:RIP, Tim (5, Informative)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785915)

That was Terry McAuliffe of the Democrat party who made the gaffe.

Re:RIP, Tim (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786237)

Video of the discussion [youtube.com] , in case you missed it.

Re:RIP, Tim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788709)

There is no Democrat party in the United States.

Are you sure you didn't mean Republicant or Democratic?

Seen from a mile away (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23785789)

I'd have a heart attack too if I had to work around all those liberal douchebags at MSNBC.

RIP Tim. Fuck you Obermann!

News for Nerds? (-1, Offtopic)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785817)

While this is an interesting story, I don't see why it has anything to do with Slashdot. Tim Russard dieing is of very little interest to most geeks, and of especially little interest to people outside the US, since his whole sow was solely based on US politics.

Re:News for Nerds? (-1, Offtopic)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785845)

Because...he ran Linux AND blended.

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785851)

I agree. Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

The Omlette (4, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786043)

You know, I'm quite the nerd and this story, while tragic, is the exact kind of thing I'd like to know. In fact, Slashdot's firehose system is specifically made to sift the interesting stories - like this one - to the top. A quick thank you for being everything CmdrTaco wants the community to not be. If you read through the FAQ it's easy to find tidbits like this:

Some of my favorite "bad" or off-topic comments are things like "Slashdot sucks!" and "This isn't news for nerds!" and "Moderate this XXX!" Any of these may be true, but they're probably off topic!
If you still don't understand your offtopic moderation please read the Omlette Rant [slashdot.org]

cheers

Re:The Omlette (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787483)

Thank god they took John Katz out of the omlette.

Re:News for Nerds? (1, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786547)

"While this is an interesting story, I don't see why it has anything to do with Slashdot. Tim Russard dieing is of very little interest to most geeks, and of especially little interest to people outside the US, since his whole sow was solely based on US politics."

You do realize this is a US site, with predominately US issues in mind don't you?

Or...you must be new here?

Re:News for Nerds? (-1, Flamebait)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786917)

What exactly is the point of re-hashing the news that will be re-hashed by all 7 News channels, ad nauseam.

But then again, you are probably the kind of a person that loves media "updates" on Aruba, the billionair airplain guy, Scot Peterson, or the state of Brittany's custody lawsuit.

Either that, or you enjoy the trite condolences he-meant-so-much-to-me circlejerk.

Re:News for Nerds? (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787903)

"But then again, you are probably the kind of a person that loves media "updates" on Aruba, the billionair airplain guy, Scot Peterson, or the state of Brittany's custody lawsuit."

No..I don't usually pay that stuff much attention, but, when one of the most important political newsmen of recent times...that is as unbiased as they come dies....especially in such an important junction in US politics...it is something that is, or should be to US citizens.

Too many people in the US aren't paying attention...and this was as good of a guy to help that problem as possible. He couldn't make you watch or care...but, he was good at putting it out there.

At this point in time....this was an important death.

I cannot at this point think of much of anyone out there to replace him......and we need many more like him. Especially these days....we are going to miss having someone that does ask the tough questions of our leaders....and not only play softball with one side or the other.

We need answers...and there's not many out there that can be trusted to do that.

Re:News for Nerds? (1, Offtopic)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786565)

I find it interesting how all of the trolls and flamers in this thread seem to be averaging a staggering number of typos and grammatical errors in every sentence they type. I know that correlation != causation, but it's still telling.

Re:News for Nerds? (3, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786805)

Who cares if it is not interesting to you or to people outside the US? The set of people who are not you and live inside the US is plenty to make it worthwhile.

Also, if this were "offtopic" for slashdot, why is there an entire Section about it?

Politics
This section is for news relevant to United States government politics. It was created primarily to cover the 2004 US Presidential Election, but today exists for occasional stories that fit the bill.

Re:News for Nerds? (3, Interesting)

Ben Newman (53813) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786913)

Hows this for a geek tie in, I built my mythTV box specifically so I wouldn't miss Meet the Press. Very sad news.

He asked questions most people would want asked (5, Insightful)

MillenneumMan (932804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785831)

Virtually no one in news asks candidates and newsmakers the tough questions anymore. You could always count on Tim to throw hardballs every time. He also was very good at ignoring spin when he didn't get a straight answer. Great interviewer and moderator. Condolences to his family and friends, he certainly was taken before his time.

Re:He asked questions most people would want asked (5, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786447)

Most reporters are terrified of not being able to get an interview at the next request. Tim was a great example of someone who could rake a guest over the coals and yet have them leaving with the words, "Until next time." And next time could be only a few weeks later.

rip (2, Insightful)

siculars (103175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785835)

good man, great reporter.

Re:rip (3, Insightful)

lilfields (961485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786995)

I'd have to say he was actually a great man and a great reporter...from what I know of the man he was a good father and an excellent role model.

R.I.P. Tim, you will be sorely missed, not only on election nights, but on Sunday mornings. And though I'm not a Buffalo Bills fan...in your honor I say...Go Bills...

Paranoid, but... (0, Troll)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785869)

Does this seem strange to anyone? I'm not sure any politician would have a real motivation to have him taken out, but something doesn't smell right here. Of course that could just me my foil hat cutting off the circulation again...

Re:Paranoid, but... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786065)

Well, the reports all say apparent heart attack. If I remember correctly from when my father had a heart attack, they were able to very quickly establish exactly what it was from the blood chemistry. Again if I remember correctly, real heart attacks leave scarring on the heart tissue, though that one would be arguably harder to look for.

It probably was a perfectly natural heart attack, but we are in a time of political uncertainty, what with a very close election race, a President all but at war with the Supreme Court, and the economy flying south for the winter^H^H^H^H^H^Hsummer. There are very likely a lot of people, right now, who would be just as happy with any and all well-known highly vocal skeptics suffering accidents. Again, I seriously doubt it's anything sinister, but even a stopped clock is going to be right eventually.

one guy could provide an answer... (-1, Flamebait)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786331)



You might want to ask Vince Foster what happens when a Clinton is unhappy. Could there be any unhappy Clintons floating about right now?

Seth

Not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786389)

My father died of a massive heart attack at the exact same age.

I won't miss him. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23785883)

He was one of the many TV "journalists" who helped deceive the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq. Instead of doing his job and investigating the Bush administration's ridiculous claims, he and the rest of the mainstream media just went along with Bush's lies. Thousands of Americans and over a million Iraqis have died in this war, which should never have been waged. Russert shares some responsibility for that.

Last of a dying breed. (4, Insightful)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785891)

Tim Russert was one of the few journalists today who are worthy of that name. Hearkening back to the proud traditions of Walter Kronkite and Edward R Murrough, who asked tough questions of big players who could normally intimidate or frighten their way out of being asked the questions.

Instead, we're left with Barbara Walters asking what sort of tree people would be, and persisting.

Another blow to quality journalism in America.

Re:Last of a dying breed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786175)

Last of a dying breed? So the rest of us will live forever? Hurrah!

Re:Last of a dying breed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787663)

"Last of a dying breed."


No pun intended.

Re:Last of a dying breed. (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788553)

Cronkite. (Kronkite was an old vaudeville character)

Murrow.

Goodbye (-1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23785897)

Tim, your contributions to the linux kernel and the open source movement will never be forgotten.

Oh, wait.

Remind me again how this is "News for nerds, stuff that matters"? Call me when they launch his ashes into orbit or something.

Re:Goodbye (2, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787153)

Its news in which nerds might be interested, and it matters. It isn't "Nerd News, Stuff that matters". Or are nerds supposed to be completely oblivious, apathetic, and uninterested in the real world? Seems a pathetic existence.

If you don't care, don't open the article. Easy enough for you?

That said, I'm a nerd, and I care, and I find that this matters, since Russert was one of the last true journalists out there, who wasn't a pretty talking-head pundit. Our supply of actual newsmen is dwindling rapidly, and soon we will be stuck with hordes of O'Reilly/Olbermann* clones. Commentators disguised as newsmen.

* I personally like Olbermann, but calling him a newsman is rather inaccurate, he's a pundit, insightful, but still a pundit.

Who will toss Obama softballs now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23785923)

that Tim Russert is gone? [commentarymagazine.com]

Oh, that's right. Every other mainstream reporter not employed by Fox. [newsbusters.org]

Not to mention Slashdot itself. [slashdot.org]

Now let the ritual downmodding begin.

RIP.

Re:Who will toss Obama softballs now... (0, Offtopic)

Eco-Mono (978899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786403)

I've discovered something: claiming in a post that the post will be downmodded due to groupthink is a surefire way to keep it from being downmodded. It seems you've discovered this as well.

Re:Who will toss Obama softballs now... (0, Troll)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788025)

that Tim Russert is gone?

Oh, that's right. Every other mainstream reporter not employed by Fox.

Not to mention Slashdot itself.

Now let the ritual downmodding begin.

RIP.


Yup, typical. "-1 Troll".

Even though you cited every claim.

Even Hillary Rodham Clinton said she got the fairest coverage on Fox News!! People on the left politically tend to believe what they want and are comfortable/reassured/vindicated by, and facts be damned. Any contentions to their views threatens their little bubble of self-created, self-vindicating reality and is viciously attacked with tactics justified by a "the ends justify the means" mindset.

This is not to say there aren't intellectually honest people with liberal/left views. Most of those people I like and respect, and can have very enjoyable and interesting debates with. The same goes for people with right-leaning, conservative views. There are people on the right that suffer some of the same pitfalls and temptations to twist reality to their mindset as people with left-leaning, liberal views. I have little patience with either.

Russert was at the top of his game and worked very hard for a long time to get where he was, and that deserves respect. However, to lament his passing as a loss of a fair and balanced journalist is simply delusional and self-vindicating feel-good mental stroking by people with leftist views at the expense of a dead man.

Oops, in the time I took to type this, someone actually modded the parent up to "-0 Insightful". There's at least one mod that doesn't equate "I disagree politically" with "Troll".

Cheers!

Strat

I'm not the only one thinking this: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786013)

Why couldn't it have been Sean Hannity instead?

But I suppose that insults Russert by implying they were anything like peers.

A sad day. (4, Insightful)

molo (94384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786137)

Meet The Press was my Sunday morning staple, and it was because of Tim Russert. NBC will be hard pressed to find someone to fill his shoes.

I'll never forget Russert on the NBC coverage of the 2000 presidential election. Early in the evening, Russert wrote on his little whiteboard "Florida, Florida, Florida!" before anyone had any idea how close it was going to be. I stayed up with Russert and Brokaw that night until the next dawn, hoping to find out who the next president would be. Of course there were no conclusions, but Russert's exploration of the electoral college system and the implications of the vote returns were insightful and kept me watching.

Russert wasn't afraid of asking tough questions to powerful people. When they would try to weasel their way out of a direct answer, he would ask again, and again if necessary. If only all journalists would have that kind of conviction.

He will be missed. My condolences to his family.

-molo

Mod OT (-1, Troll)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786145)

And this is somehow important enough to nerds to be convered here because? Great guy, sorry he's gone, but is this really worth clogging the site with? I'm sure the tiny fraction of readers here who care about US politics would inevitably come across news of his death via sites that cover political news, which should only be this one when said politics directly impacts technology.

Re:Mod OT (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786249)

You must be new here...

Re:Mod OT (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786661)

Your post itself is offtopic more then the story is. People don't usually die at 58. It is news because it is unusual and because most people on here DO care about politics because politics is just humans interacting with each other. Maybe you don't get out of the basement much and your only tan is from your monitor but in real life humans interact all the time and that interaction is what makes up politics and makes it interesting. Plus if you would ever stick your nose in a political thread you would see thousands of comments in there proving that the Slashdot userbase thinks it's important and nothing is more important than that.

Re:Mod OT (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786937)

If you consider the commentary on political threads here to be useful, you may be the one who needs to get out a bit more here. I like The Economist myself. Check out the comments on the articles at their site if you want to see a whole different class of politically informed Internet writer than this site attracts.

But I sure wouldn't ask there about, say, what to do wite a gigantic pile of leftover hard drives--a thread that's collected twice as many comments here as this one has in about the same amount of active time, since you brought up comment count as a metric of worthiness. That's the sort of thing I like and expect to read here, if I want politics I go to a real politics site.

RIP (5, Informative)

billy8988 (1049032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786193)

Sad news indeed.
Here is his interview on Readers Digest a while back.
http://www.rd.com/poll-archive-parent/games-and-humor/celebrities-and-pop-culture/politicians/tim-russert/article26850.html [rd.com]

My fav. part is

After he was named moderator of Meet the Press in 1991, Russert called Larry Spivak, one of the show's original panelists, for advice. "Learn as much as you can about your guest, and his or her position on the issues," Spivak said. "Then take the other side. If you do that, you will have a fair and balanced program."

I think he followed that mantra throughout.
My wife and I had only one TV program in common...alas..our sundays won't be same.

RIP Mr. Russert.

"The Cause of death was not immediately known" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786365)

Now correct me if I'm wrong, (I definitely could be) but if somebody dies of a heart attack wouldn't a physician be able to immediately tell that the cause of death was indeed a heart attack?

Re:"The Cause of death was not immediately known" (1)

zegota (1105649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786699)

My fiance's father died of what sounds like the exact same thing, at nearly the same age (58). He was very healthy, but had a genetic heart condition that the other doctors apparently didn't catch. To my understanding, heart failure is basically the final cause of (many|most) types of death, so it's actually a little more ambiguous than you might think. Or it could be that we just got a terrible coroner.

I'll miss his predictions (5, Interesting)

FatJuggles (1206940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786375)

He called Bill Clinton the Democratic nominee early for the '92 election...called Florida the "must win" state in 2000, and you could always count on him saying something that sounded like it was from left feild but would come true in a few months.

A few days ago, after Obama secured the nomination, I saw him smile a little while talking about him on Nightly News. Smiling not for the candidate, but I think he was really, really, really excited that he would might see a black man get elected president of his great country in HIS lifetime. He looked like a little kid...sad he did not live to see what will be.

Didn't know him personally, but great journalist. A lot will miss him.

Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (0, Troll)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786423)

That's the same "liberal" Tim Russert who confessed that he operates by the defining law of the Government propagandist: "When I talk to senior government officials on the phone, it's my own policy -- our conversations are confidential. If I want to use anything from that conversation, then I will ask permission."

And tough questions like: "There's been a lot of discussion about the Democrats and the issue of faith and values. I want to ask you a simple question. Senator Obama, what is your favorite Bible verse?" What a hard-hitting issues question.

Yes, a great loss to the hard-hitting news media of our time.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23786999)

What a hard-hitting issues question.

It may not look like it, but it is. There's been a lot of speculation that Obama isn't really a Christian (e.g., that he's really a Muslim or an atheist or whatever). If Obama couldn't come up with a verse or even hesitated, that question would've shown that he was insincere and effectively ended his campaign. By phrasing it in the way he did, Russert got to the truth of the matter in such a way that he didn't dignify the smears against Obama.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (-1, Flamebait)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787109)

Funny you should mention that seeing as the news reported tonight that Obama's brother in Africa confirmed that "Barry" grew up a Muslim.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (1)

Drive42 (444835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787399)

What the fuck does being a Muslim have to do with anything here? There can't be black Muslims? Sometimes you can tell that this website is US-centric.

Yeah, flamebait. Yadda yadda yadda. It's true.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787789)

LOL, Obama only met his father once, and didn't even meet his Kenyan half-brother until he was an adult.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787055)

You pick ONE question from this guy's 20+ year career in political journalism and believe it DEFINES his approach to seeking truth? What fucking idiotic moderator modded you up? Interesting? More like -10 dumbass.

Re:Ah yes, the tough Tim Russert... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787161)

In fairness, when you're dealing with political figures, you develop rules for what's on the record and what isn't. Clearly, Russert's practice for speaking on the phone was to treat such conversations as "off the record" or "background". If he then wanted to use what he got in a way that would lead to the official's doorstep, he'd need to ask permission. Knowledge gained this way is often used to question other officials on the record and shake information out of them, or to figure out whether somebody's lying.

Most journalists assume that unless it's expressly stated otherwise, an interview is on the record. There's no rule about this, however. Perhaps Russert felt that a phone interview was too easy to fake. Whatever the case, the key is that the ground rules are understood by both sides.

One of the best (3, Interesting)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786469)

While I doubt any of his family or friends is going to see this, for what it's worth, my condolences go to you.

Tim Russert was both an amazing man and an incredible journalist- a tremendous asset to the fourth estate, our nation, and the world. His unique blend of hard-hitting questions and high standard of impartiality have made our politics richer, our people better informed, and our politicians that much more honest.

Without any doubt, Mr.Russert's passing is a terrible blow to the once-noble profession of journalism. He will be sorely missed both by those who knew him well and by those of us who knew only the good he did in the public eye. His death, early as it was, should be taken by all of us as a reminder of our transience, and of the need to preserve the work of our lives for the generations that come after us. Tim Russert's great work, the great effort of his life, was to restore to journalism the spirits of integrity, honesty, and candor that once characterized the mighty fourth estate. It would be a great shame to his memory if those spirits were to die with him; if, in the absence of the man himself, we allow his dreams to wither.

For everyone reading this, I hope you can find a way to honor a man who worked so hard to make this world a better place in which to live- to build upon his life's work, and to bring even one more iota of honesty to the political process. Register a voter, write a letter to your representative or the editor of your newspaper, join a campaign- and always ask the hard questions. I don't think he would've liked anything better.

RIP, Tim. If you see God, I hope you get an exclusive.

RIP (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23786529)

I respected Tim Russert a great deal. He was one of the few out there who still seemed like he wanted to do hard news and prevent bias as much as he could.

Re:RIP (1)

mambosauce (1236224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787295)

amen to that. he's as balanced as any host could be. i'm pouring a 40 out for him tonight

Deep Vein Thrombosis? (0, Flamebait)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787013)

Tim Russert flew home from Italy just last evening.

I remember reading about a young woman (25) who died after getting off a flight to Australia fron a DVT blood clot. She apparently didnt leave her seat for the whole 13 hour flight.

Since I fly a lot, I make sure that on flights longer than an hour or two, I get up and walk the length of the airplane, just to keep the circulation going.

Russert, being overweight, would be prime for a DVT Heart Attack. One little clot, it breaks loose, blocks a blood vessel in the heart, and boom, you die.

I would not be surprised that this happened to Russert. Shame, he was as fair as a liberal gets. I'm not trolling, either. I liked him.

Re:Deep Vein Thrombosis? (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787051)

If I am not mistaken, DVT also killed NBC reporter David Bloom, who sat in an APC in Iraq for 2-3 days before the blood clot got him.

Apparently not (5, Informative)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787525)

From CNBC: Russert's physician, Michael Newman, said cholesterol plaque ruptured in an artery, causing sudden coronary thrombosis.

Russert had earlier been diagnosed with asymptomatic coronary artery disease, but it was well-controlled with medication and exercise, and he had performed well on a stress test in late April, Newman said. An autopsy revealed that he also had an enlarged heart, Newman said.

This is what all that Omega3 fish oil is supposed to prevent? Time to go kill a salmon!

Bland but not abrasive, and no more than that (4, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787017)

It makes me sad to see people memorializing Russert as a giant of journalism. At best he was a non-abrasive talker tossing softballs. The standard for journalism only seems to get lower and lower.

It's too bad he has died but it's only bad for journalism because so many of his competitors are loudmouth idiots. A calm demeanor has been enough to make him look like Walter Cronkite but for those of us with longer memories Russert is not notable.

Jon Stewart is a better journalist. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787439)

A calm demeanor has been enough to make him look like Walter Cronkite but for those of us with longer memories Russert is not notable.
I'd have to agree.

And I'd recommend reading Scott McClellan's book to see how the press was manipulated. And is still being manipulated.

McClellan's book also has about the only decent quote from Russert about Gulf War II.

Lou Dobbs asks harder questions about immigration almost every single week than Russert ever did about the war.

Jon Stewart is the best journalist we have and he's limited by whatever he can turn into a joke.

Haunt the studio Tim! (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787137)

Someone is likely to try to take over the balanced format that he started. The name Tim will always remind me of the ABC episodes of Jim Henson's Dinosaur Sitcom. "Gonna need another Timmy!"

Karma! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787211)

It is only Karma that came back to him.

For:

Selling out and becoming a pundit.
Making the news instead of reporting it.

His handling of reporting on the Iraq War and selling the war to the American people. He sold out the American people on the truth about the war. He assisted the Bush Administration on its propaganda for the war.

He helped still the nomination from Clinton for Obama, because it was a more sensational headline.

Russert was not Even-Handed (-1, Offtopic)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787479)

Tim Russert was not even-handed. He was a former White House staffer.

He typically softballed Republicans and turned his investigative skills loose only when interviewing Democrats. I know real even-handed journalists at (and above) Russert's level who have commented to me that they think he is a disgrace, even that there should be some prohibition on former political operatives taking jobs like moderator of Meet the Press, as it is clearly a conflict of interest for our Press to be in bed with our politicians.

I wish Media Matters went back farther than two years. It would be interesting to compare Scott McLellan's admissions of the lack of due diligence by the White House Press Corps with a log of Russert's failings in the days leading up to the war.

http://mediamatters.org/issues_topics/tags/tim_russert [mediamatters.org]

Re:Russert was not Even-Handed (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787537)

I'm sorry. Severe brain-fart there. I have confused Russert with someone else.

"Never mind."
-Emily Litella

Media Matters: Where idiots go to complain.... (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787563)

Tim Russert was NOT a White House Staffer, he worked for Speaker Tip O'Neill (Democrat) and Senator Patrick Moynahan (Democrat) and Russert himself was a proud liberal, in the old tradition of Scoop Jackson, not a reactionary nutjob like that gay(not that theres anything wrong with that) fool Keith Olberman.

Get your facts straight.

May I be the first to say... (0, Offtopic)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787769)

... never heard of him. If he is worthy of mourning then I wish all those affected all my condolences.

Foreshadowed on the Colbert Report? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787853)

Didn't Stephen Colbert recently make fun of a Hillary Clinton aid for making threats at Tim Russert's dad, saying that they'll put him in heaven if Russert doesn't play nice with them? (Damn. It was just a week or two ago...)

Jimmy James (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788157)

Am I the only one who thought Russert was the spitting image of Jimmy James from Newsradio?

Tim Russert... (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788659)

... Who? I never watch TV and I've never seen him mentioned on /. that I remember. He effectively doesn't exist to me.
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