In Memoriam: Tim Russert
Like I'm sure all of us, I was stunned to hear this afternoon that Tim Russert had passed away at the age of 58. I had the good fortune to meet him last year at NBC's Washington Studio and spoke with him, Charlie Cook, and Chuck Todd (admittedly, I had no idea who Chuck Todd was at the time) for about 15 minutes. Although these three individuals are (and today the verb is sadly "were") 3 of the best political journalists in America, the conversation revolved almost entirely on the Washington Nationals. Just from that brief meeting, I saw the passion that Russert had for the game; his passion for politics was obvious for anyone who watched Meet the Press, just as he made quite apparent his love of the Bills and his family. At the time of this conversation, I was three days away from having a minor heart procedure; now, almost exactly one year later, Russert is gone seemingly of a heart attack.
Watching his colleague react to this devastating news, it was apparent how much he meant to them. Olbermann and Todd were near tears; Chris Matthews (in Paris in the middle of the night there) in shock. Brokaw will be hosting a tribute this Sunday on Meet the Press about his friend and colleague. He was not a perfect journalist, but he was undoubtedly one of the best. Sunday mornings will never be the same. For lovers of politics and, more importantly, by his friends and family, he will be missed.