Tim Russert 7 May 1950 – 13 June 2008

Written by  //  June 13, 2008  //  Media, Politics  //  No comments

Alex Wong / Getty Images file

June 18
Thousands join president in mourning Russert
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of friends, colleagues and strangers joined President Bush and his wife, Laura, in paying respects on Tuesday to Tim Russert.
Washington bureau chief, ‘Meet the Press’ moderator collapsed on job
‘Tragic loss for journalism’
(NBC) Tenacity and passion
Russert’s tenacity as a reporter and his consuming passion for politics were evident during his nearly round-the-clock appearances on NBC and MSNBC on election nights.
Russert said, “Lawrence Spivak, who founded ‘Meet the Press,’ told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side,” he said in a 2007 interview with Time magazine. “And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”
He was “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in announcing Russert’s death. His assessment was echoed by former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, who said, “This is a tragic loss for journalism and for all who were privileged to know him.”

Tim Russert, ‘Meet the Press’ Host, Is Dead at 58
(NYT) With his plain-spoken explanations and hard-hitting questions, Mr. Russert played an increasingly outsized role in the media’s coverage of politics. The elegantly simple white memo board he used on election night in 2000 to explain the deadlock in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore became one of the most iconic images in the history of American television coverage of the road to the White House.
“He really was the best political journalist in America, not just the best television journalist in America,” said Al Hunt, the Washington executive editor of Bloomberg News and the former Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.

Russert’s effect on political journalism is evident almost everywhere. The Washington Post credited him with coming up with the phrases “red states” and “blue states” as a way of dividing up the parts of the country that tended to vote Republican and those that aligned more closely with Democrats. Bloomberg

Top US TV journalist Russert dies

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