RIP, Mr. Russert

The news that the great Tim Russert passed away so abruptly, hit me surprisingly hard today. I’m an admitted and unabashed national news junkie, and right now, this feels like my uncle has passed or something. I can’t imagine Sunday, or good grief, watching the upcoming election coverage — without him.

Tim Russert was a rare breed. He was a truly diligent journalist who was brave enough to ask the tough questions. He almost always hit his mark. This is a huge loss for his family, for NBC news, for journalism, for America. It’s heartbreaking that he won’t get to moderate these upcoming debates, and see whoever wins this important and historic election.

Andrea Mitchell just interviewed Russert’s physician, Michael Newman, about the cause of his death — sudden coronary thrombosis, despite Russert’s best efforts to exercise, maintain control over his high blood pressure. He struggled with his weight, and to find time to take care of himself. “He’d always say “Tomorrow. I’m going to start tomorrow, doc,” his doctor said, before admitting there was no indication of this coming at all. Russert passed a stress test in April, and just this morning, worked out on his treadmill. Heartbreaking, and scary. A wake up call for myself and so many of us who say to ourselves, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Click here to watch an hour-long interview that Charlie Rose did in 2001, to commemorate a decade of Russert hosting Meet the Press. Warning, the audio’s out of sync and pretty loud. And yeah, the interview clocks in at 57 minutes long. But it’s a charming, interesting exchange between two energetic, engaged peers. For a newshound, it’s fascinating stuff.

Rest in Peace, Tim Russert. Sundays won’t be the same without you.

** On November 11, 2007, Tim Russert hosted Senator Barack Obama on Meet the Press, and it was memorable and lengthy. Click here for part one of that interview. Click here for Politico.com’s list of memorable Russert moments.

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Comments

  1. Davina Emily says:

    Afrobella, I can’t believe Tim Russert is gone either. I have become a news junkie myself in the past few years. You could always count on Tim to be frank and honest. He had this quality about him that was refresing for someone in the journalism world. Its hard to to believe that he will not be here for the upcoming presidential election. He had the ability to explain what was happening in such a plan way that everyone could understand. He will be truly missed,my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleague.

    ** I too am one of those individuals that always say tomorrow,but needs to start today

  2. this is why I read your blog. You speak my heart.

    Sundays will never ever be the same

  3. I am shocked at Tim Russert’s death. I can not imagine my Sunday’s w/o him. I feel that he was fair and asked the tough questions. I would wait until he interviewed a person before I formed an opinion because of him. I knew he would ask the questions that I would ask if I could. I am a news junkie too and he provided the fix. So sad!

  4. RIP

  5. I am so heartbroken. I stopped watching Meet The Press on Sundays ONLY because I get it as a podcast and I really look foward to watching it on my commute to work. Unlike FAUX(Fox)News, Tim Russert was never biased in his journalism,treating all his guests the same. I have so much repect for him and now I don’t know how I am going to deal with not seeing him on MTP. RIP Mr. Russert

  6. Tim Russert was a class act during a time where we value “shock” more than anything with substance. I always tuned into him during “Meet the Press.” He will be missed. God bless his family.

  7. auragirl says:

    I cried when I read about Tim’s untimely passing yesterday afternoon. As a serious political and news junkie, Tim was my go to guy for the straight analysis and for the solid, tough but fair interviews of political figures. Although I never knew Tim personally, I always felt like I did because we had a few things in common. His undergraduate and law education took place in my hometown, we were both proud Catholics, and his son and I are the same age. Tim’s passion for his work radiated through the TV…it was SO clear that he was doing what he absolutely LOVED. My prayers go out to his family…I can’t even begin to imagine how his son and father must be feeling especially days before Father’s Day. I know Tim’s with the angels now. Sundays will never be the same again.

    May his soul rest in the most perfect peace and may his family find solace in the love of God which endures forever.

  8. This is so incredibly sad…I can’t believe it. I don’t even want to watch the news because I can’t bear to hear about it over and over. My thoughts are with his family…especially his son…

  9. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    I was on my computer posting a comment,and my husband said “look he passed away”,and I glanced at the tv turning my head not wanting this awful news to register in my brain.Last Sunday while breakfast was cooking I watched almost the whole “Meet The Press” which had me so drawn to the tv like I had’nt been in a while.This show will never ever be the same without Mr. Russert’s smile.I pray for the family,and may Tim rest in peace.

  10. Sumatra77 says:

    A coworker told me and we were the only two who seemed to know who he was. We were both saddened by his passing. It’s so sad. His untimely passing is making me take a long, hard, look at my life. He was so young. Goodness.
    No more tomorrows… only todays.

  11. Thank you for posting this. I too am deeply at a loss and surprised at his sudden death. I remember I began watching his show as a junior in high school (1994) when my government teacher assigned Meet the press and/or
    Face the Nation for homework. Before I watched, let’s just say, I was not that interested in politics. But there was something about Tim Russert, his smile, his confidence and assertiveness that made you take another look at the people leading our country. He always asked the hard questions and never took sides. After the homework requirements were fulfilled, I continued to watch his show, sometimes just for nostalgia’s sake. I really enjoyed Mr. Russert, he was a respectable guy and as others have said since his passing, he has set a high standard for the news media, lets hope they can measure up. RIP

  12. Mzpastrychef says:

    Yes I too was very emotional about Tim’s Passing. Words could not describe how I felt. I always looked foward to watching him on TV. It is so ironic the other day when he was on the air with Keith O. I had mention to my dad that he looks sick.. My dad said he probably was just tired. He just didnt look like himself. I was so shocked. Yes It does feel like an Uncle has passed away. I was shocked about how emotional I was.. I kept repeating that This wasnt right…he had to know something was wrong…this isnt right… My heart and prayers go out to his family and tv family.

  13. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    Mzpastrychef, oh my goodnes! I thought it was just me.He did’nt look well to me either last Sunday.I told my husband the same thing that he look sick to me also.Wow!I guess that we could see that he was’nt well on tv.

  14. Sabrina97 says:

    What is really spooky is that Tim died on my mother’s birthday…. she turned 58. My prayers are definitely with the Russert family, the NBC family, and everyone who looked forward to this election. It won’t be the same without Tim.

  15. warrior11209 says:

    I too was shocked when I heard that Tim Russert had died. I will his his commentary and analysis of world events and the upcoming election. Sunday morning will never be the same. My prayers go out to his wife and son.

  16. I am very happy to see that I wasnt the only one emotionallyt bereft at the loss of Mr. Russert. After watching the special NBC news did about his life and career, and hearing his colleagues’ amazing words – I decided to start TODAY.

    Not wait until ‘tomorrow’.

    You can’t rest on your laurels….Tim Russert exemplifies the edict that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Tim did something. Always. He always had hope, he never gave up. He always worked hard. He didn’t step down from the hard questions. He had faith and was true to himself, his family, and his beliefs.

    And he shared it with all of us. He made us better every day without us even realizing it.

    Step up to the plate everyone. Make it happen – get it done. Speak out, work hard. Don’t wait until tomorrow.

  17. I’m in shock as well. Looks like a lot of us are just in disbelief at the news! Thanks so much for the post – it’s wonderful! xo

  18. He was an incredible journalist and Sundays will definitely never be the same. Plus his untimely death is further proof that we all need to seize the day. Tomorrow is not promised!

  19. Thanks for posting this! I was so shocked and saddened to hear this news, too.

    Will definitely be watching the Meet the Press tribute show today.

  20. I still don’t believe it. RIP Mr. Russert.

  21. Hey Afrobella,

    I was not one of the many many people who watched his show. I was familiar with his face, and that he had a show that came on on Sundays, but I never stayed tuned long enough to hear him speak. I always assumed that It was just another boring political show, and I would change the channel. Now with his untimely death being plasterd on the news (and such) I’ve gotten to see that he was a hell of a person, and an awesome interviewer/host. Wish I would have caught the show when he was alive. He seemed like the type that brought life and a warm common touch to politics. Seemed like he was super close to his family as well. I can’t imagine how they’re handeling this. Hopefully seeing how much Mr. Russert was loved and admired will bring them some comfort.

    So sad.

  22. I am a young women (almost 30). But Sunday 10:00 am I’m glued to my TV to listen in to Tim’s everyword. His quick wit and stern questioning of all that sat at that round table sunday morning was always imppresive. There is now a missing piece to the Election Year Puzzle! No one can fill his chair.

  23. I, too, was shocked and saddned by the sudden passing of Tim Russert. I was off work early on Friday and I was puttering around the house with the CNN in the background when the news broke. I became a Meet The Press fan back in high school, so he was the only host of the show I ever knew. I had slacked on my Sunday news show viewing lately, but if someone big was going to be on, I always turned to Meet the Press because I knew that Tim Russert was going to be on point. In these days of vitriolic pseudo-celebrity news “hosts”, his was a voice for people who really loved politics. You could tell by the sincere sense of loss expressed by his colleagues, that he seemed like one heck of a great guy personally as well.

  24. Initially when he died, the name didn’t register. But then it hit me like “oh noooo!” when it all clicked. He was real news, real analysis, real journalism. His frankness without judgement was a godsend in the political climate we live in. I’ve been late to church a few times watching MTP on Sunday mornings.
    I couldn’t bear to watch Meet the Press yesterday.

  25. It is extremely sad. No more tomorrow’s, it’s all about today. His death was so sudden I stood at work flabbergasted. He was a good man and a good journalist.

  26. Man, I’ve been watching the tributes to him all weekend and I tear up every time. All you hear is what a good person he was. The one thing that stuck out whenever I saw him on TV was how happy he was; genuinely happy to be doing what he dreamed of doing. When asked on Charlie Rose if he would change anything he said no, this is perfect, he is blessed, etc. I aim to be a person living with no regrets; that Tim Russert brand of happiness.

    He was so excited about this election; I wish he’d at least been able to see it to it’s completion. His son has a lot to be proud of; and I know Tim’s dad is hurting.

  27. Thank you for writing this post Bella, Tim Russert’s career was a tutorial, on how to conduct interviews, he had charisma, warmth, and a sense of purpose that could not be derailed regardless of who was sitting at the table. His passing is a lost to us all.

  28. CBS Sunday Morning, Face the Nation (to a lesser degree) and Meet the Press have been part of my Sunday morning ritual for years. I can’t even listen to the theme song without needing a Kleenex. And then Luke was on the Today Show yesterday morning–that was so hard to watch.

    Great post. I had to do one myself.

    Mary Matalin said something that, for the first time I actually agree with: “This is the end of an era.”

    You didn’t really know what his personal politics were, which is the way it should be, ideally.

    I see absolutely no one capable of replacing him now or in the future.

  29. I remember watching him during the 2000 general election, he was so into what was going on. You could tell that he was very smart and well informed, but he always made you feel like he speaking only to you as if he was that trusted uncle. He also had a way of exciting me about politics, I don’t know anyone else that does that. He will be very much missed indeed!!

  30. jasmine the jigsaw says:

    Tim Russert was from my hometown of Buffalo, NY. I live in the mostly black side of our town and read “Big Russ and Me” to get a taste of what it was like to live in the part of Buffalo he did. My little brother currently attends the high school he graduated and from, and both of us were extremely shocked to hear this. I’m still sad and pretty shocked — I mean, I just saw him on CNN not to long ago, and went, “Hey, that’s Tim!”.

    His son did a tremendous job being on TV so soon after his father’s passing and I pray that he, his mother and the rest of his family and friends have all the strength in the world to get through this.

    RIP Tim, we miss you!

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