Saturday, June 14, 2008

Feeling the loss of Russert

I was sitting in the karate school waiting area yesterday afternoon, feverishly typing away on my blackberry, when the mom of one of Miggy's friends came over to me looking shaken. "Tim Russert died!' she said to me in puzzled anguish. My brain froze. I think i made some gesture to illustrate my dismay, but inside i was in total shock. "What? How?" I asked. "They think it was a heart attack. I just read the headline on" She said. "That's... awful..." i said. "I really liked Tim Russert..." she said. and wandered away.

I loved Tim Russert and his show, Meet The Press. His death seems crazy to me. I have been watching the news coverage of all the MSNBC people talking about him for the past 12 hours and it's still really hard for me to understand that it's real. The thought that keeps coming into my head is "I wonder what Tim is going to say about his own death on Meet The Press this Sunday."

I was talking to another friend about it yesterday, and while we don't go to church, Meet The Press was a weekly Sunday ritual for us. It's been that way for so many years. I enjoy the Chris Matthews Show and the absurd shouting chaos of the McLaughlin Group had it's entertainment value, but Meet The Press was definitely the classiest of news shows. There were plenty of political figures I loathed and would never want to listen to that I'd watch on MTP because of Russert's presence. I feel like he had an amazing wealth of knowledge and a very personable delivery. Occasionally, I'd want him to go for the jugular on people who were clearly HUGE liars, but he just exposed them as liars and let the public take away what they would. He came across as an incredibly decent man who loved his family, and his sports teams and his country. He was especially energized by this year's presidential campaign and it seems impossible that I won't hear his commentary on all the action as it unfolds. I will never forget his dry erase board mathematics, his dust up with Colin Powell and most recently, his declaration that Barack Obama was the presumptive Democratic Nominee, after which all the newsmedia took his lead and it really meant the end for Hillary's Campaign. He was such a huge figure in the political news team that i enjoyed, I can't imagine how they are going to fill his void. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and David Gregory are really gonna have to step up. I believe they will be motivated to do so in Tim's honor.

My heart really goes out to his Family and Friends. It's so sad that they should lose him right before Father's Day. Especially for someone who so publicly expressed his love for his own father and son. You could see watching him year after year, that he a hard worker, a critical thinker and strove to be a good person. His public persona was that of professionalism and decency. His legacy will long be remembered and his loss will be long-felt on the political scene. Thank you for educating me on what was going on in our country and throughout the world every Sunday for all these years, Tim Russert. I will miss you. Rest in peace.

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