Tim Russert Died - 58

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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I am sooooo sad! He was THE man and critical to getting truth in an election cycle.

This is a terrible terrible loss. I will miss him very much.
 
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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/

I have been a huge fan of Russert's since he took over Meet The Press in 1991. Back in the bad old days, I had to get up every Sunday morning at 7AM to watch. But it was worth every minute.
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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Woah! He was young - only 58!

Yahoo said:
Longtime NBC anchor Tom Brokaw has now confirmed Russert's death, in a special report on NBC.
NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58
He was the Washington bureau chief and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’

Very sad, especially for his family. :frown: My condolsences to his friends and family.
 
  • #4
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He and I are only a couple of weeks apart in age. I always thought I would die at my desk at work. It looks like he actually did so. I'm still planning on it, but the bull looks a lot different when you get in the ring.
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I just heard what sounds to me like a fitting epitaph to his career as a political journalist - He did his homework. And that is what made him a giant.
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Russert was apparently doing voiceovers for an upcoming program.

Tim Russert, NBC Stalwart, Dies of Heart Attack
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91488979
by Melissa Block and David Folkenflik
All Things Considered, June 13, 2008 · NBC newsman Tim Russert died suddenly today of a heart attack. Russert, who was 58, became the host of Meet the Press in 1991. He was known as a dogged interviewer and a well-sourced Washington insider.

Under his leadership, the show became an essential stop for politicians and officials at the highest levels of the government. With his wry smile and his trademark white board and felt marker, Russert was known for his incisive calculations of the U.S. electoral system.

Confirmation of Russert's death came this afternoon from members of his family and also from NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw. Brokaw said that Russert collapsed and died early this afternoon while at work. He had just returned from Italy with his family.

Brokaw said that Russert's death came during a political campaign that "he loved" and referred to him as "one of the premier journalists of our time."
Note that the heart attack came without warning. That's why it's important for older folks (over 50) to get regular (annual) checkups, and perhaps watch diet, exercise and level of stress.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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They are now reversing the reference to "Heart Attack", and are specifying "Cardiac Arrest", which typically exhibits no symptoms, such as chest pains. He just dropped.

He and his father were extremely close. And over the years it became obvious that he adored his father. This week Russert had to commit his father to an assisted care facility, which he described as the most difficult day in his life. One has to wonder if the emotional stress played a significant role. And I can only imagine what his father must feel today.
 
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  • #8
lisab
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Wow, that's a shock! At the height of his career, and right in the middle of the most interesting race in many decades - what a shame. My sympathies to his loved ones.
 
  • #9
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Wow, that's a shock! At the height of his career, and right in the middle of the most interesting race in many decades - what a shame. My sympathies to his loved ones.
Exactly.

He was one of few major media newspeople willing to ask at least a few hard questions.

If bill moyers dies we're totally screwed.
 
  • #10
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Some early reactions

Pres. George W. Bush

Laura and I are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Tim Russert. Those of us who knew and worked with Tim, his many friends, and the millions of Americans who loyally followed his career on the air will all miss him.
As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades. Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it.

Most important, Tim was a proud son and father, and Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Maureen, his son Luke, and the entire Russert family. We will keep them in our prayers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev:

"I was greatly saddened to learn of Tim Russert's untimely death. Tim was a warm and gracious family man with a great zest for life and an unsurpassed passion for his work. His rise from working-class roots to become a well-respected leader in political journalism is an inspiration to many. Tim asked the tough questions the right way and was the best in the business at keeping his interview subjects honest. My thoughts are with his family."
Sen. John McCain:

"I am very saddened by Tim Russert's sudden death. Cindy and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the Russert family as they cope with this shocking loss and remember the life and legacy of a loving father, husband and the preeminent political journalist of his generation. He was truly a great American who loved his family, his friends, his Buffalo Bills, and everything about politics and America. He was just a terrific guy. I was proud to call him a friend, and in the coming days, we will pay tribute to a life whose contributions to us all will long endure."
CNN's Larry King just touched on the tricky part in this. It's not just Russert who was an institution. Meet the Press itself is, too. And the show must go on.
"I don't know who's going to fill that spot at Meet the Press. Wouldn't want it."
CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer put it this way to WTOP-AM in Washington, the CBS radio station. They were good friends, but also competitors, and loved to scoop each other -- if they could: "When you got one past old Russert, you felt like you had hit a home run off the best pitcher in the league," he said.
House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio

"Tim Russert was so much more than the longest-serving moderator in history of NBC's Meet the Press. He was a loyal and loving son. He was a devoted husband and father. He was one of the smartest, toughest television news journalists of all time. And he was an astute student of American politics.
"I can say from experience that joining Tim on Meet the Press was one of the greatest tests any public official could face. Regardless of party affiliation, he demanded that you be straight with him - and with the American people who were watching. Tim's 'white board' analysis of the Electoral College has become a fixture on election nights, and frankly, it is difficult to imagine what that night will be like without him this year....

"It goes without saying that Tim will be missed. And it goes without saying that Washington, DC and our nation's political landscape will never be the same without him."
http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/06/russert-condolences-and-reacti.html

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama described himself as "grief-stricken" over the passing of NBC Washington bureau chief and "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert at age 58 this afternoon. Obama spoke to reporters on his plane shortly before it was scheduled to depart Columbus.

Obama said he had known Russert since Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004 in Boston.

"I considered him not only a journalist but a friend," Obama said. "There wasn't a better interviewer on television, a more thoughtful analysts about politics." He was "one of the finest men I know," said Obama.
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/06/13/reactions_to_russerts_passing.html
 
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  • #11
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He was such an amazing journalist, especially on Meet the Press. I'm still in disbelief that we won't be waking up to his show on Sundays anymore.
 
  • #12
lisab
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He was such an amazing journalist, especially on Meet the Press. I'm still in disbelief that we won't be waking up to his show on Sundays anymore.
I can't imagine that show without him! Who else could give 'em hell, but in such a professional way that it never got personal?

So many interviewers let people slide off the hook - not him. When Russert would ask a pol a question, if it wasn't answered directly, Russert would just smile and ask it again...and again...
 
  • #13
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Tim Russert was NBC News. He made it what it is today. He always asked tough pertinent questions to people on both sides of the political spectrum and always got his answers. He was the definition of a great journalist. The next person who takes over Meet the Press has a lot to live up to.

As Keith Olbermann said two hours ago during his coverage of the story: "Meet the Press will have another host, but I can't imagine it having another moderator."
 
  • #14
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Oh sh!T!

We lost one of the GOOD ones. Damn.............

Why cant a guy like O'reilly die?

Today is a sad day for the news.

If Charlie Rose dies, I will never watch the news again. They were the only two I liked.
 
  • #15
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Tim Russert was one of my favorites. He was a good kid. And he always came into a show prepared. I really liked him. I will miss him and MTP.
 
  • #16
Moonbear
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One has to wonder if the emotional stress played a significant role.
Possibly. A cardiologist I know likes to talk about some studies on the higher incidence of women being admitted to hospitals with stress-related cardiac incidents, and when he speculates about why the incidence is higher in women, he says it's because he doesn't think the men ever make it to the hospital, they die too quickly rather than that they don't have these stress-induced cardiac problems. Then again, he wasn't a small guy, so may have already had some cardiovascular conditions prior to this.

This is a shame though. He was one of the few people in the media who I really felt strived for unbiased reporting as much as possible. Maybe not perfect, but about as good as one could expect.
 
  • #17
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In an interview with Charlie Rose, Russert said that they once took a poll of MTP viewers: 100% polled as active voters

In order to prepare for a show, he read every public statement ever made by every guest

He was best known for challenging guests with their own words.

His basic tactic was to learn everything that he could about a politician's position on a subject - to know at least as much about it as the guest - and then take the other side.

Meet The Press had become a litmus test for politicians. If you bombed with Russert, your career was in trouble. He is widely credited with effectively ending Ross Perot's candidacy in less than an hour. Perot didn't pass the Russert test - he couldn't answer targeted and specific questions.

Tim Russert said:
I was born a Democrat and baptized Catholic.
In spite of the quote, he was known by both sides of the aisle, and his peers, as the gold standard of fair and balanced journalism.
 
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  • #18
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Through Republican revolution and Republican collapse, the rise and fall of the Houses Clinton and Bush, one war in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, Tim Russert remained a center of gravity in the national discourse every Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

...But a “Meet the Press” appearance was one of necessity, not choice. It was a requisite rite of passage for any would-be president. [continued]
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/us/politics/14appraisal.html?ref=us
 
  • #19
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Russert had a wooden plaque in his office that said: No Whining

I grabbed this screen shot from a review of his life and work, today, on Meet The Press.

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/2496/russertmodifiedjpgrm5.jpg [Broken]
 
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  • #20
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You know, us Catholics believe that you can go right up [points upwards]. So I can see him now [referring to Russert in Heaven], "Heavenly Father, on August 3rd, you said...
- Bill Bennett.
 
  • #21
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Perhaps the greatest tribute of all: Today at Russert's funeral, for an hour and a half, Obama and McCain sat side by side. At times they engaged in what is described as warm and friendly conversation.

What a deeply symbolic tribute to Tim and his life's work. What a country!!!
 
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  • #22
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In fact, NBC reports that at the end of the funeral, Obama and McCain embraced.

Later, a memorial service was held at the Kennedy Center.

As everyone was leaving, a rainbow painted the skies over the Capitol building.
 
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  • #23
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http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/1387/rainbowovercapitolkd5.jpg [Broken]
NBC - Meet The Press
 
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  • #24
Astronuc
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I think this is important to consider. Tim Russert died at an early age consider the mean lifespan of males in the US is about 78 yrs currently. Russert was being treated for coronary artery disease and was asymptomatic (e.g. no warning signs like pressure or pain in the chest), or perhaps he ignored some discomfort, which apparently my maternal grandfather did.

A Search for Answers in Russert’s Death
By DENISE GRADY, NY Times, June 17, 2008
Given the great strides that have been made in preventing and treating heart disease, what explains Tim Russert’s sudden death last week at 58 from a heart attack?

The answer, at least in part, is that although doctors knew that Mr. Russert, the longtime moderator of “Meet the Press” on NBC, had coronary artery disease and were treating him for it, they did not realize how severe the disease was because he did not have chest pain or other telltale symptoms that would have justified the kind of invasive tests needed to make a definitive diagnosis. In that sense, his case was sadly typical: more than 50 percent of all men who die of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms, the American Heart Association says.

It is not clear whether Mr. Russert’s death could have been prevented. He was doing nearly all he could to lower his risk. He took blood pressure pills and a statin drug to control his cholesterol, he worked out every day on an exercise bike, and he was trying to lose weight, his doctors said on Monday. And still it was not enough.

If there is any lesson in his death, his doctors said, it is a reminder that heart disease can be silent, and that people, especially those with known risk factors, should pay attention to diet, blood pressure, weight and exercise — even if they are feeling fine.

“If there’s one number that’s a predictor of mortality, it’s waist circumference,” said Dr. Michael A. Newman, Mr. Russert’s internist.

But, Dr. Newman added, most people would rather focus on their LDL cholesterol, instead of taking measures to reduce their waist size. Studies have found a waist of over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is a risk factor for heart disease.
The best way to prevent premature death from heart disease is to take preventative measures with respect to diet, exercise and life style so as not to develop the conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, or being overweight.
 
  • #25
Ivan Seeking
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It is hard to believe it has already been a year. And what a year it was - one for the angels! If Russert hadn't died when he did, the excitement from the election probably would have killed him anyway.

One of the few things that Bill Bennet has ever said publically that I liked:

You know, us Catholics believe that you can go right up [points upwards]. So I can see him now [referring to Russert in Heaven], "Heavenly Father, on August 3rd, you said...
Meet The Press has not been the same since Tim passed away. With time, Gregory will probably do a fine job, but Russert was a one-of-a-kind. I still notice his absence every Sunday morning. IMO, right now, This Week with Stephanopoulos is the best show for political analysis.
 
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