Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert

I can not say enough how sad the death of Tim Russert is, and just how strongly it hit me. Shock is the best word. For Russert to die of a heart attack at only 58 (my dad was 59) seems so unfair. Even his biggest critics had trouble disliking the guy.

I had been a big fan, and eventually became a critic, due to his lack of support for Don Imus during the Rutgers farce. The truth is, I wouldn't have known much about Russert without his appearances on the Imus show. So when he seemed to fold up like the proverbial two-dollar suitcase, I was genuinely disappointed. When Russert began appearing on the new Imus show this past winter, I was surprised. Many (the dynamic afternoon duo on WFAN included) were extremely critical of Imus, but something told me there was more than met the eye (or ear, in that case).

Imus Truth has their own take here
, and I'm inclined to agree. The most convincing argument is:
Unlike the people at Newsweek, or the David Gregorys and Andrea Mitchells of the world, Imus was willing to forgive Russert. Why? Clearly the real story of Russert's efforts on behalf of Imus would have caused problems for Russert at NBC. So now that Russert is gone, will Imus be able to finally tell the whole story?
The tributes are pouring in for Russert and deservedly so. It is most poignant to me that he passes on Father's Day weekend, as part of his legacy will be his relationship (and subsequent best-seller) with his father, Big Russ.

As a member of the media, a sports journalist, an occasional news journalist, a father, and a son, I mourn the loss of Tim Russert. May he be lining up one hell of a special "Meet the Press" somewhere.

No comments: