Friday, June 13, 2008

Disbelief owns the night: Tim Russert 1950-2008

Keith Olbermann does what he does best for a figure lost from our daily routines.

Tim Russert was a man that demanded that we all pause. Pause what we were doing because his word and his alone validated the days events on all things political. His declaration of Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee after the Indiana primary was the unofficial whistle that ended the Democratic Primary season. His statement to that effect, lit up Blackberries across the beltway and people listened. He had power. Power earned from respect, intellect and experience. Power that had a countervailing humility and warmth that no other journalist could match.

You will be missed, mourned and remembered Mr. Russert. And forever conjured by fans who will remark, "I wonder what Russert would think of that?"

A glass will be raised to you on election night. For it will be a little less enjoyable because you wont be there to enjoy it with us.

Our thoughts and prayers to you, your family and your friends.


Steve B. said...

What a man he was. I will miss him desperately. Who will NBC ever get to replace him? Andrea Mitchell? Chris Matthews?

sadness said...

I'm not a Keith fan- but he did a wonderful, beautiful job today. How can you be on the air after losing a close friend like that?

I wonder who Tim would have picked to succeed him. I would guess Mitchell or maybe Gregory. No one will replace him.

I like Matthews, but this is the wrong role for him. Who knows Washington like Russert did? Nobody.

He is not replaceable as a human being. We lost a national treasure and his family suffered a horrible sudden tragedy.

Take stock, everyone. Live life well and righteously. Don't hold grudges. Life takes quick turns.

Anonymous said...

In the spirit of this site, this is something so senseless, you can't make sense of it.

I think Chuck lost his father when he was a teen (according to wikipedia)- this must have been extra hard for him.

Tim was clearly a mentor- and Tim clearly marveled at Chuck's talents and enjoyed his sense of humor

kizgold said...

I was teary eyed all last night. So shocking and especially sad given the timing. It felt like losing someone you knew. I cannot imagine this election without him. Broadcast Journalism and Politics in general will never be the same.

Katie said...

Keith did do a wonderful job last night. Russert's death is just so sad and so shocking. This general election just will not be the same without him. My thoughts are with his family.

MovieMom said...

Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd broke my heart last night as they spoke about Tim. Barnacle was in tears as he spoke about the man who was the godfather of his son. A glutton I taped MSNBC coverage and watched CNN, former NBC reporters, in particular Campbell Brown broke down speaking of him.

The echo of mentor, father figure, coach, family over and over. He was a giant of optimism in a land of cynicism. It is what made him my hero.

Andrea spoke of how he mentored and cared for the younger staff in the Washington office, Chuck Todd chief among them. I wrote in my blog last week about Chuck being the Prince and heir apparent to his legacy, I didn't think that need and void would be here so soon.

Keith and Chuck were right, it's just not right to do this campaign without him.

kenieffer said...

I'm really so saddended by this news. I received a text message from my sister while I was out (I was out the entire day) with the news. I was absolutely shocked. I wish I would have been able to make it home to watch MSNBC, but I don't know how Keith or Chuck or the rest of the reporters could do it- be on the job and mourn at the same time. I feel very much for his family. Tim Russert was one of those rare 'real' men. Just a real person. You could tell he was living a whole life just by watching him. He will be missed.

elaine b said...

They've set up a special email at NBC /MSNBC for condolences -- I'm sure the email is overflowing already.

I also wrote a bit over at Newsvine about what this election will be like without him. I can't imagine it. The bar is so high -- the "Russert" standard if you will.

Andrea said that one of the best things he did for the NBC Washington bureau was bringing Chuck Todd on; I completely agree with that...

Jan & Stu said...

My husband and I were shocked and so saddened by the death of Tim Russert. We, indeed, made an appointment Sunday morning and sat with our coffee while Tim Russert questioned our leaders and aspiring leaders and asked them the questions that we needed to be answered. He did our work for us. He framed the debate for our elections. He was honest and real and we trusted him to get to the bottom of the issues so we could make an informed decision. We don’t know how we are going to get through this election cycle without Tim out there advocating for us, the American people. Knowing Tim’s political background, we did not see any evidence of a bias when Tim was questioning someone. He just wanted to get to the truth for all of us.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Tim’s family and his NBC family but Barbara Walters was the first to acknowledge that we, the people, are also suffering a great loss. When Tim spoke, we listened. With all the commentary and editorializing in broadcast news, once Tim spoke that was the word! We will miss him. We will not forget him. Those coming behind him have an enormous legacy to live up to. We hope those left behind will keep the faith with Tim Russert.

Little wonder we all think so highly of Chuck Todd. He truly is a protege of Tim Russert.


stephanie said...

the sentiments here and seemingly everywhere are beautiful, and i fear i can't add anything that hasn't already been stated. it's still so hard to believe. he was an incredible human...

boy said...

i second the sentiments of stephanie.
Saddly, theres not much that can be said to do justice to the moment. And sadder still its a moment that seems like it will never end.

How do you pay homage to a man whom you so desperately want to believe is still here? How do you honor someone who was so much more than just a man?

What can be said about a standard? Or an icon? A role model. And what if that larger than life individual also seemed like a familiar and trustworthy friend?

Mr. Russert was just too much of a good thing for even a Special Comment to encapsulate. I always saw him as a positive force surrounded by a negative world. Like a sun illuminating all the darkness that surrounded it. And he was always at the center of this little universe.

But even though he's gone, that shining light isn't. Desperate as it may be to grasp for anything good in this tragedy, Andrea Mitchell did provide us a little match to keep the light alive. In her words, he died "In his joy." If Tim Russert had to be taken away, at least he did so doing what he loved.