Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bye, Tim!

I was watching the golf tournament in the garage yesterday afternoon. Tiger was making his move, Phil was fading, and I was just catching up on some reading, mug in hand, while visiting with the lovely Mrs. Flash. The familiar tune rang in and there was a 'SPECIAL BULLETIN' slide on the TV screen. Generally these spook me, not knowing what it could possibly be. Today, however, I thought I had it figured out. With all the inclement weather and specifically the flooding in Iowa, I figured they were breaking in to say that Des Moines was being evacuated, or a major levy broke, or some other weather related calamity. I was wrong . . . Brokaw broke in to tell us about Tim.
Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after suffering a heart attack at the bureau. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Russert’s physician, Michael Newman, said cholesterol plaque ruptured in an artery, causing sudden coronary thrombosis.
You could feel the tension in Brokaw's voice, not quite quivering, but taught yet determined. One could sense the emotion, but the consummate professional held it together to bring us the news of his friend that had passed.

Russert was a unique newsman, able to separate himself from his mission of bringing the news and asking the tough questions. It was a fine art, and Tim was consistently painting masterpieces. One of his guiding principles was the advice given him by the late Meet the Press founder, Lawrence Spivak:
(He) told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side, . . . And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”
And that he did.

Tomorrow, Sunday, Father's Day, Tim will be honored on his stomping grounds at Meet the Press as Tom Brokaw hosts a special remembrance. You can bet that leaders from all over the country, and even the world, are standing in line waiting for an opportunity to pay tribute to a man taken way too soon.

RIP, Mr. Russert, you will be remembered as passionately as you will be missed!


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