Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's Sunday Morning and I Miss Tim Russert

Tim Russert was just about the only newscaster or interviewer on any of the three big networks that I still trusted to play fair with both parties. I'm sure that Mr. Russert had strong opinions regarding politics but he always seemed to hold both parties to the same standards and refused to soften his interviewing technique in order to advance the point-of-view of one group over the other. I respected him for that.

But, just as importantly, I admired what the man stood for in regards to family and work ethic. His father, wife and son seemed to mean everything to him and he was never afraid to show his feelings. Tim Russert was such a likable guy that many thousands of us thought of him as a friend, someone we looked forward to spending some time with every Sunday morning and during all of that frantic election night coverage when he so much seemed to be a voice of sanity among all the braying jackasses that surrounded him.

So I'm missing Tim this morning. Just knowing that he's not behind his desk for "Meet the Press" saddens me and, since I can't imagine the program without him, I don't even feel up to turning it on to see how his absence is being handled today.

Apparently, there are countless thousands who are missing Tim, too, because according to this New York Daily News article Tim's books have shot to the top of Amazon's best seller list since his sudden death. And how appropriate it is that on this Father's Day Russert's Big Russ and Me: Father and Sons, Lessens of Life is selling out in bookstores all across the country.
A day after NBC journalist Tim Russert died from a sudden heart attack, his two books about fatherhood were flying off the shelves.

"Big Russ and Me: Father and Son, Lessons of Life" - Russert's tribute to his truck driver father - and his followup book, "Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons," soared to the top of Amazon.com's best-sellers list Saturday.


Book stores said customers were snapping up any remaining copies as last-minute Father's Day gifts.


"I was pretty moved by it all," said Jason Keighery, who tried to buy a copy of "Big Russ and Me" at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, only to be told they were sold out across the city.
I still find it hard to believe the man is gone. I will miss him.

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful tribute to Mr. Russert, Sam. I got choked up this morning watching Tom Brokaw talk about him with such affection. It's so appropriate we are thinking about him on father's day. Great post!

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  2. Great post Sam. I loved Tim Russert. He was the only one I bothered to watch anymore.

    I bought Wisdom of Our Fathers for my dad for Father's day last year.

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  3. Me too. They did a round robin with no one sitting at his desk, reminiscing about him. James Carville, Mary Matalin, Tom Brokow, Mike Barnicle, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Besty Fischer, Gwen Ifill and Maria Shriver on a remote hook up.

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  4. Thanks, Karen. I do find it tremendously ironic that the man died so close to Father's Day and that the father whom he took such great care of has out-lived him.

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  5. Amy, I haven't read that one yet. My own father is 86 years old and teaches me something new about the dignity of aging every time that I speak with him.

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  6. Carrie, I downloaded the show onto my iPod this evening and I've watched most of it now. It was a moving tribute, I agree. I cannot imagine how NBC will ever replace this man.

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  7. We sold out within a couple of hours of his death. It was kind of crazy. I never saw his show - I was always at church - but from what I knew of him, he was a really good guy.

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  8. I was so sad to hear of his passing. When a co-worker told me that he had died, I couldn't believe it. "Tim Russert? From 'Meet the Press' Tim Russert?' He was so clearly a genuinely nice guy. In an age when newsmen seem to make their money based on who can yell the loudest, he was rare.

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  9. News of his passing brought me to tears. He was an excellent newsman who was fair to everyone.

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  10. As usual, Annie, I think this is a case of people suddenly realizing what they've lost and how hard it will be to replace it. Rushing out to buy a copy of one of his books is probably their way of holding on to a little piece of what's been lost.

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  11. I very much agree, J.S. When I spotted the first little blurb about his death on Yahoo it didn't immediately sink in. I even thought they had used the wrong picture for a second because "death" and that photo just didn't go together easily in my mind.

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  12. I felt the same way about Russert....I took him for granted though and always thought he would be there when I felt like watching him. Now his chair is empty and now I want to watch him.

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  13. Reader23, you know I guess that's just part of human nature but there's a definite lesson to be learned there, isn't there?

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