Tim Russert, R.I.P.

It's kind of heartbreaking watching the MSNBC crew grappling with the sudden and shocking death of Tim Russert. Keith Olbermann is ashen and barely keeping tears back, and Andrea Mitchell keeps referring to him in the present tense, as if she can't quite believe he's gone.

I know I can't. I came of age politically just as Tim Russert was starting as the host of NBC's Meet The Press, in 1991. I often disagreed with him, and was sometimes critical of him on this blog. But this is terribly sad news, a reminder of how life transcends political differences, and how much richer and more complex our human relations and emotions are beyond partisan warfare or online sniping. No one should die at 58, and I can't even imagine what his family is feeling right now.

R.I.P., Tim Russert.


Bob Westal said…
Yup. I think we must have posted on this simultaneously. I haven't seen KO, though. It's obviously a big shock to just about everyone. Andrea Mitchell really did seem very upset, though.

Imagine loosing a good friend and coworker who you've known for decades at a job that is essentially your life -- and then having to talk about it on the air.
Brian Doan said…
Bob, great piece (readers can find it here). I think you're absolutely right when you wrote, "However, the fact remains that I’m posting this because, much to my surprise, like most American political junkies I’m feeling sad about his passing." Whatever one might feel about his work or positions, it's a big loss, a very sad thing. Like when Buckley died, it doesn't matter what your position is-- it's a loss to the dialogue that both men clearly cared about a lot.
Brian Doan said…
Hmm, I'm not sure that made sense. What I was trying to say was that we can argue over the work and what we felt it did, but still respect the passion he brought, the lives he clearly touched, and the impact he had on friends, family, and colleagues. And in the larger scheme of things, it's a reminder that people are never just one job or position or whatever, but far more complex and contradictory and human than that.

And geez-- 58? Not that it would be better if it were 78 or 88, but man-- that's just way too young.
Bob Westal said…
Well, it's never a good time to die, I suppose, but it's less sad I think for some people who may really believe they have finished what their "job" here on the the planet. Not that there happy to die in the normal sense, but that it's possible that some really do feel it's time in a sort of Buddhist sense. Not sure how many of us get to do that and it's always sad for the family and friends.

In Russert's case, he obviously squeezed a great deal into his life at least -- I think I was mainly shocked because I knew his quite elderly father was still alive.

Also, all the nice stories I'm hearing behind me on MSNBC as I type this really do make sense. I had stopped watching "This Week" after the debate debacle and was watching MTP more lately, and I really did catch that note of sincerity.

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