When I was a kid growing up in the television generation, I must admit I watched a lot of TV. I still do. I can remember channel surfing back then. It’s not like now. You didn’t really surf as much as stick your toe in the water; there were only about 4 channels. But when I came across a show like “Meet the Press” I would quickly skip by it thinking “who would sit and watch this stuff”.
But, as we all know, things change as you get older. You think differently, look at the world differently, and somewhere along the way you find your own voice. I don’t think we go through this process alone. We learn a little bit from each and every person that crosses our path. Everyone we meet, see on TV, pass by on the street, every single one of them affects us in some way whether or not we know it.
I just heard that Tim Russert died. I was shocked at first and it is not until I sit down to write these words that I am overwhelmed with emotion; and the tears come.
I admired Tim so much. In the last five or six years, he was one of the biggest reasons that I got interested, and involved, in politics. He had a unique style. He was in some way just an average man. But he was an average good man. He was polite, classy, extremely intelligent, and knew exactly what it meant to be a true journalist. His passion for politics, in many ways, sparked mine. And in these last few years, I would sit down on a Sunday morning and watch Tim on “Meet the Press”. After all these years, I am the kind of person who would sit down and watch this stuff.
He was so proud of his father, his mother and wife, especially his son. He would always have a twinkle in his eye and a beaming smile when he talked about his family, however rare, in public.
I truly mourn the loss of Tim Russert, a class act all the way and someone I will truly miss seeing on Sunday morning. I actually started taping “Meet the Press” a few months ago because I realized I just couldn’t miss it. And I was thinking that if I feel this sad about Tim, and I never met him, and knew so little about him, I can only imagine what his family, friends, and peers must be going through right now.
What I will miss the most about Tim Russert is the truth. I knew that whatever was happening in the world of politics, which in many ways affects our world of economics, our sense of citizenship, the context of war and so many other things, Tim Russert would tell the truth in a way that was fair, understandable, and kept us all in the right perspective. In a time when journalism is defined increasingly by entertainment value, Tim knew that “news” was about getting to the truth by looking at all sides. He wouldn’t tell you what to think, but in his own way, taught us how to think for ourselves. I never knew sho Tim Russert voted for and never heard even the hint of an agenda. Who else in journalism, on television in general, or even of all the people you know, can you say that about.
Here’s to you Tim; you are truly one of a kind.
And to his family and friends, my thoughts are with you and I hope that you find peace in remembering the wonderful things about Tim Russert and peace in the unprecedented outpouring of grief from everyone around the country and around the world.