Tim Russert Continues To Teach and Lead :: Truly A Treasure

For the sake of TV journalism, A television news treasureTim Russert was one of the few remaining shining stars, in my opinion.

Yes, I am a fan. Tim Russert died Friday at the age of 58 in the NBC Washington studios after taping segments for this weekend’s shows – Meet the Press and Tim Russert.

Russert produced great television, whether it was for Today, MSNBC or Meet The Press. Certainly, even more impressive about Russert was his love for his family and friends. In that respect, he was even more of a giant.

Lots of lessons to learn from this sad loss. For PR students, it can serve as a call to gaining great lessons from Russert, even though he has passed. His remarkable grasp of history and perspective is, after all, one of the characteristics that made Russert so great.

You know, I fear that students today – especially some PR students – are not the news junkies (particularly hard news and politics) that we oldsters developed into. I hope that students will go back and watch old Meet The Press programs (they are on iTunes, for free). You don’t need an iPod, just your computer. Search for NBC News and you’ll find the podcasts. Another resource? Quite simply, and I know this might sound strange to some – at first, this page – the New York Times Obituary page – should be daily reading for all students of PR and journalism. It is, after all, a page filled with history and great people. My point? Read, read and read some more. Watch the videos. Consume the news. Gain that historical perspective we all need.

Russert is, in his own way, showed as much promise as classic news presences like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid and Howard K. Smith.  He was just taken too soon.  He was as great as, if not better than, the other legends in Sunday morning talk like Bill Shadel, Lawerence Spivak and all who followed them.

His shows were must watch, required viewing programs. If you, like me, are a news junkie, Russert was someone you had to watch, even as much as you wanted to watch. Russert knew when to sit back and let people talk, especially when he knew it would mean their own undoing. His questioning skills / interviewing prowess was quite simply amazing.

For NBC – especially MSNBC, the loss is devastating. Only Tom Brokaw remains as someone that can come on the air and you know, you absolutely trust, the truth is being told. Oh, there are certainly other trustworthy people at NBC, to be sure. But, no one there has the presence of Russert and Brokaw.

The New York Times has a photo slideshow of Tim Russert memories. The Washington Post has a great series of video interview clips that share Russert’s wonderful personality. MSNBC has spent the entire weekend saluting Russert’s great contributions to TV journalism and his love of family and friends. Truly, to watch all of those from that tight NBC family react to Russert’s passing, this loss represents a terrible blow to their very foundation. Here’s hoping they can recover.

Russert will be missed. One can only hope that those that remain behind will endeavor to follow his example – in every way, be it work, family or life, overall.


0 thoughts on “Tim Russert Continues To Teach and Lead :: Truly A Treasure

  1. mullah cimoc

    Am it russert just the fat and corruption media operative?

    ameriki need to googling: “mighty wurlitzer” +cia

    then to understanding usa not the free press.

  2. Robert

    Well, it seems this post drew out one of the crazies that see conspiracy theories everywhere.

    I searched for his/her IP address,, and found this comment to an April 8, 2008 post. Classical Liberal Roundtable: Child Protective Services raids polygamist compound, removes 500+ women and children.

    In the comment, the person using IP # proclaims that marriage to 14 year old girls was good enough in the past, so why not now. Good grief. ~sigh~

    OK, everyone can decide for themselves if this “mullah cimoc” (using Comcast internet services in Utah) has any sense, at all.

  3. John Tantillo "The Marketing Doctor"

    His sudden death has created a lot of uncertainty because he was so closely identified with Meet The Press. Tim Russert didn’t create Meet The Press, but he showed us what the program was all about. He showed us that the Meet The Press brand –more than any other competing show— has a sense of mission.

  4. Tiffany Derville

    Robert, thank you for this tribute to Tim Russert. I second your statement that Meet the Press with Tim Russert was required viewing for news consumers, especially for anyone involved in politics. I also like your point about the importance of knowing history and of looking at the word through a historical lens. I will miss watching Russert on Meet the Press.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s