Journalists everywhere are mourning the loss of NBC’s Tim Russert, one of the really good guys in the TV news business. Full disclosure: Tim was my husband’s boss. He wasn’t just a tenacious questioner as moderator of Meet the Press. He wasn’t just a great communicator, able to convey a story’s significance in a few, well-chosen words. Tim set a standard for everyone who worked with him, and not just in the way he pursued the news. He was a straight-shooter on and off the air, and a caring human being. As Variety’s story puts it:
The keys to Russert’s success, as many who knew him said, were his almost-superhuman work ethic, his passion for politics, his training in Jesuit schools and law school and his enduring embrace of his working-class roots.
Tim didn’t just appear to be a regular guy, he was a regular guy who carried his love for his hometown, Buffalo, NY, with him wherever he went. He’s going to be impossible to replace. While speculation already has started about who will take over Meet the Press, and who might become the new bureau chief, there’s no sign that NBC will make a rushed decision. For now, the thinking is about Russert. A public wake is schedule on Tuesday at St. Alban’s School in Washington. A private service for NBC employees only (no spouses, even) will be held on Wednesday. We’ll all miss you, Tim.