Tim Russert

Tim Russert

Infobox journalist
name = Tim Russert

caption = Tim Russert, October 22, 2007
birthname = Timothy John Russert
birth_date = birth date|1950|5|7
birth_place = Buffalo, New York, U.S.
death_date = death date and age|mf=yes|2008|6|13|1950|5|7
age =
death_place = Washington, D.C.
education = B.A. in Political Science, 1972
John Carroll University,
J.D., 1976 Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
occupation = Journalist
party = Democrat
alias =
gender = Male
status =
title =
family =
spouse = Maureen Orth (married 1983)
children = Luke Russert
relatives =
ethnic =
religion = Roman Catholic
salary =
networth =
credits = "Meet the Press" moderator (1991–2008),"NBC Nightly News" correspondent, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief
agent =
URL = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4459759/

Timothy John Russert II (May 7, 1950 – June 13, 2008) was an American television journalist and lawyer who appeared for more than 16 years as the longest-serving moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press". He was an NBC News' Senior Vice President, Washington bureau chief and also hosted the eponymous CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program "Tim Russert". He was a frequent correspondent and guest on NBC's "The Today Show" and "Hardball". Russert covered several presidential elections, and he presented the NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" survey on the "NBC Nightly News" during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Time Magazine included Russert in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008. [Time Magazine. May 12, 2008.] Russert was posthumously revealed as a thirty-year source of columnist Robert Novak. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/18/AR2008061802730.html "My Friend and My Source"] Washington Post. June 18, 2008. ]

Early life

Russert was born in Buffalo, New York to Irish American Catholic parents Elizabeth (Betty), a homemaker, and Timothy Joseph "Big Russ" Russert, a sanitation worker and newspaper truck driver, [cite news |first=Rich |last=Kellman |title=Russert's Love Affair With Buffalo |url=http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=58638&catid=37 |work=WGRZ-TV Buffalo, NY |publisher=wgrz.com |date=2008-06-14 |accessdate=2008-06-14 ] who were married for 30 years and separated in 1976. He was the second of four children; his sisters are Betty Ann (B.A.), Kathleen (Kathy) and Patricia (Trish). He received a Jesuit education [cite web|accessdate=2008-06-13|url=http://www.jcu.edu/breakingnews/russert-debate.htm|title=Tim Russert, John Carroll University Class of '72, to Moderate Democratic Debate|publisher=John Carroll University] from Canisius High School in Buffalo.

He received his B.A. in 1972 from John Carroll University and a Juris Doctor with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1976. cite web
last = Steinberg
first = Jacques
title = Tim Russert, ‘Meet the Press’ Host, Is Dead at 58
publisher = "The New York Times"
date = 2008-06-14
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/business/media/13cnd-russert.html
accessdate = 2008-06-13
] Russert commented on "Meet the Press" that he went to Woodstock, "in a Buffalo Bills jersey with a case of beer." While in law school, an official from his alma mater, John Carroll University, called Russert to ask if he could book some concerts for the school as he had done while a student. He agreed, but said he would need to be paid because he was running out of money to pay for law school. One concert that Russert booked was headlined by a then-unknown singer, Bruce Springsteen, who charged $2,500 for the concert appearance. Russert told this story to Jay Leno when he was a guest on the "The Tonight Show" on NBC on June 6, 2006. [cite web|accessdate=2008-06-13|url=http://www.brucebase.org.uk/gig1975.htm#4|title= John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH |publisher=Brucebase]


Prior to becoming host of "Meet the Press", Russert worked as a special counsel, and later as chief of staff, to Democratic U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1983 he became the counsel to Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo of New York State. He was hired by NBC News' Washington bureau the following year and became bureau chief by 1989.

Host of "Meet the Press"

Russert assumed the job of host of the Sunday morning program "Meet the Press" in 1991, and would become the longest serving host of the program. Its name was changed to "Meet the Press with Tim Russert", and, at his suggestion, went to an hour-long format in 1992. The show also shifted to a greater focus on in-depth interviews with high profile guests, where Russert was known especially for his extensive preparatory research. One approach he developed was to find old quotes or video clips that were inconsistent with guests' more recent statements, present them on-air to his guests and then ask them to clarify their positions. With Russert as host the show became increasingly popular, receiving more than 4 million viewers per week, and was recognized as one of the most important sources of political news. "Time"" named Russert one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008, and Russert often moderated political campaign debates. ["Tim Russert", by Mario M. Cuomo. "Time", May 12, 2008]

Political coverage and debates

During NBC's coverage of the 2000 presidential election, Russert calculated possible electoral college outcomes using a white marker board (now in the Smithsonian Institution) on the air and memorably summed up the outcome as dependent upon "Florida, Florida, Florida." [Howard Kurtz, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37798-2004May18.html Washington Post: In the Hot Seat] , "Washington Post", May 23, 2004.] TV Guide described the scene as "one of the 100 greatest moments in TV history." [Jonathan Storm, [http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/news_breaking/20080613_Tim_Russert__giant_of_D_C__journalism__dies.html "Tim Russert, giant of D.C. journalism, dies"] "Philadelphia Inquirer", June 13, 2008; retrieved 2008-06-19] Russert again accurately predicted the final battleground of the presidential elections of 2004: "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio." On the MSNBC show "Tucker", Russert predicted the battleground states of the 2008 presidential election would be New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, saying, "If Democrats can win three of those four, they can lose Ohio and Florida, and win the presidency." [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19291439 "Tucker", June 15, 2007] ]

"Red" states and "Blue" states

According to "The Washington Post", the terms Red states and blue states were coined by Tim Russert. [cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17079-2004Nov1.html|title=Elephants Are Red, Donkeys Are Blue| author=Paul Farhi|publisher=The Washington Post|date=2004-11-02|accessdate=2008-08-13] [cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4459759/|title=MSNBC.com About Meet the Press|accessdate=2008-06-13] This term refers to those states of the United States of America whose residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party or Democratic Party presidential candidates, respectively. It began to emerge in mainstream political discussion following the 2000 presidential election.

CIA leak scandal

In the Plame affair, Scooter Libby, convicted chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Russert told him of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame (Mrs. Joseph C. Wilson). Russert testified previously, and again in "United States v. I. Lewis Libby," that he would neither testify whether he spoke with Libby nor would he describe the conversation.PDFlink| [http://wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/feb7/DX1572.pdf "Declaration of Tim Russert"] |185 KiB . "United States of America v. I. Lewis Libby". United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 2004-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-13. Page 3.] In the indictment of Libby, the grand jury found that Russert did not ask Libby if Libby knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. PDFlink| [http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf "Indictment"] |152 KiB . "United States of America v. I. Lewis Libby". United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 2005-10-28. Retrieved 2008-06-13. Page 19.] Russert did say, however, that Plame's identity as a CIA operative was not leaked to him.

Russert testified again in the trial on February 7, 2007.Lewis, Neil A. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/washington/09libby.html NBC's Russert Wraps Up Prosecution Case in Libby Trial] . "The New York Times". 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2008-06-13.] At the trial, the prosecution asserted that a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent had called Russert regarding Russert's phone call with Libby, and that Russert had told the agent that the subject of Plame had not come up during his conversation with Libby. Posthumously Russert was revealed as a thirty-year source of columnist Robert Novak, whose original article revealed Plame's affiliation with the CIA. In a Slate.com article, Jack Shafer argued that "the Novak-Russert relationship poses a couple of questions. [...] Russert's long service as an anonymous source to Novak...requires further explanation." [cite news|url=http://www.slate.com/id/2193946/pagenum/all/|title=Novak, Russert, and the Washington Protection Racket|publisher=Slate.com|date=June 20, 2008] In a posthumous commentary, the L.A. Times wrote that, "Like former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Russert was one of the high-level Washington journalists who came out of the Libby trial looking worse than shabby." The article's author, Tim Rutten, argued that although Russert and NBC had claimed that these conversations were protected by journalistic privilege, "it emerged under examination [that] Russert already had sung like a choirboy to the FBI concerning his conversation with Libby--and had so voluntarily from the first moment the Feds contacted him. All the litigation was for the sake of image and because the journalistic conventions required it." [http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3462 Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, "Remembering Russert: What media eulogies remember - and forget," June 19, 2008.] ]

Iraq War

In the lead up to the Iraq War, "Meet the Press" featured interviews with top government officials including Vice President Dick Cheney. CBS "Evening News" correspondent Anthony Mason praised Russert's interview techniques: "In 2003, as the United States prepared to go to war in Iraq, Russert pressed Vice President Dick Cheney about White House assumptions." However, Salon.com reported a statement from Cheney press aide Cathie Martin regarding advice she says she offered when the Bush administration had to respond to charges that it manipulated pre-Iraq War intelligence: "I suggested we put the vice president on "Meet the Press", which was a tactic we often used. It's our best format." [ [http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/01/26/cheney/index.html Salon.com, "Senator: Cheney Delayed Iraq Intel Probe," Alex Koppelman, January 26, 2007.] ] David Folkenflik quoted Russert in his May 19, 2004, "Baltimore Sun" article:

"I don't think the public was, at that time, particularly receptive to hearing it," Russert says. "Back in October of 2002, when there was a debate in Congress about the war in Iraq--three-fourths of both houses of Congress voted with the president to go. Those in favor were so dominant. We don't make up the facts. We cover the facts as they were."

Folkenflik went on to write:

Russert's remarks would suggest a form of journalism that does not raise the insolent question from outside polite political discourse--so, if an administration's political foes aren't making an opposing case, it's unlikely to get made. In the words of one of my former editors, journalists can read the polls just like anybody else.

In the 2007 PBS documentary, "Buying the War", Russert commented, "My concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them."

Enthusiasm for sports

Russert grew up as a New York Yankees fan, switching his allegiance to the Nationals when they were established in Washington, D.C. Russert held season tickets to both the Washington Nationals and the Washington Wizards [cite web|accessdate=2008-06-13|url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/02/05/this_russert_will_be_interrogating_athletes_on_radio/|title=This Russert will be interrogating athletes on radio |work=The Boston Globe|date=2006-02-05|author=Reiss, Mike] and was elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 2003.

A lifelong fan of the Buffalo Bills football team, Russert often closed Sunday broadcasts during the football season with a statement of encouragement for the franchise. The team released a statement on the day of his passing, saying that listening to Russert's "Go Bills" exhortation was part of their Sunday morning game preparation. [Quoted by Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News show "On The Record with Greta Van Susteren", 13 JUNE 2008] . He once prayed publicly on the show with his father when the Bills were going for the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive time before Super Bowl XXVIII. [ [http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d808d3a88 NFL.com's tribute and interview to the late Tim Russert] ] On July 23, 2008, U.S. Route 20 leading to the Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York was renamed the "Timothy J. Russert Highway". [ [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/07/bush-signs-russ.html Political Radar: Bush Signs "Russert Highway" Into Law ] ]

Russert was also a Buffalo Sabres fan and appeared on an episode of "Meet the Press" next to the Stanley Cup during a Sabres playoff run. While his son was attending Boston College, he often ended "Meet the Press" with a mention of the success of various Boston College sports teams.


Russert penned a best-selling autobiography, "Big Russ and Me"Amazon.com page for book (ISBN 978-1401352080) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401359655] Accessed: 14 JUNE 2008] in 2004, which chronicled his life growing up in the predominantly Irish American working-class neighborhood of South Buffalo and his education at Canisius High School. Russert's father Timothy Joseph Russert, "Big Russ," was a World War II veteran who held down two jobs after the war, emphasized the importance of maintaining strong family values, the reverence of faith, and never taking a short cut to reach a goal. Russert claimed to have received over 60,000 letters from people in response to the book, detailing their own experiences with their fathers. [ [http://www.ksdk.com/news/national/story.aspx?storyid=148159&catid=130 Tim Russert liked St. Louis] . "KSDK-TV". 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-13.] He released "Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons" in 2005, a collection of some of these letters. This book also became a best-seller.

Cameo television appearance

Russert made a cameo appearance in 1995 on the critically-acclaimed police drama, "". He played the cousin of fictional Baltimore homicide detective Megan Russert. ["The TV Column", by John Carmody, for "The Washington Post", February 2, 1995.] He was mentioned by name again on the show in 1996, when it was said that he had introduced his "cousin" to a French diplomat, with whom she then went abroad. [cite news|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/entertainment/1996/09/20/1996-09-20_as_always__changing__homicid.html |title=AS ALWAYS, CHANGING 'HOMICIDE' RIGHT ON TARGET | author=David Bianculli | publisher=New York Daily News | date=1996-09-20 | accessdate=2008-08-17]


During his career, Russert received 48 honorary doctorates and won several awards for excellence in journalism, including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the John Peter Zenger Freedom of the Press Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication's Gabriel Award. Russert also received an Emmy Award in 2005 for his coverage of the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan.cite web
title=About Meet the Press

Personal life

Russert met Maureen Orth at the 1976 Democratic National Convention; they married in 1983. Orth has been a special correspondent for "Vanity Fair" since 1993.

Their son, Luke [Luke was reportedly named after Buffalo Bisons slugger Luke Easter (cite news|url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d808d35c1&template=with-video&confirm=true |title=Remembering Russert: Bills had a special place in journalist's life| publisher=NFL.com | date=2008-06-14|accessdate=2008-06-15); although (as related by Tom Brokaw at Russert's memorial service) Russert had told actor Paul Newman that the inspiration had been Newman's character Cool Hand Luke; his father also referred to St. Luke as his son's "namesake".(cite news|url=http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/25186698/ |title=Tim Russert’s son ‘eternally grateful’ for his dad’s love| publisher=NBC News |date=2008-06-16|accessdate=2008-06-16)] , graduated from Boston College in 2008. He hosts the XM Radio show "60/20 Sports" with James Carville, and was an intern with ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption". On July 31, 2008, NBC News announced that Luke Russert will serve as an NBC News correspondent covering the youth perspective on the 2008 United States presidential election. [cite web |url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25935768/ |title=Russert's son joins NBC News |publisher=NBC News |date=2008-07-31]

The Russert family lived in northwest Washington, D.C. and also spent time at a vacation home on Nantucket Island, where he served on the board of several non-profit organizations. cite web
last = Myers
first = K.C.
title = Russert involved in Nantucket life
publisher = "Cape Cod Times"
date = 2008-06-14
url = http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080614/NEWS/806140350/-1/rss01
accessdate = 2008-06-14

Russert, a devout Catholic, said many times he had made a promise to God to never miss Sunday Mass if his son were born healthy. In his writing and in his news reporting, Russert spoke openly and fondly of his Catholic school education and of the role of the Catholic Church in his life. He was an outspoken supporter of Catholic education on all levels. cite web
last = Catholic News Service
first =
title = Russert remembered for his fondness for church, faithfulness
publisher = Catholic News Service
date = 2008-06-13
url = http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0803173.htm
accessdate = 2008-06-14
] He said that his father, a sanitation worker who never finished high school, "worked two jobs all his life so his four kids could go to Catholic school, and those schools changed my life." He also spoke warmly of Catholic nuns who taught him. "Sister Mary Lucille founded a school newspaper and appointed me editor and changed my life," he said. Teachers in Catholic schools "taught me to read and write, but also how to tell right from wrong."

Russert also contributed his time and to numerous Catholic charities. He was particularly devoted and concerned for the welfare of street kids in the United States and children whose lives were lost in street violence. He told church workers attending the 2005 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering that "if there's an issue that Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and liberals can agree on, it's our kids."

Russert's favorite beer was Rolling Rock, and, at his funeral, fellow anchor Tom Brokaw brought and raised a Rolling Rock in honor of Russert's memory. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/18/russert.memorial.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories Politicians flock to Russert funeral - CNN.com ] ]

Prior to his death, he had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Italy. He was also scheduled to give the Catholic Common Ground Initiative's Philip J. Murnion Lecture on June 27, 2008 at The Catholic University of America.


Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on June 13, 2008, Russert collapsed at the offices of WRC-TV, which houses the Washington, D.C. bureau of NBC News where he was chief. He was recording voiceovers for the Sunday edition of "Meet the Press." According to Brian Williams during his speech at the Kennedy Center on June 18, Russert's last words were, "What's happening?" spoken as a greeting to NBC Washington bureau editing supervisor Candace Harrington.cite news
title=Brian Williams At Tim Russert Memorial (VIDEO)
publisher=The Huffington Post
] He then collapsed. A co-worker began rescue breathing on him, although Russert needed CPR. The District of Columbia Fire and Rescue service received a call from NBC at 1:40 p.m. and dispatched an EMS unit which arrived at 1:44 p.m. Paramedics attempted to defibrillate Russert's heart three times, but he did not respond. Russert was then transported to Sibley Memorial Hospital, arriving at 2:23 p.m., where he was pronounced dead. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2008-06-13-russert-obit_N.htm?csp=34 "NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58" "USA Today" June 14, 2008] ] In accordance with American journalistic tradition, the public announcement of Russert's death was withheld by both the wire services and his network's competitors. [From Neil Cavuto, host of "Cavuto's World," on the Fox News Channel, 13 JUNE 2008 broadcast] After Russert's family had been notified, retired NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw delivered, live on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC, the news of his passing. NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams was on assignment in Afghanistan and could not anchor the special report. [cite web|accessdate=2008-06-13|url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/06/13/brokaw.russert.announcement.nbc|title=Tim Russert dead at 58|publisher=CNN|date=2008-06-13] Russert had just returned from a family vacation in Rome, Italy, where he went to celebrate his son's graduation from Boston College.cite news|accessdate=2008-06-13
url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/13/AR2008061302423_pf.html |work=Washington Post
title=NBC's Tim Russert Dies at 58: Host of 'Meet the Press' Stricken While at Office
author=Kurtz, Howard and William Branigin
date=June 13, 2008
] While his wife and son remained in Rome, Russert had returned to prepare for his Sunday television show.cite web|accessdate=2008-06-13
url=http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/russert-dies-of-apparent-heart-attack/index.html?hp |publisher=New York Times
title=NBC's Tim Russert Dies
author=Seelye, Katharine Q.
date=June 13, 2008
work=The Caucus

Russert's longtime friend and physician, Dr. Michael Newman, said that his asymptomatic coronary artery disease had been controlled with medication and exercise, and that he had performed well on a stress test in late April. An autopsy performed on the day of his death determined that his history of coronary artery disease led to a myocardial infarction (heart attack) with the immediate cause being an occlusive coronary thrombus in the left anterior descending artery resulting from a ruptured cholesterol plaque.cite news
title=TV newsman Tim Russert dies of heart attack
author=Morgan, David

Russert is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery, next to the historic Soldiers' Home, in Washington. [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=27526951]


On the evening of his death, the entire, nearly commercial-free half hour of "NBC Nightly News" was dedicated to Russert's memory, featuring previous news segments with Russert and interviews with some of his colleagues. The broadcast also included tributes to Russert by U.S. President George W. Bush and presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.

McCain said Russert was "at the top of his profession" and "a man of honesty and integrity", adding that "he was hard, but he was always fair."cite web|url=http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/obama_mccain_on_tim_russert.html|title = Obama, McCain on Tim Russert|accessdate=2008-06-13|publisher=Baltimore Sun] Obama was quoted as saying "there wasn't a better interviewer in television nor a more thoughtful analyst of our politics", while noting his friendship with the journalist. Bush issued a statement on the White House website [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/06/20080613-5.html White House website] ] saying he and First Lady Laura Bush were "deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Tim Russert" and remarking that "he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades." Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton released a joint statement saying Russert "had a love of public service and a dedication to journalism that rightfully earned him the respect and admiration of not only his colleagues but also those of us who had the privilege to go toe to toe with him." Keith Olbermann, Ethel Kennedy, Bob Schieffer, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward and others offered tributes during the program as well.

"Dateline NBC" also devoted its entire broadcast to his early life and political and journalistic career in television. MSNBC, the cable network at which he had spent much time working, devoted its weekend coverage exclusively to interviews and analyses of Russert and his impact. The following Sunday's edition of "Meet the Press" was devoted entirely to a remembrance of Russert, with the moderator's chair empty and Tom Brokaw leading a discussion among several of Russert's colleagues, including James Carville, Mary Matalin, Gwen Ifill, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mike Barnicle, and Maria Shriver. cite web
last = CNN
first =
title = NBC remembers Russert on first 'Meet the Press' since his death
publisher = CNN.com
date = 2008-06-15
url = http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/15/russert.sunday/index.html
accessdate = 2008-06-15

Other major US news agencies, including CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox News spent large segments of their programming on June 13 reporting about Russert's life and career. The BBC also reported on his death. Statements were made by journalists from a variety of news organizations, including "CBS News" anchor emeritus Walter Cronkite,cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25148584/|title = Reactions to Tim Russert's death|accessdate=2008-06-13|publisher=msnbc] "Washington Post" columnists Carl Bernstein and Sally Quinn, [cite news |first=Sally |last=Quinn |title='Meet the Press' Host Tim Russert Dies at 58|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/06/13/DI2008061302404.html?nav=hcmodule | work=The Washington Post |date=June 13, 2008 |accessdate=2008-06-14] and conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. [ [http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/today.guest.html Limbaugh website statement on Russert's death] , posted 13 JUNE 2008 Accessed 13 JUNE 2008]

Bruce Springsteen, a friend of Russert's, gave an on-stage tribute to Russert while performing in Cardiff, Wales on June 14, calling him "an important unreplacable voice in American journalism" and offering condolences to his family. Springsteen dedicated the performance of "Thunder Road" to Russert's memory. The song received a resounding applause from the audience. Springsteen also performed a few days later, via live feed, at Russert's televised Kennedy Center memorial service. [ Bruce Springsteen Tribute, [http://www.brucespringsteen.net/news/index.html] Accessed June 16, 2008]

On June 17, 2008, the United States House of Representatives debated House Resolution 1275, "Honoring the life of Timothy John Russert, II, public servant, political analyst, and author." [ [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.RES.1275: Text of House Resolution 1275] ] The bill was sponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins and co-sponsored by 89 other representatives, and was passed unopposed (395-0). [ [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.res.01275: Sponsor, co-sponsors and roll call vote] ]

Some journalists criticized the amount of media coverage that Russert's death received. Jack Shafer of "Slate" called NBC's coverage a "never-ending video wake."cite news|url=http://www.slate.com/id/2193689/|title=The Canonization of Saint Russert, The media overdo the death of a journalist.|last=Shafer|first=Jack |date=June 16, 2008|work=Slate.com|accessdate=2008-06-21] Washington Post writer Paul Farhi also expressed disapproval, noting that a print journalist would likely not have received similar attention.cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/06/17/DI2008061700808.html|title=Station Break|last=Farhi|first=Paul |date=June 17, 2008|work=Washington Post|accessdate=2008-06-21] "Chicago Tribune" columnist Julia Keller questioned the volume of coverage as well as the labeling of Russert's death as "a national tragedy."cite news|url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/arts/chi-lit-life-main-0622jun22,0,7978330.column|title=The tempest over Tim: Did the media overplay Russert's death?|last=Keller|first=Julia |date=June 20, 2008|work=Chicago Tribune|accessdate=2008-06-21]

Career timeline

Political career

* 1977–1982 — Chief of Staff to Daniel Patrick Moynihan
* 1983–1984 — Counselor to Mario Cuomo

Broadcast career

* 1984–1988 — Senior vice-President of NBC News' Washington operations
* 1988–2008 — Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News
* 1991–2008 — Moderator of "Meet the Press"
* 1992–2006 — Co-anchor of NBC News' Election Night coverage

Debates moderated

* 2000 — Moderator of debate between Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton, candidates for U.S. Senate from New York
* 2007 — Moderator of debate in Philadelphia involving Democratic candidates for U.S. President
* 2008 — Co-Moderator of debate at Cleveland State between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Democratic candidates for U.S. President


Further reading

* Russert, Tim. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4179618/ Interview with President George W. Bush] . Transcript. "NBC News' Meet the Press". MSNBC February 8, 2004. Accessed February 10, 2007.
* Russert, Tim. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ID/4772030/ Interview with Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, presidential candidate.] Transcript. "NBC News' Meet the Press". MSNBC April 18, 2004. Accessed February 10, 2007.

External links

* [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4459759/ Tim Russert] - MSNBC biography
* [http://www.timrussert.info Remembering Tim Russert]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=27526951 Tim Russert] at Find-A-Grave

NAME= Russert, Tim
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Russert, Timothy John
DATE OF BIRTH= May 7, 1950
PLACE OF BIRTH= Buffalo, New York, United States
DATE OF DEATH= June 13, 2008
PLACE OF DEATH= Washington, D.C.

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