I was travelling to Las Vegas to meet my father- and brother-in-laws when I saw the news that Mr. Russert had passed. As I’ve started blogging, I’ve found it interesting to pause and reflect on the lives of people who’ve touched me. It helps me pay some little respect, and to clarfy in my mind some of my own thoughts on how and why certain people impact or teach me something.
As a professional, Mr. Russert was the “gold standard” according to many. My behavior reflected this: Tim Russert hosted the only news program that I Tivo’d and watched every week. I would watch other news, but Meet the Press was must see TV. Others have reported how this occurred: his hard hitting, yet friendly approach.
What I always loved about Mr. Russert’s show was his clear passion for the Buffalo Bills, literally his humanness. Few others in journalism match this. Others at the top of the heap–Stephanopolous, Koppel, Blitzer and even George Will are all tremendously talented political journalists, but none had anywhere near the human connection that Mr. Russert could bring.
And this makes it all the more telling, I think. As many of us, I work hard and am trying to do big things at work. I also aim to be present and dialed in as a parent, son, and friend. A very hard balance, it’s one some claim is impossible to achieve.
Timothy J. Russert is a great case in point that it can be achieved. We will miss you!