June 15th, 2008
10:55 AM ET
10 years ago

NBC remembers Russert on first 'Meet the Press' since his death


This message, written on a dry erase white board that became a Russert trademark, was left outside NBC's Washington bureau Friday soon after news of the newsman's death spread. Photo credit: AP.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The moderator's chair on NBC's "Meet the Press" stood empty on Sunday in remembrance of Tim Russert, the man who had occupied it for 17 years.

As the show's host, Russert became a mainstay of television journalism's
political talk.

He died Friday of apparent heart attack, according to the network. He was 58. The network said Russert collapsed while at work.

Colleague and former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who broke the news about the anchor's death, spoke on Sunday the familiar first four words of the news program, "Our issues this Sunday." He noted that those were the same words Russert had been recording for the show when he collapsed and died.

"Our issue this sad Sunday morning is remembering and honoring our colleague and friend," Brokaw said.

"He said he was only the temporary custodian," of this program, which he called a national treasure, Brokaw said. "Of course, he was so much more than all that."

Brokaw sat among some of Russert's other colleagues in the front of the show's set, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin and political analysts Mary Matalin and James Carville, who is also a CNN contributor.

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soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Wisconsin


    June 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Alan Boyer

    God likes nice things too! Go get 'em, Tim!

    June 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. interested canadian

    I honestly feel as though I have lost a friend. I have his family in my thoughts and prayers today, Father's Day. Their loss is great but I hope they can take some comfort from the great memories this wonderful husband, father, son and brother has made for them. He was a great journalist and when he did an interview I always knew I could watch with confidence that it was going to be a job well done. I don't know who can take his place. I was always interested in his opinion and I will surely miss it

    June 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Mary - Independent

    Such a great man in the world of Journalism and a true humanitarian.
    You will be missed Tim Russert.

    June 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Florida not for Barack Obama - Ever

    Tim our prayers are with you and your family you are and will always be a great American Legend in our mind and hearts.

    June 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Todd

    Tim Russert was a fine man, a well grounded, knowledgeable, fair-minded journalist (sometimes a rare quality in politics and journalism). In addition he was a great fan of his hometown and their sports team's, all Buffalonian's were and should be proud of Tim, a native son who made it in The Big Time. We'll all miss him much and hope and pray for his family and Dad on this father's day. We share your loss Big Russ. God bless and keep him – apart from the other virtues he possessed, he was Mr. Buffalo!

    June 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. 2Nurselady

    My heartfelt condolences to Mr. Russert's family and friends. He was a good man.

    June 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    I have watched Meet the Press for years on Sunday morning. He always seemed to have a way of interviewing his guest and always called them on the issues and what they said in the past. We will never know but I'm sure he knew who our next President was going to be.

    June 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. randy

    I woke up this morning as i normaly do every suday went to my remote to on the tv so i can watch meet the press then immediately remember that tim is dead it was very sad for me and every on that watch him i miss him dearly well fair well tim,your on on good man.

    June 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    I feel as if a member of my family died. Tim Russert raised journalism to an art form.

    June 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Mel

    Mr. Russert was tough but decent. It was as if he backed some in the corner, but never went for the jugular, leaving them just enough room to salvage some self-respect – a great balancing act of seeking the truth with grace.

    June 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. randy

    I woke up this morning as i normaly do every sunday to my remote to on the tv so i can watch meet the press then immediately remember that tim is dead it was very sad for me and to every that watch him. I miss his voice dearly well fair well tim,your are on on good man.obama will. full fill your dream.

    June 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Francis

    Travel Well, Tim. You will missed greatly.

    June 15, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Geri

    Michelle, you said it the best. May all news media heed your advice.

    June 15, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If you never joined in and watched Tim Russert on the Meet the Press, you truly missed a treasure. God Bless Mr. Russert and his family.

    June 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. garcia

    i didn't know the man other than getting to know him during this campaige, and i really liked him, for not knowing him personalley, it has really hit me hard. my prayers and thoughts go to his family. and may the other journalist learn something from such a great man.

    June 15, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Beverly Williams

    Tim was my favorite political analyst. I loved his enthusiasm and his sense of humor. He will be very much missed especially later this year in the presidential election. Peace to his wife and son. Always blessings, never losses.

    June 15, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Sunday morning was awfully lonely today. It will be a long time until it won't seem so. You will be impossible to replace, Tim

    June 15, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. martin

    To Nasher: NBC is the only network that is telling it like it is. The ranters are your hannities and your limbaums and your becks. Thanks Tim for you service. God bless

    June 15, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Leslie-Wa

    I'll miss Tim Russert, he was a great journalist. It would be hard for anyone in NBC to fill his shoes with a newcomer who doesn't have any credentials at par with Tim Russert. None of these new journalists can fill his shoes. It was Tim Russert during Nevada debate showed 8 pages of Obama campaign memo to use race card against Hillary Clinton. I never forgive Obama after that. All Obama was able to say he accepted responsibilities for actions of his campaigners and supporters but he never apologized to Hillary.

    June 15, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Such a loss

    I tear up when I read about this man. I didn't always watch his program, but enjoyed it when I did. I loved his coverage of politics. I found him to be genuine, honest, and diligent.

    I am not sure why I tear up. I know I enjoyed the man, but I never met him. Just really liked him and I do feel badly for any suffering he or his family are going thru.

    June 15, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Danny, CA

    TIM, You are one of the best journalists I have come across. I always watched your MEET The Press. I did not like your comments during democratic primaries because you were influenced by liberals like Keith Oberman, Chris Mathews, Brian Williams & David Gregory. I wished you could teach them what journalism is and to be fair and unbiased in the media. Since you are gone now, I hope they learn from you and change their attitude. Meantime I offer your family and friends my heartfelt condolences. We will miss you always.

    June 15, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Rave

    We will miss Tim.. It is so sad to loose Tim at such a young age.

    June 15, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Ernest

    Thank you for everything. Political interviews will never be same. May your soul rest in peace. You have fought a good fight. Thank you.

    June 15, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Mauri

    Like everyone else in the world, shock is not a strong enough word to describe how we felt about Tim Russert. With a keen interest in politics and particularly, the last 12 presidential races, we've seen all the anchors, newscasters and pundits come and go, but it was not until recently - the last two or three races - that we've seen these once respected, pedestal type - become outrageously partisan. That's why the likes of Tom Brokaw of NBC, Katie Couric of CBS, and Charlie Gibson of ABC are cherished for not speaking out against one party or the other in deference to their entire audience.

    People like Jack Cafferty of CNN, Sean Hannity and Allan Colmes, Dick Morris, of Fox News, and Brian Williams, Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman of MSNBC are all blatantly partisan, and not shy in letting their viewers know about it. But sad to say our beloved Tim Russert, whom we literally worshiped at the altar of politics since the beginning of the Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama campaign, had joined this group. His brow-beating of Senator Clinton - with the other NBC & MSNBC talking heads following suit, had become evident with so many folks speaking out about it. Perhaps their opinion about "the Clintons," as Tim Russert called them, was earned. However, we never felt it was justified coming from someone of his stature. Their own attitudes only slackened in this regard when Clinton lost. One of the tributes paid Tim Russert by his colleagues was his saying after Clinton's less than great showing in Indiana, "The primary is over," which, they bragged, was the ultimate proclamation. As Clinton supporters, we felt cheated by his words, regardless of the truth in what he said.

    Now, no doubt, McClain will get the same treatment. What a pity that almost all our treasured communications people have fallen to the equivalent to paid staff promotions people.

    We don't have to say we will miss Tim Russert; it has already been said much more eloquently than we can.

    June 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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