June 15th, 2008
10:55 AM ET
15 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. June

    Michelle, yes Mr. Russert was an honorable man. The hard questions should be asked of both candidates not just Sen. Obama. That's why I liked Mr. Russert. He gave everyone the old one two punch. Something the rest of the press will not do equally . Mr. McCain needs to be asked the hard questions too.

    Go Obama!

    June 15, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Diing in Washington

    He was one of my favorites in the world. His untimely death has just robbed us of the most decent man. May his good spirit prevail. Tim, you are alredy missed. RIP

    June 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. LoveMeOrLeaveMe

    MSNBC will never be the same. You were one of the most objective commentators in history.

    June 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Mary

    I understand that when a person dies, everyone speaks of them in glowing terms. My goodness, judging by the thousands of tributes that have been pouring in, it seems as though Tim Russert was an absolute saint who could walk on water. I had never realized that before. I thought he was an important figure in TV journalism who recently had let his bias get the best of him. It was too bad; I really loved watching Meet the Press back when he was more balanced and less angry.

    June 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I was deeply touched watching today's Meet the Press, and I wonder if anyone can truly fill the big shoes of Tim Russert.

    I admired his intelligence, his humor and his humanity - all of which contributed to his excellence as a journalist.

    My hope is that all the journalists and TV personalities who so liberally praised Mr. Russert for his ethics and fairness will try hard to emulate his example.

    June 15, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Francis Kansas City

    The country just lost the greatest journalist in Tim Russert. I enjoyed the way he was able to make great leaders and politicians think before the respond to his questions. He was the only fair minded journalist I have listened to. I wonder what NBC will become without Tim.

    June 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Josh

    Even as a Hillary Clinton supporter, I was amazed by Tim Russert's ability to ask a question with precision.

    Americans are now at a severe disadvantage b/c we will not get the truth as easily as we did w/ Tim Russert's tenacity to go after it for us.

    June 15, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. gabriela de la peña

    What will nbc/msnbc will do now that their only two "objective newsmen" are chris matthews and keith olbermann??

    June 15, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. mollygonz

    Goodbye Tim Russert. You will be missed by many. I wish so much that you could've been here to see how this presidential campaign had turned out. I know it meant so much to you. May God take you in his loving hands.

    June 15, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Misty

    I got involved in the US politics because of one man and one show:

    Honorable Mr. Tim Russert on Meet the Press. Go NBC!!

    June 15, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. John, OH

    You will be missed Tim, We are all now left with tabloid media(Fox News, CNN and the spin doctors on MSNBC). What a lost for the world.

    June 15, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Radiance

    He was the best and that hasn't changed. He set the bar where only he could reach it.

    Hats off to you Tim, there is no one else like you!

    June 15, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Kalani

    Tim, you helped me repair a troubled relationship with my father, and present a better model to my son. I'm very sad to write this on Father's Day - a day you helped define for me - and think that you're gone.

    God bless your family and friends. They've lost a hero.

    The country has lost a hero ...

    June 15, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Rob

    Cnn you need to find someone with the drive – integrity – heart & hard questioning power that was Tim Russert .Tim you are missed

    June 15, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. joyo

    Tim Russert was on my weekly programming schedule. To hear of his death was so terrible, as i only knew of him as a viewer, i knew he had to love his work and i always trusted his judgement. He was fair , not the tabloid type journalism like ( Sean Hannity). Bill Oreilly, Keith Oberlman,and Tim Russert are three commentaries I enjoy watching. I am truly going to miss his weekly show, and i don't think their will ever be another Tim Russert. This is truly a sad loss for veiwers interested in knowing the truth. God Bless Tim's family.

    June 15, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    Unfortunately, Tim Russert appears to be one of the last of a dying breed – the nonpartisan news journalist.

    June 15, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. HM


    June 15, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Martha in Lake View, SC

    As a viewer, I will miss Mr. Russert's commentary. He always provided information in a clear understandable format, and he often added touches of commentary to make that information more interesting, memorable, or enjoyable. I never found myself bored with his observations which were often uniquely presented. Other commentators could seem bland, but somehow his view of things, his personality, his sense of humor, and his sense of right always held my interest. His good character came through in all his work efforts so his public will certainly miss and remember him. It's such a shame that such a talented and nice person couldn't stay among us for a longer time. I think he would have enjoyed it, and so would we.

    June 15, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. PS for Obama

    Every 100 years someone like Tim is born. He was unique. Sunday morning will never be the same for me. I just hope God has a good place at his side for you. You were loved on earth, I know it will be the same in Heaven. Go in peace to our Creator.
    The world will miss you very much. May God always protect you family!

    June 15, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Shirley-Ohio

    RIP Mr. Russert, you will be truly missed, I am not sure I can find anyone on TV now that can help me understand politics as you have. I watched your show on Sunday mornings and taped them if I could not watch them right away. I cried when I saw the empty chair today and wished you were still here. God bless your family and RIP.

    June 15, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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