NBC newsman Tim Russert dies at 58

Although I do not consider myself a fan of TV political talkshows, I have off-and-on caught episodes of NBC newsman Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press,” and he came across as a tenacious, hardnosed veteran journalist with a passion to get past political smokescreens.

My personal encounter with Tim Russert was at the PRSA International Conference in 2007, where Russert was one of the featured speakers. He talked about the poisonous atmosphere that pervaded beltway politics in Washington D.C., but what struck me the most was his admiration of the everyday goodness, decency, and work ethics of so many working class Americans, as embodied by his father. When sharing how his father’s life impacted him and set an example for him, Russert’s voice shook with emotion. Clearly despite all his successes, Russert stayed rooted to his family and to the ethos of everyday working Americans.

Read CNN’s report of Russert’s untimely death here. Three-term governor of New York, Mario Cuomo (whom Russert served as press secretary) wrote a piece on Russert when the journalist was named in 2008 by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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