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Friday, June 13

Tim Russert is Dead

Breaking News

NBC Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert is dead. The longtime moderator of "Meet The Press" was 58 years old.

The New York Times confirms Russert died this afternoon. WTOP has word that D.C. Fire and EMS responded to the NBC News Washington Bureau on Nebraska Ave. NW at 1:41 p.m. and found Russert in cardiac arrest. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

According to NBC News, Russert collapsed while at work Friday. He had just returned from a family trip to Italy. In a special report on NBC, former anchor Tom Brokaw called Russert a "beloved colleague" and "one of the premier journalists of our time."

As host of Meet the Press, Russert turned the show into the most widely watched program of its type in the nation. Washingtonian magazine once dubbed Russert the best journalist in town, and described "Meet the Press" as "the most interestingand important hour on television. Say what you will about Tim’s corporate shilling (and we have) as over the years, sometimes he would be hard hitting and ask hard questions and yet other times, appear to give the neo-cons a pass that often put the Left at odds with his softball questions but somehow he always managed to display an element of vulnerability and kindness, no matter how he pissed us off when he pandered to the suits. It may or may not be a stretch to say “we lost one of our own” but compared to O’Reilly (why do the meannies usually live to be forever?) he was an Irish Saint. He died today at the young age of 58. I guess you never know when “your chips will be cashed in” as one commenter put it.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, and their son, Luke. The Russerts live in D.C. I know at least one person who was his close friend which somehow puts a more human face on this talking head’s passing. Maybe the media can call a truce over the next few days and practice what it means to be civil and report on stuff that matters for a change.

R.I.P. Tim Russert.


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