Why I Adored Tim Russert

I never met Tim Russert, but I’m going to miss him. I can’t think of another newsperson so irreplaceable, and it’s impossible to imagine Meet the Press without him. I know enough about Russert to know he was a Democrat, but that was immaterial to his interviewing style. You could never truly tell whose side he was on, because he treated everyone he interviewed, regardless of party affiliation, with the same dogged incisivness designed to get past their politics to their souls. That’s why a Tim Russert interview was so yummy to watch. It was bound to be brilliant, penetrating, different, fair, and above all, informative.

I’m big on integrity. I try to have it myself, and sometimes I succeed. I strive to create characters who are, at their core, decent and honest and who struggle with themselves when they stray from those values. I wouldn’t care about my characters otherwise, and I certainly wouldn’t expect my readers to care. I think that’s the quality Tim Russert had that I’ll miss the most: integrity. There are many other interviewers I admire, but there was only one I knew I could trust.



  1. Denise on June 15, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Oh, Diane, I completely agree with you. I honestly do not know one person who hasn’t said that they cried when they heard that Tim was no longer with us. Friday the 13th, 2008, was definitely a black day because of Tim’s passing.
    I know an attorney who sat next to Tim on an airplane a few years ago. He said they chatted the entire trip and that Tim was the *nicest* guy. I think that besides his integrity, he was also viewed as being an ‘everyday man,’ just a real nice guy who we would all have liked to have as a friend.

  2. Liz Johnson on June 15, 2008 at 12:32 am

    I have not been able to tear myself away from TV since last night, switching stations to find – I don’t know what. I think besides the sadness we feel that such a man was taken – giving credibility to “Only the good die young”- is that America felt they could trust him. Have you ever been allowed into the world of someone with such honesty, integrity,generosity and lack of personal agenda? Poeple can fool you with their own spin on life and events, but somehow you knew that what he said was real. Meet the Press only served as a vehicle to watch Tim Russert in his element to hold others accountable and understand our place in this world. Most of us are not very significant in the overall scheme of things. I hope we, as a nation, are able to stop our egocentric, self-serving personal agendas and work toward the goal of what’s in the best interests of our world? A wondeful soul has been allowed to reach a better place. On another level, there are the floods in my state. Watching coverage, it appears that our county is one of the few – to date – not declared a disaster area, although counties to the north, south and west that surround us are. On top of the tordadoes in late May near us, earthquakes in Japan, political posturing,it feels as though there is a higher power warning us that it may be too late. As a planet, we need to work towards peace and unity and conservation of the resources we have been given. I don’t understand the penchant for power. Sorry about ranting, but this is at the forefront of my mind. Thanks for your words, Diane.

  3. Margo on June 16, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Beautifully said Diane. I was shocked to hear of Tim’s passing and feel he was the most unbiased newsman around. Honesty and integrity was what I admired most in Tim and he will be greatly missed by everyone who felt the same way. On another sad note, I am saddened for all the people in our State who have lost their homes, crops and more during the flood. I feel very fortunate that Gary & I live on a hill and have only experienced 1-2 inches of water in our basement. Neighbors in the low valley have evacuated their home because of the destruction and it’s horrible to see their furniture, washer and dryers and things sitting outside on the curb! It almost makes me feel guilty that we are ‘ok’ and others are not.

  4. Kathy on June 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    I absolutely agree. I wrote on my blog how I depended on Tim to make the elections more interesting and understandable. You just felt you could trust what he had to say. I was counting on him to be here for this upcoming election – am really going to miss him.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on June 16, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I know what you mean about the upcoming election, Kathy. And he was so psyched about it, himself, wasn’t he?

  6. brenda on June 17, 2008 at 8:38 am

    I enjoyed his comments. When others were so biased, he kept his opinion to himself often. It would have been interesting to hear what he had to say about this unique election year…Frankly, I am tired of receiving those email messages that people send a million at a time…most are untrue anyway. Are you guys getting them also???? You know where something is totally true about one candidate versus the other. Some are disgusting…

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