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Old 06-13-2008, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Meet the Press: Tim Russert passes away

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View: NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58
Source: MSNBC
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NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58
NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58
He was the Washington bureau chief and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’
BREAKING NEWS
NBC News and MSNBC
updated 3:39 p.m. ET, Fri., June. 13, 2008
WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after a sudden heart attack at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program when he collapsed, the network said. No details were immediately available.

Russert, the recipient of 48 honorary doctorates, took over the helm of “Meet the Press” in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program in the history of television.

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Senate staffer before entering journalism
After graduating from law school, Russert went into politics as a staff operative. In 1976, he worked on the Senate campaign of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and in 1982, he worked on Mario Cuomo’s campaign for governor of New York.

Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC's TODAY show from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News’ weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

Of his background as a Democratic political operative, Russert said, “My views are not important.”

“Lawrence Spivak, who founded ‘Meet the Press,’ told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side,” he said in a 2007 interview with Time magazine. “And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”

Cuomo, Russert’s onetime boss, wrote of Russert: “Most candidates are not eager to present themselves for Tim’s incisive scrutiny, which is fed by his prodigious study and preparation. But they have little choice: appearing on ‘Meet the Press’ is today as vital to a serious candidate as being properly registered to vote.”

Russert wrote two books — “Big Russ and Me” in 2004 and “Wisdom of Our Fathers” in 2006 — both of which were New York Times best-sellers.

Emmy for Reagan funeral coverage
In 2005, Russert was awarded an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan. His “Meet the Press” interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award, and the Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award.

Russert’s March 2000 interview of Sen. John McCain shared the 2001 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism. He was also the recipient of the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication’s Gabriel Award. He was a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

Russert was a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club, and America’s Promise — Alliance for Youth.

In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named him “Father of the Year,” Parents magazine honored him as “Dream Dad” in 1998, and in 2001 the National Fatherhood Initiative also recognized him as Father of the Year.

Irish America magazine named him one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country, and he was selected as a Fellow of the Commission of European Communities.

Russert is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, and a son, Luke.
Another one... damn.

I do hope that the ranks that are replacing them turn into greats.

I recall some of the first times I saw Meet The Press and enjoyed how people played themsevles instead of the roles that they were supposed to be.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Tim Russert set the standard for the Sunday morning political interview shows...a standard of challenging politicians of all persuasions to respond to factual information that he would present to them in his amiable but serious non partisan style.

.. and a standard that has significantly diminished among his many more partisan imitators and competitors over the course of his 17 years as moderator of MTP.

RIP
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tim Russert was a great journalist and an amazing moderator; this is such a loss for NBC and for the people who watched Meet the Press.

I'll definitely miss him this election season.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How the hell do you die in this age at 58!!! What a waste of an important political figure. Muy muy terrible.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What the...
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Heard this earlier. Stunned, simply stunned. How sad for his family. He talked of them often and obviously loved them.

MTP and Sunday mornings will never be the same.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Meet the Press is a show I remember watching as a kid. not every week or anything, but occasionally. All of my life Ive known that it was an important show. As an adult of course i watched much more frequently and looked forward to it. When Tim took over, I was pleased. Ive always liked and respected him as a person. I mean I dont know him or anything, but there was something comfortable and enjoyable about him and his interviews wasnt there?

besitos amigo. besitos.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Tough, fair, accurate, impartial. Those are words I always thought described Russert's journalistic style. I think all journalists could take a lesson from him as far as not letting personal biases dictate their journalism. and just focusing on facts and getting the story straight.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thats right. He was respectful of the person as he worked his work so that we all could see. Integrity that man had.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is truly shocking and stunning news. I'll miss his professionalism and great analysis that he brought to the screen in his newscasts.

I especially feel for his family, and I hope they are comforted by the fact that they are in everyone's thoughts and prayers.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It was sad watching a visibly upset Tom Brokaw talking about him with Keith Oblermann.

He was one of the few moderators who refused to ever let his show turn into a shouting match event. He had such an affable presence on the air.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JumpinJesus
It was sad watching a visibly upset Tom Brokaw talking about him with Keith Oblermann.

He was one of the few moderators who refused to ever let his show turn into a shouting match event. He had such an affable presence on the air.
I think that's what always struck me about him--he was such a good moderator, never letting things get out of hand, yet so polite at the same time. He certainly left big shoes to fill; I don't think they will ever be filled.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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He seemed like a very decent guy. The kind of guy you would go out with for a beer and some wings and just shoot the shit with.

A native son of Buffalo NY and proud at that.

Never hid his working class roots.

He and Jennings both died way too young and were arguably the best of the lot.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Tough, fair, accurate, impartial. Those are words I always thought described Russert's journalistic style. I think all journalists could take a lesson from him as far as not letting personal biases dictate their journalism. and just focusing on facts and getting the story straight.
Russert? Russert was a joke, not a journalist...an enabler, a disgrace to his profession. Rather than speak truth to power, to probe it's secrets and report on them, he was complicit in their deception, he only repeated what they wanted the public to know....

He will, I hope, quickly be forgotten. He added nothing....he took up a seat that could have been occupied by a REAL journalist.

His accomplishment is that no one here has even commented on how woefully inadequate he was as a journalist, but how appreciated he was as an infotainment personality.


Tim Russert:

Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...801013_pf.html

....When I talk to senior government officials on the phone, it's my own policy -- our conversations are confidential. If I want to use anything from that conversation, then I will ask permission....
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...801013_pf.html
Washington Journalism on Trial

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, February 8, 2007; 1:34 PM

And get this: According to Russert's testimony yesterday at Libby's trial, when any senior government official calls him, they are presumptively off the record.

That's not reporting, that's enabling.

That's how you treat your friends when you're having an innocent chat, not the people you're supposed to be holding accountable.

Many things are "on trial" at the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse right now. Libby is the only one facing a jail sentence -- and Russert's testimony, firmly contradicting the central claim of Libby's defense, may just end up putting him there.

But Libby's boss, along with the whole Bush White House, for that matter, is being held up to public scrutiny as well.

And the behavior of elite members of Washington's press corps -- sometimes appearing more interested in protecting themselves and their cozy "sources" than in informing the public -- is also being exposed for all the world to see.

For Russert, yesterday's testimony was the second source of trial-related embarrassment in less than two weeks. The first came when Cathie Martin, Cheney's former communications director, testified that the vice president's office saw going on Russert's "Meet the Press" as a way to go public but "control [the] message."

In other words: Sure, there might be a tough question or two, but Russert could be counted on not to knock the veep off his talking points -- and, in that way, give him just the sort of platform he was looking for.

Russert's description of how he does business with government officials came when prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald asked him whether there were "any explicit ground rules" for his conversation with Libby.

Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...012501951.html
In Ex-Aide's Testimony, A Spin Through VP's PR

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 26, 2007; Page A01

Memo to Tim Russert: Dick Cheney thinks he controls you.

This delicious morsel about the "Meet the Press" host and the vice president was part of the extensive dish Cathie Martin served up yesterday when the former Cheney communications director took the stand in the perjury trial of former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format."....
This sums up how Russert came to fail to be a news REPORTER. Why do you think he was awarded (rewarded with) an exclusive interview with George Bush before the 2004 election?

The president's own former press secretary called the Washington DC press corps:
Quote:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpu...lan-media.html
McClellan: Media During Run-Up to Iraq Were "Complicit Enablers"

May 28, 2008 11:12 AM
The reporters at Knight-Ridder/McClatchey are journalists....Russert wasn't worthy to be member of their profession:

Quote:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ea..._id=1003809535
In Wake of McClellan Charges: When Bill Moyers Revealed How the Press Bought the War

By Greg Mitchell

Published: May 31, 2008 11:30 AM ET

Among the few heroes of this devastating film are reporters with the Knight Ridder/McClatchy bureau in D.C. Tragically late, Walter Isaacson, who headed CNN, observes, "The people at Knight Ridder were calling the colonels and the lieutenants and the people in the CIA and finding out, you know, that the intelligence is not very good. We should've all been doing that."

http://coolaqua.blogs.com/coolaqua/2...chy-has-e.html

McClatchy Has Earned the Right to Use its New Byeline

The recently updated website of McClatchy newspapers has a new byline added under its logo, "Truth to Power", as in speaking truth to power.

McClatchy newspapers was formerly Knight Ridder news. And if you go back through press stories published since the Bush Administration took office, you'll see that KnightRidder, and now McClatchy, has consistently asked the right questions, has consistently reported based on confirmed facts, and as a result, has been consistently right in its presentation of the facts.

So Congratulations to McClatchy newspapers, they've actually earned the right to use this prestigious byeline!!
Quote:
http://www.portlandtribune.com/sport...61319350520000

Pixels or paper, truth doesn’t care
On Sports

By dwight jaynes

The Portland Tribune, Jun 5, 2008, Updated Jun 5, 2008

...My guideline for years was that, as a beat reporter or a columnist, I would get to know my sources as best I could. I would be there constantly, in their face. I always felt I was impartial enough to write the truth no matter what. And my core values included being there the day after I wrote something negative about someone I covered -- so they'd have their shot at me, their fair chance to confront me.

But along the way, at some point, the whole thing kind of went south. The problem with all that, I've come to realize, is that I got too close to the people I covered.

In the case of a beat reporter, you almost have to have a degree of that in order to come up with the constant flood of stories you need if you’re covering a beat like the Trail Blazers.

Over time, you realize that in spite of all your attempts to know athletes and public figures, what you usually end up writing about them is the cover story -- the half-true piece of semifiction that those people want the public to see. You begin to realize you're usually getting played. And you sold your soul to get it.

Oh, when you get close to sources, you get access. You get inside information. At least you think you do. You get close enough to players and coaches that it's a fan's dream. Sources become something very close to friends, and, I confess, I've been down that road.

But I also know that when that happens, you're probably not going to do your job as well as you should. Yes, I'm old school, and I think it's the job of a columnist or a beat reporter to always tell the truth and be critical when merited, even about the revered home team.

But if you're critical, you risk your access. Forget about the friendships -- you often lose your sources if you offend them.....

....Lately, I don't have time to schmooz them at shootarounds and after practice. I can't get on the phone and shoot the breeze with them.

Once in a while, it costs me a story. But you know what? As a columnist, I don't feel I need their information or their admiration. And I certainly don’t need to worry about making them happy. . . .

The point to all this is simple. What I've done, I think, is become a blogger in columnist's clothing. The secret to the blogosphere is that bloggers usually don’t have that proximity to coaches and athletes. They aren’t hindered by a need to get along or kiss up to the people they write about.

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Old 06-14-2008, 11:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Host, I just lost all respect for you.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
Russert? Russert was a joke, not a journalist...an enabler, a disgrace to his profession. Rather than speak truth to power, to probe it's secrets and report on them, he was complicit in their deception, he only repeated what they wanted the public to know....

He will, I hope, quickly be forgotten. He added nothing....he took up a seat that could have been occupied by a REAL journalist.

His accomplishment is that no one here has even commented on how woefully inadequate he was as a journalist, but how appreciated he was as an infotainment personality.


Tim Russert:








This sums up how Russert came to fail to be a news REPORTER. Why do you think he was awarded (rewarded with) an exclusive interview with George Bush before the 2004 election?

The president's own former press secretary called the Washington DC press corps:


The reporters at Knight-Ridder/McClatchey are journalists....Russert wasn't worthy to be member of their profession:
You know, I was tempted to do something when I saw your response, host, like close the thread or PM you to edit it, but I think I'll let your words stand all on their own.

If you don't understand now why few people respect your posts or why so few wish to engage in any discussion with you, you never will.

Somehow, though, I think you're so caught up in your perceived one-man crusade to enlighten the masses that you are blind to your own inequities.

So be it.

And for the record, this thread was for the members here who saw him as a person, not an image. Your actions here are akin to a drunken fool stumbling into a memorial service and badmouthing the deceased in a loud, obnoxious fashion.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re-thinking response....

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Old 06-15-2008, 01:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpinJesus
You know, I was tempted to do something when I saw your response, host, like close the thread or PM you to edit it, but I think I'll let your words stand all on their own.

If you don't understand now why few people respect your posts or why so few wish to engage in any discussion with you, you never will.

Somehow, though, I think you're so caught up in your perceived one-man crusade to enlighten the masses that you are blind to your own inequities.

So be it.

And for the record, this thread was for the members here who saw him as a person, not an image. Your actions here are akin to a drunken fool stumbling into a memorial service and badmouthing the deceased in a loud, obnoxious fashion.
JJ, you said more than I thought I could. I rethought my response over and over after I posted, thinking I might be able to say more, but I am so incredibly glad you did it for me.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by onesnowyowl
Host, I just lost all respect for you.
Interesting. Because I think that he hit the nail on the head. Let's start with the fact that Russert was rarely a journalist, if ever. He worked in the news room, but he rarely reported the news.

The man made his name and his career out of getting politicians to discuss the issues. He held conversations with them. He did NOT dig up dirt on anyone or break news. That was left to the reporters in the field. Russert brought the movers and shakers into our living rooms.

So calling him a journalist is pretty inaccurate, and host is right there. That said, Russert WAS very effective at a moderator. You see villany in the '04 Bush interview, I see a unique opportunity that was lost because Russert wasn't bold enough.

Now, where host has gone wrong here was bringing the truth too light too soon after Russert's death. Host, people liked Russert - my wife spent an hour yesterday crying about it - and his personna was always as approachable as Rather's was firey. In my opinion, it's a little early to speak ill of the dead.

Now, for the rest of you, host's opinions are valid and he didn't attack anyone here. How many of the rest of you can say the same thing?
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Russert was more than just a moderator of MTP. He was NBC's Washington bureau chief for 20 years.

In that role, he was responsible for all NBC reporting on the WH and Congress and IMO, he lived up to the journalistic standards more than most.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:39 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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how is it that a television talking head, whom presumably none of us knew as a human being, can come to be treated like a friend who passed away?

do you have relationships with other tv characters?

it is a drag that russert died, yes, like it is a drag that anyone dies.
but to go from there to that strange area of fashioning a saint's reliquary in the image of the departed is a ritual generally reserved for people dealing with the loss of someone close to them, and so, by extension, to someone you actually knew.

there is something deeply deeply strange about this thread coming to a little conflict between those who are mourning for the "loss" of a television talking head-as-friend and those who tend to see russert as a television talking head. and there is something even more strange about the assumption that anyone *should* approach russert from one direction as over against another.

it's all more than passing strange.
think about it.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Once again, I have the impression that the 'news' has worked this death up into a frenzy and a monumental loss to the very fabric of American society.

Yesterday morning I called up my mother and she was crying. She said she had been watching the coverage of Tim Russert's death all night. I don't even remember seeing my mother cry when her own sister died.

So I'm in the middle ground here. I respect Tim Russert for what he did and he seemed like a truly likable person. But having not watched any news coverage of his sudden death, my weekend is not grounded in this happening.

I'm listening to Madilu System this morning (thanks, rb ) and sending some happy thoughts the way of the Russert family.

Lighten up, everyone.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:08 AM   #23 (permalink)
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No, I didn't know him. No, I didn't have a relationship with him. But I respected his work and thought he stood above many in his field. He asked tough questions, not always the tough question I wanted. His interview with David Duke stands out to me because he basically exposed the guy for what he was- a racist. After the interview Duke knew he'd been exposed and more importantly so did the voters in Louisiana. Tim exposed him not by heated quick "gotcha" questions. He broke Duke into pieces in two simple yet calm questions. "What are you running on if not on race?" Duke- "the economy." "What are three largest employers in LA?" Dukes face dropped and he had no answer, he simply didn't know. He'd been exposed as a fake and he knew, you could tell by the look on his face.

This was typical of Tim's style. No in your face, not let you finish your answer BS. Just you said this on that date so how can you explain your statements today?

We'd all know more about our politicians if all the pundits took a page out of his play book.

Say what you want. I'll miss him and I think his passing is a loss for us all.
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I feel bad for his family.

That's all.

Russert was the consumate infotainment professional. As for host's assessment, the only thing i disagree with is the idea that he was taking the spot of an I.F. Stone. Someone who asked tougher questions of the powerful -- and not just easy marks like Duke -- would not have been in his position.

He was one of the many folks in the press that made the Iraq debacle possible. Take this interview with Cheney, who's spouting his usual 9.11 bullshit. "Tough" Tim Russert lets it slide:

Quote:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I have great affection for Brent. We’ve been friends for a long time. He is occasionally wrong, and this is one of those occasions.
I think it’s important—I don’t want to underestimate the extent of which there are differences here between the United States and our allies on these issues, but it helps to understand that, Tim, I think if we backoff and try to put this in historical perspective. I do think that 9/11 is maybe a historic watershed, that the world is fundamentally different on the front side of that than it was on the backside, on the 21st century side, if you will, than it was on the 20th century side, that the United States and the president have been forced to come to grips with issues that are allies to date have not yet had to come to grips with, that the problem, once you look at 9/11—and, again, think back to the past—we had certain strategies and policies and institutions that were built to deal with the conflicts of the 20th century. They may not be the right strategies and policies and institutions to deal with the kind of threat we face now from a nuclear armed al-Qaeda organization, for example, should that development, and we have to find new ways to deal with those threats.

We’ve been forced, partly because we were hit on 9/11, to come to grips with that very real possibility that the next attack could involve far deadlier weapons than anything the world had ever seen. And then it won’t come from a major state such as would have been true during the Cold War, if the Soviet Union had ever launched at the United States. It will come from a handful of terrorists on jihad, committed to die, and then the effort to kill millions of Americans. The rest of the world hasn’t really had to come to grips with that yet. They’re still, I think, thinking very much in terms of the last century, if you will, in terms of policies and strategies and institutions, and part of the difficulty we’re faced with here is we do have, I think, a different perception of the world today, and what’s going to be required to secure the United States, than they do. And that, in part, accounts for the current debate and difference of perception, if you will, between Americans and Europeans.

There are other things at work here, too. Clearly, the demise of the Soviet Union. That means that a consensus that existed with respect to what the major threats are disappeared with the end of the Cold War. I think the Europeans tend to look at what they’ve accomplished within Europe, which is truly remarkable—the integration of Europe, the increasing reduction in the significance of national boundaries, political and economic coming together of those systems, finding ways peacefully to deal with their differences so they didn’t repeat what happened in the first half of the 20th century when two world wars started in Europe, and they tend to think that the world operates the way Europe does. We look at that, and I think we have to give them enormous credit for what they’ve accomplished, but it’s also true that they accomplished it in part because we provided them the security umbrella for the last 50 years. It was U.S. military capability that held the Soviet Union in check, that formed the backbone for NATO.

And, now, as we go forward and look at the threat of rogue states and terrorists equipped with deadly weapons in the future, the only nation that really has the capability to deal effectively with those threats is the United States. The Brits have got some capability, and they’re great allies, and we badly want them on board in any venture we undertake, but the fact of the matter is for most of the others who are engaged in this debate, they don’t have the capability to do anything about it anyway.

The suggestion that somehow the war on terror has suffered as a result of the differences over Iraq I don’t think is valid. I think what we found is that the cooperation and the intelligence area and the law enforcement area, financial area has been enormously successful, continues to be effective and we’ve seen it in the arrest in recent weeks of very significant figures in the al-Qaeda organization, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed just a short time ago.
Here's Russert's next, hard-hitting question. Mr. Tough lets the bullshit flow unchecked:

Quote:
MR. RUSSERT: There is a perception, however, if you read any of the papers in Europe and around the world, the constant description of the president as a cowboy, that he wants to go it alone, that the president and you and the administration that was perceived as extremely confident on foreign policy has been stumbling and hasn’t reached out and nurtured alliances, that if you mention the president’s name-a friend of mine wrote me a letter and said, “It’s like a blast furnace. They just respond, saying, ‘He just wants to lead the world into war.’” Every other German says that in the poll. Forty-five percent of Brits
say that President Bush is a higher risk to world peace than Saddam Hussein. How did we get to this point? And is the competence of the foreign policy of the Bush administration being seriously questioned?
Yes, he forces Cheney to defend some point, and in that sense, he's tough, but what he asks is irrelevant to Cheney's main assertion. Ol' Dick will miss him, i'm sure.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Interesting. Because I think that he hit the nail on the head. Let's start with the fact that Russert was rarely a journalist, if ever. He worked in the news room, but he rarely reported the news.
Not so, Jazz, as others in this thread have pointed out before me. He reported plenty of news; I grew up watching him give the reports from Washington, D.C. on NBC Nightly News.

I feel, like some others in this thread, it's frankly too soon to bring up these kinds of criticism; have a little respect for the dead and give it some time. And no, I haven't spent my entire weekend watching coverage--I hate that kind of shit. But in my household, MTP was more important than going to church--in fact, it was my father's excuse not to go to church when the rest of us did.

Anyways...
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:58 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyy
I feel bad for his family.

That's all.

Russert was the consumate infotainment professional. As for host's assessment, the only thing i disagree with is the idea that he was taking the spot of an I.F. Stone. Someone who asked tougher questions of the powerful -- and not just easy marks like Duke -- would not have been in his position.

He was one of the many folks in the press that made the Iraq debacle possible. Take this interview with Cheney, who's spouting his usual 9.11 bullshit. "Tough" Tim Russert lets it slide:



Here's Russert's next, hard-hitting question. Mr. Tough lets the bullshit flow unchecked:



Yes, he forces Cheney to defend some point, and in that sense, he's tough, but what he asks is irrelevant to Cheney's main assertion. Ol' Dick will miss him, i'm sure.

What? Wait, so you're saying he wasn't right all the time? Well that completely changes my opinion of him.

Man I hope no one tries to hold me to this standard.

And yes Snowy I think he was a journalist.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:20 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Sorry, but Meet the Press doesn't count as journalism in my book. Was Russert an effective moderator? Yes, abosolutely. But he didn't report on the news. He provided a platform for the newsmakers to explain themselves. That doesn't make him less human, though.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:28 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Yes, but MTP was only one of the many things he did in his career.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:41 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tully Mars
What? Wait, so you're saying he wasn't right all the time? Well that completely changes my opinion of him.

Man I hope no one tries to hold me to this standard.

And yes Snowy I think he was a journalist.
The responses describe him as a journalist...some posted that "he set the standard.....in his field", etc....etc.....I specifically responded to a post with that opinion. Where do you get your opinion that this can be separated into "Russert the person"? (Not a question directed to you, Tully.... you say Russert was a journalist.)

To his last day, Russert was president of NBC news, Washington. From April 20, until now, all of the broadcast networks intentionally blacked out the NY Times reporting that forced the 8000 page release of pentagon documents confirming the complicity of these network's executives and journalists in presenting these hand picked and briefed pentagon representatives, with no accompanying qualification of their conflicts of interests, as they relayed the pentagon line, on braodcast network news shows.

Russert maintained a blackout of the NY Times and FOIA lawsuit, court ordered Pentagon disclosures, (disclosures that NBC failed to inform viewers of the conflicts of interests of the two retired generals often featured on NBC news as "military consultants") on his own show, and to the degree that he had authority as a news division executive, on the entire news network, as well....since April 20th.

I've presented Russert as I knew him. Challenge the things I've posted, if they are misleading or inaccurate, but can we tell the truth here, balance all of the positive assessments of Russert's contribution to distribution of the news and the questioning of the news makers?

People watched MTP and then thought doing so, made them "informed".

That is the travesty, the true outrage. In life, Russert was about what was best for Russert. I think he would understand. He read all of this...it was in plain sight, in the last few months, and years before that. It was indefensible....yet he did nothing to reform his part in the "charade" of "shaping" public opinion

Quote:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/transcript1.html

...BILL MOYERS: But they don't get on the Sunday talk shows.

TIM RUSSERT: No. I mean, they don't want to be, trust me. I mean, they can lose their jobs, and they know it. But they can provide information which can help in me challenging or trying to draw out sometimes their bosses and other public officials.

BILL MOYERS: What do you make of the fact that of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news, from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department?

TIM RUSSERT: It's important that you have an opposition party. That's our system of government.

BILL MOYERS: So, it's not news unless there's somebody�

TIM RUSSERT: No, no, no. I didn't say that. But it's important to have an opposition party, your opposing views. ...
Quote:
http://www.eschatonblog.com/2007_04_...82032898850946
Opposition Party

The line pushed by Timmeh and others is that the failure of journalism in the runup to the Iraq war is somehow the fault of Democrats. Now certainly plenty of Democrats - and the Democrats generally - can be blamed for many things in that period, but Timmeh's shitty show isn't one of them.

And plenty of Democrats did vote against the AUMF and were against the war, so I'll engage Timmeh on this and go over his guest list (Democratic members of Congress only) from the day the Senate passed the AUMF until Shock and Awe Day.
10/13/02 - No Dem member of Congress.
10/20 Schumer - voted for it (subject was gun control/DC Sniper).
10/27 No Dem member of Congress.
11/03 No Dem member of Congress.
11/10 Tom Daschle - voted for it
11/17 Landrieu - voted for it
11/24 Graham - voted against it
12/01 John Kerry - voted for it
12/08 John Lewis - voted against, but subject was John Lott Trent Lott..
12/15 Carl Levin - voted against.
12/22 no dem member of Congress. "Laura Bush, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Rudy Giuliani discuss the emotional, spiritual and philosophical lessons and challenges of the past year."
12/29 Biden - voted for it.
01/05 - Reid - voted for it.
01/12 - No Dem member of Congress
01/19 - Lieberman, voted for it.
01/26 - Dodd, voted for it.
02/03 - Bill Nelson, voted for it (show's subject was space shuttle disaster)
02/09 - No Dem member of Congress.
02/23 - Dennis Kucinich, voted against it. Debated Richard Perle. Richard Gephardt, voted for with extra gusto.
03/02 - No Democratic member of Congress.
03/09 - No Democratic member of Congress.
03/16 - No Democratic member of Congress.


There were war skeptics who weren't members of Congress - Al Sharpton, Mike Farrell, Madeleine Albright, Wes Clark.


So, in that 5 month period you had 9 appearances by pro-AUMF Dem senators, 2 appearances by senators who voted against. Two appearances by anti-AUMF House members, though only one discussed the topic, and one appearance by a pro-AUMF House member.

23 senators voted against the AUMF (Dems+Jeffords), and the majority of House Democrats.

-Atrios 12:59
On the sunday immediately following the 2006 election, a dramatic, democratic sweep of the house and the senate.... GUESS WHO WERE SELECTED TO "MEET THE PRESS"?
Quote:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15637887/
MTP Transcript for Nov. 12
John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Maureen Dowd, David Gregory

updated 12:42 p.m. CT, Sun., Nov. 12, 2006

MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: The voters send a loud and clear message to the White House, and give the Democrats control of the House and the Senate for the first time in 12 years. What now for the Republicans? We’ll ask a man who is positioned to seek the GOP nomination for president in 2008: Senator John McCain of Arizona. What now for the Democrats? We’ll ask a man who lost a Democratic primary, but was just re-elected as an independent: Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Then, in our political roundtable, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is leaving. What does this mean for the war in Iraq? Joining us: Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and David Gregory of NBC News.

But first, joining us now, a man who criscrossed the nation on, on behalf of Republican candidates, 346 campaign events, he’s back on MEET THE PRESS.

Senator John McCain, welcome.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Thank you. Did a lot of good, didn’t it?....
I "pulled" this post, to think about the reactions of onesnowyowl and of Jumpin Jesus before proceeding. I decided to post it, because:

My concern now is....if I don't post it on this thread, where would I post it, if at all? If I start a new thread in general discussion, around the post quoted above,in my last post, it will most likely be moved to the politics forum. If I post it in politics, the people who want to discuss politics, but not in the politics forum, won't participate.

Maybe jumpin' jesus is correct. Maybe it is best for people who were misled...by Russert...into thinking he did a "great job" as a jounralist and news show moderator and interviewer, should be left to their warm feelings and sadness over his passing.

It seems like such a huge disconnect, that the best time to inject a contrary opinion, is precisely when the eulogizing is taking place. I think people need to be exposed to evidence that they've been fooled, intentionally manipulated by the actions, decisions and policies of Russert, et al.

I am not trying to be popular. I am trying to post what I think, back up every word of it, and call it as I see it, in response to the opinions posted by others.

Last edited by host; 06-15-2008 at 11:47 AM..
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm with Host on this one. I feel sorry for his family and he went out way too young, but lets be honest he lobbed softball questions to politicians.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:10 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tully Mars
What? Wait, so you're saying he wasn't right all the time? Well that completely changes my opinion of him.

.


He wasn't just wrong. He had a steaming pile of horseshit in front of him. Does he call it horseshit? No. Now he's gone -- along with how many Iraqis? -- and we're left with the mess.

Thanks Tim!

Last edited by guyy; 06-15-2008 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:57 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol
I'm with Host on this one. I feel sorry for his family and he went out way too young, but lets be honest he lobbed softball questions to politicians.
Thank you for nicely summing up my feelings, samcol. It's taken my third post to get something nice and concise, and it's only to quote someone else.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:40 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol
I'm with Host on this one. I feel sorry for his family and he went out way too young, but lets be honest he lobbed softball questions to politicians.
this brings a different question... if he or any interviewer was to do hard hitting questions would the people show up to be interviewed?

Would we rather have something albeit watered down (more than zero) or completely nothing at all, zero?
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:44 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
this brings a different question... if he or any interviewer was to do hard hitting questions would the people show up to be interviewed?

Would we rather have something albeit watered down (more than zero) or completely nothing at all, zero?
I showed you that it started with who was invited to "Meet the Press", and it went down hill from there. Did you read the article in my first post, by the journalist who finally realized that Russert's approach will only yield:

Quote:
http://www.portlandtribune.com/sport...61319350520000

....Over time, you realize that in spite of all your attempts to know athletes and public figures, what you usually end up writing about them is the cover story -- the half-true piece of semifiction that those people want the public to see. You begin to realize you're usually getting played. And you sold your soul to get it....
But in Russert's case, it was much worse, the public was "conned" into believing they were watching fair and balanced coverage, (not like on Fox news....) when the truth was, powerful men like Bush and Cheney took advantage of that perception, succeeding in getting some of Russert's comparatively oversized Sunday audience, along with his faux journalistic integrity, to make their message to the audience legitimate, when it wasn't and Russert's image of integrity was only an image.

Quote:
http://www.charlierose.com/shows/200...nna-huffington

the reason the conventional wisdom survives no matter how many times its lies are exposed is that shows like meet the press allow their guests to go unchallenged
This guy said it much better than I've been able to:

Quote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-...b_107074.html#
plooger

This perception of Russert was the problem. Tim Russert was *perceived* as an unbiased journalistic source, and so he held much greater sway, and much greater responsibility -- which is why his echo chamber called "Meet the Press" was targeted by Cheney & Co as a key mechanism in their propaganda campaign for selling the Iraq war. There will be much sad irony over the next week(s) as media personalities grieve over the loss of their coworker and colleague, to a degree not shown for the hundreds of thousands of casualties for which they are all partly responsible.

I'd have less of an issue with the MSNBC mourning and deification of Russert if any news network had demonstrated an iota of similar remorse for the thousands of casualties for which they are partly responsible. The closest any have come, and it has been YEARS, was Ted Koppel's reading of the names of casualties on his Nightline program... before it was taken away from him.

Posted 01:36 AM on 06/14/2008
Huffington has this to say about Tim Russert, in her book, titled:
Right Is Wrong: How The Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded The Constitution, And Made Us All Less Safe
Quote:
-- Russert's July 1, 2007, Meet The Press interview with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff "was about as priapic a display as you're ever likely to see outside of a porno film or the monkey cage at the zoo, with Russert desperately trying to get Chertoff to pump up the panic meter..."
Judge for yourself:

Quote:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19508551/
‘Meet the Press’ transcript for July 1, 2007
Michael Chertoff, Sen. Patrick Leahy, David Brody, Tavis Smiley, Chuck Todd & Judy Woodruff

updated 8:19 a.m. ET, Mon., July. 2, 2007

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: But first, on Friday, two automobiles filled with explosives found on the street in London. And this was the scene yesterday in Scotland’s Glasgow Airport after an SUV drove into the airport’s main terminal. Five men are now in custody. With us, the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

Mr. Secretary, good morning. Do we have any information linking these five men to an international terrorist organization?

SEC’Y MICHAEL CHERTOFF: Well, let me begin, Tim, by reminding everybody that these events are literally unfolding minute by minute, so I can only give you the information we have now. Right now I don’t think we can say definitively that there’s an international link and as far as the homeland is concerned, we do not see any specific connection to the homeland at this point in time.

MR. RUSSERT: Will we increase the number of air marshals on flights to Britain and Scotland as a precautionary measure?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: Well, we have been doing that, actually, for some period of time, dating back to last August, and we’ve continued to increase and to some extent mix up the flow of air marshals to Europe in general.....

MR. RUSSERT: Is there any chatter that you can detect regarding terrorism in the United States during this holiday period?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: Well, I want to remind everybody that over the last few months, we have seen a number of public statements by al-Qaeda readers who are reminding us, if we needed to be reminded, that they are still intent on carrying out attacks against the West.....

MR. RUSSERT: Will we be taking some precautionary security measures because of some of the large crowds gathering in parts of our country for the Fourth of July?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: We have put in place, Tim, some plans for this holiday week to have additional visible and some not visible security measures at our airports, at our mass transit, at our train stations. We’ll be working with local authorities who’ll be taking their own steps.....
MR. RUSSERT: Will we raise our threat level?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: Well, our threat level for aviation is already at orange and for the rest of the country it’s at yellow. We don’t see a reason to raise it now....

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, considering the simplicity of putting together a suicide bomb by using an automobile, are you surprised that the United States has not been hit harder by this kind of device?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: I want to remind you, Tim, we have been hit by this kind of device. In 1996--in 1993, there was the World Trade Center bombing involving a car bomb.....

MR. RUSSERT: How serious do you think this kind of threat will be in the years to come?

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: Unfortunately, I believe we’re going to see more vehicle bombs and more backpack bombs, as we’ve seen in Europe, and it’s something we have to be mindful of in this country. But one of the great lessons, Tim, is, and it was borne out again a couple—in the last couple of days, vigilance by ordinary citizens and calling into the authorities when you see something suspicious is one of the best defenses we have.

MR. RUSSERT: Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, we thank you very much for joining us this morning.

SEC’Y CHERTOFF: Happy to be on the show, Tim.
Chertoff-Bush-Cheney could not have asked for a more complicit, cooperative shill.....control by fear, augmented by the help of a media stooge.

Two weeks ago, with Russert no longer seeing any usefulness, going forward, in staying on the good side of Scott McClellan, Russert showed that he could ask a challenging question, but the irony was that Russert needed to ask himself the same question and obviously never considered that he needed to, or he did, but was so cynical, with such a huge set of balls, he thought he could get away with aiming it at McClellan:

Quote:
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/15123
Mr Russert - Will YOU Ante Up For War Victims Like YOU Asked Of Scott McClellan?

by Linda Milazzo | June 8, 2008 - 1:44am

Mr. Russert, last Sunday (June 1, 2008) on Meet The Press you had as your guest former George W. Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan. You asked him the following question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Russert
Some have suggested because you were part of the propaganda machine that sold the war, that many people have died and been injured because of the war, you should donate some of the profits from this book to the families of the victims of the Iraq War. Will you do that?
Here's the clip from the show: (WATCH IT)

That's an excellent question, Mr. Russert. Although YOU you haven't accepted any culpability for your own enabling during the lead up to the war as McClellan has stepped-up to do, it's still a fact that Meet The Press provided a national platform for the Bush administration to push its war with minimal challenge from YOU. Thus, Mr. Russert, I'd like to ask you that very same question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda Milazzo
Because YOU were part of the propaganda machine that sold the war, that many people have died and been injured because of the war, shouldn't you, Mr. Russert, donate some of your hefty salary from your show to the families of the victims of the Iraq War. Will YOU do that?
On last Sunday's show, you also chided Scott McClellan for not questioning his boss, George W. Bush, on whether the war on Iraq was "a war of necessity or a war of choice" - the same question you asked Bush on February 8, 2004 in your highly anticipated interview from the White House Oval Office. Here's that exchange between you and G.W. Bush:
Quote:
RUSSERT: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?

G.W. BUSH: I think it's--that's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? I mean, it's a war of necessity. We, we, we--my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at that says the man was a threat.
Bush wasn’t granting many interviews at the time so this was a real “get” for Meet The Press. However, as we now know, Mr. Russert, since you were such an asset to the Bush administration, this interview was more a "get" for them than for you. Here's that clip: (WATCH IT)

Mr. Russert, this is what you said to Scott McClellan ragarding that very same question of whether it was a war of necessity or a war of choice:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Russert
Why didn't you [McClellan] say to him, "Mr. President, this is the fundamental issue confronting our country." Why didn't you go to your superiors and say, "Guys, ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem here. This is the fundamental issue, choice or necessity, and the president seems unaware of it.
Mr. Russert, you are so oblivious to what journalists do that your own clip proves your inanity. You're supposed to be the “journalist.” Why didn’t YOU drill down on Bush over that very same question? You had the perfect opportunity when you asked it but YOU JUST LET IT GO! Yet you assail Scott McClellan - a man who's shown more courage in two weeks than you've shown in years! Do you really believe we're that naive?? It wasn’t McClellan’s job to grill Bush. Bush was McClellan's boss! It was yours!

I waited an entire week for that George W. Bush Meet The Press interview. It was so heavily hyped that I honestly believed you might do your job. Even today it stands as one of the most disappointing hours on television. Bush just rambled on and you let him push his agenda. It rivaled Geraldo Rivera and Capone's empty vault for hype with no substance. But its ramifications weren't silly. They were heinous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mystery_of_Al_Capone's_Vault (MTP/Bush transcript link below).

In Dick Cheney's March 16, 2003 appearance on Meet The Press (transcript link below), Cheney filibustered your every question and pushed his agenda for war. You asked all the EXPECTED questions from which Cheney made his case. Eighty hours later, Bush launched "Shock & Awe."

A former government official has already claimed, Mr. Russert - under oath I might add - that your show was useful to the administration in pushing its pre-war message. Here's what Vice President Cheney's own former Communications Director Cathie Martin said during the perjury trial of Scooter Libby:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathie Martin
"I suggested we put the Vice President on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used. It's our best format."
As Dana Milbank wrote in the Washington Post on January 26, 2007:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/...012501951.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Milbank
Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her [Martin's] notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."
For the record, Mr. Russert, lots of us like whistle-blowers like Scott McClellan. We need them because in the lead up to the war and throughout this Bush administration, corporate media has not done its job. Right now McClellan is doing what corporate media should have been doing all along. He's telling us the truth. We thank him for his courage and for his offer to share the proceeds of his book with those who have suffered.

And YOU, Mr. Russert. Will YOU ante up for the victims of the war that YOU helped promote? If McClellan should do it - SHOULDN'T YOU?!

Cheney's MTP transcript (March 16, 2003):
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel...etthepress.htm

Bush's MTP transcript (Feb 8, 2004):
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4179618/

_______

Last edited by host; 06-15-2008 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I did read the complete post, but I still do not get the bottom question...

Quote:
Would we rather have something albeit watered down (more than zero) or completely nothing at all, zero?
So we don't have access anymore because you pissed them off for whatever reason.

Are we really better off?
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:30 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
View: NBC remembers Russert on first 'Meet the Press' since his death
Source: CNN
posted with the TFP thread generator

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

Story Highlights
The moderator's chair on NBC's "Meet the Press" stood empty Sunday
Veteran journalist collapses at work, according to NBC
The 58-year-old Russert died of an apparent heart attack
Tom Brokaw: "Our issue this sad Sunday morning" is honoring Russert

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.

"This is where you separated the men from the boys," said Matalin, who is married to Carville. "You weren't a candidate until you came on this show."

A montage of clips from past years showed various politicians -- former President Bill Clinton, President Bush, former presidential candidate Ross Perot, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff -- sitting across the table from Russert. Watch politicians, journalists pay homage to Russert »

Some showed the politicians as they squirmed.

"Look, I was asked -- I shouldn't have said that," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said on the show in May 2007.

Richardson had appeared on the show as part of the "Meet the Candidates 2008" series, and was grilled by Russert about his contradictory positions on numerous issues.

"So you're - I've been in public life for 25 years, you're going to find a lot of these; it seems you found them all here," he said, smiling somewhat sheepishly.

"I'm just trying to set the record and trying to give you a chance to respond, which is fair," Russert had responded.

In another clip at the end of an April 2006 show, Sen. John McCain told Russert, "I haven't had so much fun since my last interrogation."

Russert had appeared as an unlikely icon for television news, with his cherubic face and dimpled chin, but he was a prolific interviewer and tireless journalist, one with an intimidating breadth of political knowledge and insight.

"It was a very easy show to prepare for in the sense that you knew he was not going to ask you any questions out of left field; you knew his thing was going to be entitlements, you knew his thing was going to be past statements, you knew where he was coming from," Carville said Sunday of "Meet the Press."

Matalin countered: "It was simple in the fact that there was no 'gotcha,' but it was not easy. Because you had to be 10 questions deep, because he was going to be 12 questions deep."

As news of his death hit the airwaves and Internet, tributes rolled in -- with nearly everyone praising his prowess as a journalist and as an interviewer.

Bush, in a written statement, called Russert "a tough and hardworking newsman."

"He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews," Bush said. "And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it."

Longtime CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite said, "Broadcast journalism lost one of its greats today. Tim Russert was a giant in our field -- a standard-bearer of journalistic integrity and ethics. His masterful interviews and roundtable discussions are legendary. This is a tragic loss for journalism and for all who were privileged to know him."

But colleagues who knew him best also praised his warmth, and described him as a mentor.

"I think it's so poignant that we're talking about Tim on Father's Day because he was a father to so many of us," said California first lady Maria Shriver, who once worked for NBC.

On Friday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said, "He was always teaching each of us to be as rigorous as he was in looking at all the facts, examining everything and then being as balanced and fair and down-the-middle as anyone could possibly be."

Washingtonian Magazine once dubbed Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, D.C., describing "Meet the Press" as "the most interesting and important hour on television."

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His two books -- 2004's "Big Russ and Me" and 2006's "Wisdom of Our Fathers" -- were both New York Times bestsellers.
This article runs contrary to the others where they say he was not asking hard questions.
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