Tim Russert died today from a heart attack. He has been a giant in political news — and he resisted for the most part much of the corruption of journalist celebratization, though clearly he knew he was a celebrity. I’m very sad about this news.
I remember when I was just moving to Washington and was working for the Nixon Center, I helped organize a forum with Richard Nixon at what was called “Jackson Place” — a venue off of Lafayette Square in front of the White House that is often used to support the work and meetings of former presidents and as a place for side meetings held by Executive Office of the President staff. Russert came to the meeting and was working desperately to get Nixon on “Meet the Press.” Bill Clinton had just begun to consult with Nixon on what to do about an imploding Russia.
Russert never succeeded, but his efforts and my communications with him cemented a many years long acquaintanceship in which Russert regularly complemented the growth and impact of the New America Foundation and this blog, The Washington Note.
This leaves a huge hole in my view in our contemporary political journalism, which is so shoddy and unattractive in many corners.
— Steve Clemons