As all of you know, Tim Russert (NBC news Washington Bureau Chief) was a weekly guest of the Imus in the Morning show for YEARS while the I-Man was on 660 WFAN/MSNBC. They were very close friends, and often shared Thankgiving dinner with each other. In order to demonstrate their close ties, check out this video link, from about 10 years ago, when Russert used to sit in the studio and be a full participant in the witty reparte of the Imus in the Morning show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf-sgkJEfoA
After the "incident" on April 4th, 2007, Tim Russert seemingly abandoned his good ol' pal, Don Imus. He hosted a whole hour show dedicated to the firing of Imus the following Sunday on his extremely popular Sunday morning show, "Meet the Press". Russert remained neutral, and did not speak for or against the I-Man. People in the know suspect that Russert was given a gag order by NBC executives.
Several people in the media and political spotlight came out and publically supported the I-Man. First and foremost were Mike and the Mad Dog. They were ardent supporters and didn't care that their current employers had fired Mr. Imus. Other who supported Don pbblically were Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Rudy Guiliani, and Tom Friedman. Notables who completely abandoned the I-Man were Russert, Harold Ford Jr, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, and all of the big guys at Newsweek (Howard Fineman, Jon Meacham, Evan Thomas, and Jonathan Alter).
Let's get back to Russert. It is sad to think that he gave up his friendship with the I-Man and cowtowed to the NBC execs. Interestingly, a reporter from Kansas recently asked Russert if he would appear on the Imus in the Morning show (ressurected on WABC 770 AM for those of you living on Mars). Russert grudingly replied, "If I'm asked, I will go on the show, if NBC doesn't say no". Here is the audio link to the interview:
I have mixed feelings on if I want Russert back on the show. On one hand, I love Meet the Press, and he certainly always provided a good interview when he was on Imus' show, as no one, and I mean no one, has a better feel for the pulse of the action inside the beltway. On the other hand, I don't Imus to look like a wimp and take back his old friend without Russert taking a stand and sticking up for Imus and apologizing for his complete lack of support during the whole scandal.