Sunday, June 15, 2008
"Our Issues This Sunday"
Tim Russert started every episode of MTP with those 4 words. In his exhuberant tone, he would recite the issues he planned to discuss during the current week's episode, as the ultra-dramatic music blared in the background.
Today, the Moderator's chair was empty. Instead, Tom Brokaw chaired a special episode of MTP along with some of the regular guests and close friends of Tim. I just finished watching the taped version (missed it this morning because of work). It was tremendous. Please watch it here if you haven't done so. NBC will have to find a new host for MTP, but it will be nearly impossible to fill the big shoes of Mr. Russert.
I don't think I've ever been more sad about any famous person's death. I think Russert was one of the most influential persons in the United States. Think about it...he had anyone who was anyone on his show every week. He had every major candidate for President in the past 17 years on his show. He made the candidates better, because they truly had to think out the issues. They weren't going to pull a fast one over on Tim. He set the standard for Sunday morning shows. He brought the truth to the masses watching at home.
Then, there was all of the people he mentored at NBC. From what I have heard from them in their interviews, he seemed to be an amazing mentor and teacher. Finally, he has touched millions of people with his books "Big Russ and Me" and "Wisdom of Our Fathers", and through his writings he helped strengthen relationships between fathers and sons across the nation.
At the end of the special episode today, they closed with a video montage set to Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road". It is a tearjerker. The Boss dedicated the song to Tim at his show last night in Europe.