tim russert

A Video Tribute To Tim Russert, Dead Today At 58

Tim Russert RIPNBC/MSNBC political broadcaster Tim Russert died today at work in Washington, killed by a sudden heart attack. Russert and his family had just returned from a vacation in Italy where they were celebrating the college graduation of son Luke. The VP of News for NBC and head of all Washington operations for the network, Russert joined the company in 1984 after working for Democratic campaigns. He took over Meet the Press in 1991 and won myriad awards for his journalism and books. Good-bye Tim! Election night won’t be the same without you. And now, let’s enjoy a Wonkette/YouTube/Photo tribute to “Lil’ Russ.”


Here’s Russert back in ’92, proving that Hillary was just telling more lies when she did the whole “Well, Bill didn’t have the nomination wrapped up until June when RFK got assassinated” thing.


And this is Evil Terry McAuliffe from just a month ago, telling Tim that Tim’s famous dad “Old Russ” is dead.


Tim Russert was just like us! This is Tim picking his nose on teevee in March, during one of the five-thousand primary contests.

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Who can forget Russert asking Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson about space monsters from Outer Space, at one of those Democratic candidate debates?


Russert loved him some baseball, as we see in this Wonkette Exclusive photo somebody sent us, of Tim looking like a happy slob at a Nationals game last summer.

Party Crash
How many times did Tim Russert appear in Wonkette Party Crash features? Pretty much all of them. Here’s Tim having fun at some National Journal party we went to, back in September 2006.

Corrupt!
But, while Tim was many good things to many good people, he was also a corrupt Washington hack who had a LARGE PART in the whole Judith Miller/Scooter Libby inside baseball CIA Plamegate thing. Remember that? No? Anyway, everybody in Washington media is corrupt, so don’t act hurt that we mention this. Plus, he hated Chris Matthews.


Here’s a paultard talking to a picture of Tim Russert.


And this is why, HAW HAW, LIL RUSS PWNED DOKTOR PAULZ!!1!


Doing what he loved best: Going NERD CRAZY over politics and political history.


And this is Tom Brokaw, sadly announcing the sad news on MSNBC just now. :(

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

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114 comments

  1. Q2

    I am sorry to hear this. My deepest and most sincere condolences to the Russet family who must be in terrible pain right now.

  2. AxmxZ

    I’d like to think that in that third picture, Tim is holding his nose at the idea of McCain winning Ohio and Vermont.

  3. Jamie Sommers

    And now every chubby white male you know between the ages of 45 and 60 will remark that “he’s my age” and freak out right in front of you.

    Seriously, though. Condolences to Big Russ and the rest of his family.

    And please God, don’t let NBC replace him with Chris Matthews.

  4. Deepthroat

    i swear lil’ Russ was stoned on air one night. His eyes were glassy and bloodshot and he had a smirk that he couldn’t get rid of. I pledged my un-dying allegiance to him that day. I’ll pack one for you today big guy.

  5. legglaw

    Damn, what to do on Sunday mornings now? Russert was the only commentator who made listening to the chattering class bearable. Go with God, or whoever’s else is out there, Tim.

  6. policonoclast

    I think this means that cable news is done for, too. He was the only one who had an informed and historical perspective. the rest come off as blathering idiots filling space.

    man, we’re screwed.

    ps – somewhere out there, Chris Matthews is cracking a bottle of champagne.

  7. Texan Bulldoggette

    I bet McCain is thinking “uh oh–wonder what my cholesterol count is these days?” seeing that Timmy was about 2 generations younger than him.

  8. nyphotog

    How weird that the wire stories initially all credited the info as “the family told the New York Times.” Did NBC not get the story? (The updates have mostly dropped the NYT attribution.)

  9. Delicious

    This is a day for all the cable retards to feel just a little bit ashamed of what they spew. Russert had fame, money and power. And he got it all by being good. Not by being a noisy pandering monkey. I can’t imagine who will replace him.

  10. El Bombastico

    [re=15968]nyphotog[/re]: Good point. I’d question the journalistic instincts of NBC reporters if they missed this scoop.. you know, since he dropped in the NBC newsroom. I’m picturing Matthews curled up in a corner, whimpering and sucking his thumb. And that actually makes me really sad.

  11. badco/LoJ

    That sucks. I liked the crazy SOB. MSNBC is running 33.3% low on jabbering kooks now.

  12. AngryBlakGuy

    …Hillary Clinton ARSENAL:
    •Brain Tumor Ray
    •Weather Dominator(on lease from Cobra)
    •Heat Attack Bullets

    It’s only a matter of time before she rolls out the Ark of the Covenant at Denver,to melt the faces off everyone in the DNC! Be afraid people be very afraid.

  13. sweetladyirony

    And I was just in the process of proclaiming it a slow news day. Holy fucking shit, what a shame. I’ll miss him.

  14. nowukkers

    I will miss his steadying influence over Tweety and Olbermann. But I still find it hard to forgive the way both he and Tweety went easy on Bush, and really went after Gore in the 2000 election. Everybody knew Bush was a lightweight then and yet both Russert and Tweety (both of whom had excellent political credentials – having worked for Moynihan and O’Neill respectively) went easy on him. I’m sorry that Russert wasn’t able to see the end of a maladministration he was (albeit in a small way) complicit in creating. RIP little Russ.

  15. AngryBlakGuy

    [re=15967]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: …ironically this might hurt McCain because everyone keeps mentioning that he 58 and that “He was so young”. I have a feeling he will have even more pressure to pick someone SIGNIFICANTLY younger than him now.

  16. Buffy and Hildegard

    [re=15969]Delicious[/re]: I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t blown the objectivity that Russert so jealously guarded. I know many who think they knew his politics, but I for one, think his politics were, simply, politics themselves. Perhaps Chuck Todd down the road? I’m at a loss to really think of anyone. He was a big ole wonky teddy bear and I feel so sad and shitty.

  17. Trollop

    I don’t think MTP is going to Matthews.

    David Gregory will get the gig. I’m calling it now.
    ::World exclusive, must credit Trollop::

  18. Buffy and Hildegard

    [re=15996]Trollop[/re]: David Gregory is a little too pocky and gay. MTP needs a fatboy.

  19. Inadequate Blackmail

    [re=15995]Buffy and Hildegard[/re]: I’d love to see how Chuck Todd would handle Meet the Press. He does seem a bit young for it, I’d like to think that he would do a good job.

    Whatya know? They’re talking about Chuck’s relationship to Tim right now on MSNBC.

  20. AxmxZ

    [re=15992]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: Barry is the one with heat attack bullets. He gets you with the HOT.

  21. AnnieGetYourFun

    [re=15955]Jamie Sommers[/re]: My boss, who can’t yet be 36, just did the freak out. It took all of my concentration NOT to throw a potted plant at him.

  22. cactusflinthead

    This sucks. In as much as I wanted to throttle him some days, he will be sorely missed and checked out far too soon.

  23. Buffy and Hildegard

    Chucky, m’boy, if you want the job, you’re going to have to lose the vagina face.

  24. WaldoJeffersHead

    [re=15996]Trollop[/re]: Gregory would actually be a decent choice for that gig. Unfortunately, I usually still have my drink on and don’t watch teevee on Sunday morning.

  25. Texan Bulldoggette

    I just had a thought. Terry MacAuliffe killed off the wrong Russert. I would recommend no more talking heads have TMac on their show.

  26. DangerousLiberal

    [re=15935]Aurelio[/re]: Christ, let the corpse cool before y’all launch with the snark. Wonkette will be here tomorrow; Tim, alas, won’t.

  27. Buffy and Hildegard

    Kieth Olbermann is making me cry with his overwrought-ness. I like his drama better than Brian Williams’ stoicism, though.

  28. FunkyPalmettoBug

    Those hillaryis44 assholes are celebrating this. I hope they all get very painful sphincter cancer.

  29. Hotflashingfobama

    Oh my God, it is so sad to see all these middle-aged men crying and Andrea Mitchella and Chucky Todd seem devastated.I think his politics were ok, he was press sec. for Moynihan and Cuomo for God’s sake, I think he was an old-timey Dem, best friends with the Kennedys.

  30. Dave J.

    I’m still amazed Brokaw managed to keep it together when he broke the news. Imagine having a close friend and colleague die and then literally within the hour you have to compose yourself (as best you can) and go on fucking national TV and tell everyone while sad photos play on the screen. That’s insane. It’s one thing to announce the death of a politician, but to have to break the news that a good friend died? Damn, that’s hard.

  31. Buffy and Hildegard

    [re=16033]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: Disgusting, obese hags. I guaran-damn-tee it. I shudder with the contemplation of their inside-and-out hideousness.

  32. El Bombastico

    [re=16028]metropolitan[/re]: Screw you for making me laugh. I was trying to maintain sincere, non-snarky respect.

  33. Cape Clod

    [re=15984]nowukkers[/re]: He had more credibility than most, but even Cheney said that Russert was a friendly pipeline for putting out Bush administration bullshit.
    On the plus side, he showed how much cred he had when he pronounced the Democratic primaries over after NC and Indiana and that instantly became the accepted conventional wisdom. It also happened to be the truth.

  34. Democratica

    [re=15995]Buffy and Hildegard[/re]: Perfectly stated Buffy. I’m shocked by my reaction… though I suppose this is exactly what I deserve for watching MSNBC four hours a night since January.

  35. Democratica

    [re=16033]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: What this fuck is there to celebrate? Someone who asked her and her husband hard questions died?! Score one for their team? Sick bitches.

  36. FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=16048]Democratica[/re]: This is a direct quote from the first comment:
    “Admin, I will not be polite… Karma baby that is all I will say, first Kennedy and his brain tumor, then the flooding in Iowa and now Russert… Obamatrons beware the wrath of God, you could be next”

    and:

    “He treated Hillary like shit and in turn he treated me like shit. In turn it treated all women like shit.”

    Cowards. Fucking Shitbag Cowards.

  37. Dave J.

    [re=16055]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: Just keep in mind their ENTIRE thing is an act. They’re right wingers who conceived of the Hillary thing to drive a wedge in the Dems, and now that it’s not working they’re reverting to form. Don’t worry too much about them–nothing they say, other than that they hate Obama, is true.

  38. blowhard

    John Lennon. Kurt Cobain. Heath Ledger. John F Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy. That’s sorta what it feels like to us politics junkies. He was the best in the biz. And fuck you, aurelio.

  39. Democratica

    [re=16055]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]:

    Wow… Yeah, that’s the kinda crazy you can’t work with. You’ve got more guts than I for even wading that far in to the pool…

  40. Buffy and Hildegard

    [re=16055]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: Good Fucking Gravy! They think that the Iowa flooding was due to Hillary-based Karma? Where are the straight jackets for these lunatics? I cannot conceive of a level of hell that would be worthy of these hideous trolls.

  41. Rev. Peter Lemonjello

    [re=16005]Inadequate Blackmail[/re]: [re=15996]Trollop[/re]: You’re both wrong. It’s going to be Pat Buchanan

  42. Canmon (the Inadequate)

    I hope he’s in heaven having a scotch, as far away from Jack McAuliffe as possible.

  43. FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=16057]Dave J.[/re]: I dunno. I know their game, but this is just beyond that.

  44. shortsshortsshorts

    [re=16069]Democratica[/re]: He’s currently getting head from a GOP official.

  45. Democratica

    [re=16077]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: Mmmm… FROM? Not TO? Interesting. I’m starting to be annoyed by Keith. I want to hear from Chuck Todd again. He’s a honey.


  46. Post author
    Ken Layne

    Oh, and welcome all you nice folks typing “tim russet” in the Google news search box.

  47. soymocha

    [re=16055]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: I hate it when women like this couch their reactionary bullshit as pro-woman. And I say that as a feminist. Fuck them.

  48. Democratica

    :( Ohhh…. they’re talking about Tim and his White Board! So, so sad. I forgot about the white board.

  49. AxmxZ

    You know what really sucks? Tim never got to see Barry elected. You could tell he was really looking forward to it, the poor bastard…

  50. HerExcellency

    The more I think about this the sadder I become. There are very few people out there who enjoy being a nerd as much as Russert did. He was just a big dork and never tried to hide it. I admire that.

  51. Deepthroat

    The NBC “Special Report” intro and music was a bit odd… and what’s up with all the trivialities? so he loved his faith, country, sports, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain… tell us a little about his achievements please? And yeah, Tommy’s not looking so hot himself. I think we need Sam Donaldson back in effect.

  52. Gopherit v2.0

    [re=16093]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: I believe that’s for the potato of a head he had on his shoulders.
    [re=16028]metropolitan[/re]: Damn you. You made me laugh out loud.

  53. Gopherit v2.0

    [re=16069]Democratica[/re]: If I were him, I’d be getting a full cardiac work-up. He looked in way worse shape than Russert.

  54. Democratica

    Okay, well, I went a-Googling and found the gossip/testimony from the Libby trial about Tim hating Chris. This reminds me of when I found out that Laverne and Shirley (err, Penny and Cindy) actually hated each other.

  55. shortsshortsshorts

    [re=16115]Gopherit v2.0[/re]: Thank you. I didn’t know what one. The only pundit I remember is “tweety,” who still walks among us.

  56. Jamie Sommers

    [re=16095]AxmxZ[/re]: He’ll see it. The real question is, will he put in a good word with the Big Man to get the Bills back in the Super Bowl?

  57. Aurelio

    Now we will be treated to endless hours of fake grieving by pundits, political pimps and self-styled journalists on the teevee. We will see clips of Timmeh’s interviews, pictures of Timmeh as a child, stories of cute little incidents in the news business involving Timmeh. The media people do this because they also want to be eulogized when they die. They want to look down from the Great TeeVee Studio in the sky and see all their colleagues weeping and wailing and pretending to feel bad to have lost such a great News Journalist Person. They don’t give a flying fuck how bored the rest of us are by it.

  58. Democratica

    [re=16133]Aurelio[/re]: Well, no, Aurelio, I don’t imagine they do care if anyone is bored at this point. In fact, I imagine they would tell anyone who is, to kindly turn their television off and go fly a kite this fine June evening.

  59. wallythepug

    I actually cried when Andrea Mitchell said the only people who called her “Mitch” were Tim R. and her dad, and then her voice cracked. I have to say these NBC and MSNBC are holding it together pretty well.

  60. bess marvin, girl detective

    [re=16133]Aurelio[/re]: bored by the death of a human being? really? do yourself a favor and go buy another life. while you’re at it, get a clue too.

    r.i.p. tim russert. you made fucked up professional decisions in your lifetime like everyone else. doesn’t mean you deserved to drop dead days before father’s day. my condolences to your family.

  61. Aurelio

    Can someone pipe in some funerary music? That would go good with all the overacted grieving in this thread.

  62. Gopherit v2.0

    [re=16165]Aurelio[/re]: I know punking Ron Paul doesn’t make up for everything, but doesn’t it buy him a little sympathy?
    Anyone who can really piss off the paultards can’t be all bad.

  63. Gopherit v2.0

    [re=16172]ronaldpagan[/re]: Watch the other one with the paultard coming close to swearing a blood oath against him. It’s comic gold.

  64. ronaldpagan

    [re=16177]Gopherit v2.0[/re]: Haha, I most certainly did watch it. Neocon New World Order shill indeed.

    Anyway – regardless of going too soft on the Bush Administration, which was definitely shitty – Tim Russert is obv a total mensch, and miles better than most reporters out there. Dying at 58 is tragic, but at least he got to see his son graduate and then go on a last trip to Italy with his family. And see Noobama nominated.

  65. DangerousLiberal

    [re=16036]Dave J.[/re]: Word. Tom Brokaw had the brass ones today. I feel really shitty about all this.

  66. shortsshortsshorts

    [re=16177]Gopherit v2.0[/re]: Yes. I laughed my ass off for that comment. What the hell does Russert have to do with women?

  67. pipandbaby

    I realized I have problems, because I’ve been crying most of the afternoon. Chuck Todd really made me cry.

  68. Democratica

    [re=15974]El Bombastico[/re]: FWIT, Olbermann noted a bit ago that NBC didn’t “break” this story first because they were still confirming that extended family had been told.

  69. AudicityofHope

    I still can’t wrap my brain around the thought of watching “Meet the Press” without Tim Russert. He was truly one of a kind and I don’t know who could possibly fill his shoes as host and moderator of MTP. And how poetic that he died right before Father’s Day on Friday the 13th. He will be profoundly missed.

  70. KTHXBAI

    No snark tonight. I can’t even begin to grasp the irony that he was one of the largest political geniuses in a generation and he died before the conclusion of the most important election in over 50 years.

    We’ll miss ya Tim.

  71. Canmon (the Inadequate)

    I’m watching the local Buffalo news and it is wall-to-wall Tim Russert. The city loved their favorite son.

  72. bboldt2

    I suppose that the dictates of good taste and the prohibition against speaking ill of the dead before the body is cold should prevail. Nevertheless here is my tasteless take on the tragic death of Tim Russert.

    The evil that influential men do lives on after them (except in Amerika) while the good is oft interred with their bones (hardly ever in these parts). I mourn anyone who dies before his time, be he an over-promoted, second rate news hack or the tin-pot dictator of a Middle East country murdered for his oil. Unfortunately Russert was not one of my favorite “journalists.” The name “journalist” should have been retired from use some time ago and be replaced with the more modest, reporter, public relations analyst or copywriter. How about graduating students from the prestigious Columbia School of Stenography?

    To my mind he always asked the toughest questions of only the easiest targets while letting the big fish off. He certainly liked his job and rarely if ever crossed his bosses or their interests.

    I was not a regular viewer, so these comments are based upon quite a small sample. The examples that I did see however were quite telling. I wish I had a copy of the two most recent interviews with VP, Cheney. A couple of questions might have been considered hard hitting – after all I’m sure Russert had a sizable staff that does know how to read. No big deal – as the questions being asked were burning on the mind of every citizen in the country at the time. When Cheney summarily dismissed the questions with his customary wave as if brushing off a troublesome fly, Russert dutifully flipped over the card and promptly went on to the next question without so much as a follow-up or even a raised eyebrow.

    I hold guys like Russert largely responsible for not taking the powerful to task for our present sorry state of affairs. Of course those who do evil must bear the heaviest responsibility. It’s just that I also place a great share of blame on people of influence like Russert who had to know better and cowardly chose to turn the other way.

    So, yes, let us sincerely mourn one who has left before his time. Let us also hope that he has gone to be with a god of mercy and not a god of justice.

    Here is a fragment of an obit that I doctored a bit. I couldn’t resist. Copyright lawyers please note.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Russert Mourned After Collapsing in NBC’s Newsroom (Update)

    By Kristin Jensen and Julianna Goldman (some revisions by Bob Boldt)

    June 14 (Bloomberg) — Tim Russert, NBC News’s Washington bureau chief, who collapsed and died in his Washington newsroom yesterday, was remembered as a skilled political analyst whose gregarious nature charmed his audience and the politicians who were subjected to his relentless questioning. He was 58.
    “Russert became famous for his penetrating interviews on the Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press, a program he hosted longer than anyone else”, alleged former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. Russert was also a best-selling author whose books included a tribute to his father, Big Russ and Me.
    Brokaw also alleged Russert was “one of the premier political analysts and journalists of his time” and a beloved colleague. Seismic sensors near the grave of premier political analyst and journalist, Edward R. Murrow recorded that Murrow turned over in his grave.
    Michael Newman, Russert’s doctor, said plaque ruptured an artery, causing a sudden coronary thrombosis, according to NBC.
    Before becoming a journalist, Russert worked as an aide to former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan from 1977 to 1982 and then worked for former New York Governor Mario Cuomo in Albany for two years.
    Investigative Reporting
    When Russert worked for Moynihan during the New York Democrat’s 1982 re-election campaign, his research showed that Republican opponent Bruce Caputo’s claims of Vietnam service were false. Caputo dropped out of the race.
    “It was one of the most important moments in my life,” Russert told the Washington Post in 1989, describing his research at the New York Public Library. “If I must say so myself, it was investigative reporting at its best. You have no idea how tough those librarians can be!”
    Russert took over as anchor of “Meet the Press” on Dec. 8, 1991, and turned the show into “the most-watched Sunday morning interview program in the U.S. and the most-quoted news program in the world…” alleged CBS in a rare bit of self-deprecation.
    President George W. Bush, speaking at a news conference in Paris today, said, “America lost a really fine citizen yesterday when Tim Russert passed away.”
    “I’ve had the privilege of being interviewed by Tim Russert,” Bush said. “I found him to be a hardworking, thorough, decent man. Both the Vice President and I will forever remember the way he always gave us the benefit of the doubt”
    Russert, Bush said, “loved his country and its legitimately elected officials. He loved his family, and he loved his job, a lot and never stepped out of line. We have an expression in Texas: ‘He never forgot what side of the bread he was buttered on, er he always buttered his bread on one side not the other’, er well dammit you know what I mean. Well, never mind. The man’s toast now. Wish I could say the same for Moyers.”
    Russert’s effect on political journalism is evident almost everywhere. The Washington Post credited him with coming up with the phrases “red states” and “blue states” as a way of glossing over subtle difference in the political attitudes of the electorate. This ham-handed oversimplification of dividing the parts of the country that tended to vote Republican and those that aligned more closely with Democrats may take a generation to set aright.
    Russert’s use of a white dry-eraser board on election night 2000 is listed in TV Guide’s “100 Most Memorable TV Moments” in history. He scribbled “`Florida, Florida, Florida” and called the state the bellwether for that election, incorrectly declaring George Bush to be the winner, two months before the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount and appointed George W. Bush the 43rd president of the United States. Russert repeatedly declined requests that he apologize for his mistake.
    Arizona Senator John McCain, called Russert’s death a “shocking loss” and called him the “preeminent political journalist of his generation – just like me!” One of McCain’s aids hastened to correct the presumptive Republican nominee, reminding him that he (McCain) was a politician, not a journalist.

    For the original unblemished obit, go to:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=adiKBJFT1UIo&refer=us

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