R.I.P. Tim Russert (1950 - 2008): The one guy who could actually tear me away from ESPN for politics!
We lost a great "voice" in the media today: Tim Russert.
Believe it or not, as shallow as I am at times, I always flipped away from sports on Any Given Sunday to watch this guy in action on "Meet The Press." He was one of the few men on the planet who could turn my head away from pop culture - for a moment - to focus on politics. And I want to truly thank him for that.
No, this time, Jon Stewart doesn't count. Tim Russert was "old school" and we loved him for that. In this "new" age of media where most of it's members are smug, insincere, self-serving asshats (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Nancy Grace anyone?) more focused on American Idol than the actual events in the world, Tim Russert was a breath of fresh air (And, yes, people - I realize I am handcuffed to my own pop culture bullshit, as well - but there is so much more to life than that!).
In an era when (most of) the media falsely buckled to the Bush Administration, this was the one guy who was never afraid to speak his mind - and, more importantly, ask the tough questions that ultimately needed to be asked in a world gone mad. Never a mean man, yet - at the same time - he never faltered. Tim was truly a tough guy, with a teddy bear disposition, in the end.
But, as brilliant as Tim Russert was at times, he never forgot that he was a man of the people - he loved his sports teams to no end, and that's what always made this guy so damn accessible to almost every person on the planet.
Tim Russert was a hometown guy we could all believe in, to be sure.
So, yes, I am a sap. I admit, I got choked up today when I heard that he passed on to the next level of existence. But, for what it's worth, I honestly believe that this guy will sorely be missed here - now more than ever. Thanks for everything, Tim Russert.