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On Tim Russert

By Del Turner
Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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Pittsboro, NC - The unexpected death of veteran journalist Tim Russert, moderator of the nation’s most watched television news program on Sunday mornings, MEET THE PRESS, is a significant loss to the journalistic world, but a greater loss to the American public. Tim was a valiant servant and guardian of the public trust; as it is a journalist’s call to be. He was an honest broker and champion for America , its principals, ideals and its people; He was a dear ally, a trusted friend that will be missed very dearly.

Tim Russert personified the voluntary dictums of the Journalists’ Code of Ethics. He was fair, just, balanced and thoroughly comprehensive in his reporting and approach to interviewing high profile figures of our time. Watching him question sitting Presidents, prospective candidates and even royalty was like watching a suspenseful who-done-it as you waited breathlessly for his signature question that never failed to expose his interviewee as a hero or heroine or a fraud.

With this historic Presidential election nearing its end, it behooves us to think about what Tim was perhaps best known for in punditry circles, his ability to accurately gauge the outcomes of Presidential elections. During NBC's coverage of the 2000 Presidential election, Tim calculated possible results on a dry erase marker board. He wrote " Florida , Florida , Florida ” as the contingent state of the final decision and as we all know, it was. He repeated his sage act again in the presidential elections of 2004, accurately predicting " Ohio , Ohio , Ohio " as the final battleground state. Again, Tim was correct.

As early as 2005, Tim predicted that New Mexico , Colorado and Arizona would be the Electoral College states to watch in 2008. He added Nevada in the mix before his death. Russert felt that if the Democrats win even three of those states, they can confidently forfeit the traditional ‘must win’ states of Ohio and Florida and win the presidency." We will see in November. Although it will not be the same exciting anticipation without him in the newsroom, we know he will be there in spirit. Until then Tim, “Good night, sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

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On Tim Russert
Tim Russert personified the voluntary dictums of the Journalists’ Code of Ethics.