I'm sure you've all heard by now that journalist and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert died Friday at the age of 58. My heart goes out to his family and friends. From all reports, he was well-loved by everyone who knew him, and he was a great family man. My personal experience with him is like the experience of most people: I knew him from watching Meet the Press.
No, I'm not a devoted viewer, faithfully watching week after week. But I did watch often enough to learn about politics and the state of our country. Mr. Russert presented the facts and asked questions to make his guests explain their views fully. He also had a way of talking about politics that made his enthusiasm contagious. Until I started watching him, I had no interest whatsoever in politics. I thought it was just a bunch of boring people in suits. Through his love of politics, he showed me that there is so much more to it. I learned that things I care about are also things politicians care about. Mr. Russert made the world of government real to me.
Even though I never met him, Tim Russert impacted my life and prompted an interest in the way the country is run. The current Presidential election really brought out his enthusiasm for politics in a way I'd never seen before. Whether discussing the primaries with political analysts on Meet the Press, interviewing the candidates, or acting as an analyst himself on the evening news, you could see his excitement. He had a way of making even the most boring facts of the election interesting.
He will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and viewers. Personally, I will miss the contagious excitement he brought to the world of politics.