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June 13, 2008



I just mentioned on the other thread that it is obvious Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory loved Tim Russert. I don't know if they did cover for him, but I see that they would have.

This is really sad. As someone on hotair said, Tim Russert obviously loved this country.


JOM is going to be one of the few places that will have anything about Russert that portrays him as less than a saint. While I'm not going to pull a Christopher Hitchens, I'm also not going to allow his death to change my opinion concerning his fairness or objectivity.


Eckenrode's original notes indicated that when he first spoke to Russert, Russert conceded he may have told Libby. At trial where Eckenrode was missing Russert claimed he could not have told Libby.
The entire scenario between Eckenrode and Russert was suspicious.
Russert, a lawyer, was given special treatment in the takingof his testimony and claimed under oath not to know that one couldn't take one's lawyer into the grand jury when testifying as a witness.
Finally, it turned out that while Russert publicly chided Noval for taking to the feds and made much of refusing to testify absent a subpoena, he had ALREADY talked to the feds without one and hid that fact.

I'm sorry he's dead. He died much too young. He certainly had many fine qualities, but his career came before truth in the Libby case. And I think that's obvious.


Very succinctly and well said, Clarice.

Tim Russert was a flawed human, not a saint.


Five years ago, Tim Russert was on my mudwrestling list. A friend of mine designed the inside of his Nantucket house. She used to be invited to parties at his home and I conspired for a while to be on the island visiting her so I would be included, but it never came to pass.

My opinion of him certainly declined during the Libby trial. I'd like to know if that was a singular moment of panic or more characteristic of the man as a whole. I hope the former.

I'm sad for his family, and shocked at how young he went. Except for the Libby trial, he was a legend.


Even if Russert did shade the truth in the Libby trial, he did so with much aplomb. Now there was one guy who could fib if he needed to, unlike all the other clumsy politician lies we hear. I remember reading his trial testimony and thinking the way he parsed his words was devilishly clever, phrased so well that they may have almost turned a fib into truth. So the guy must have had a very high intelligence, which is why he became as successful as he did. I feel sorry that he was taken so soon.


JOM is going to be one of the few places that will have anything about Russert that portrays him as less than a saint.

Paul, Google "pumpkinhead" and you'll see the folly in that belief.


We all have flaws.
I think, overall, he was a man who loved this country and his family. As a journalist, I'd take him over most.


At the Libby trial, if Russert had said that the two of them may have mentioned Plame, the entire case would have collapsed. Even though Fitzgerald claimed that he didn't need Russert's testimony at all, that was preposterous, and the jurors were clearly swept away by Russert's superstar status.

I believe that Russert committed perjury and the fact that a man was going to be convicted and imprisoned largely because of his testimony was not important to him.


** NovaK for taLking to the feds ****



I'd take him over most.

Me too.



I would guess that much of the left's anti-Russert thoughts will disappear now. I don't want to have to check the various websites personally to find out, though.


I am still giggling uncontrollably over Clarice's comment (on the Habeas Corpus thread) about Andrea Mitchell being one facelift away from a skull! Dang, C - you can sure nail it sometimes.

NBC and their gawd-awful stepchild MSNBC have lost the ballast for their ship. Not sure they can regain it with the remaining "talent."

All sorts of vultures will start to circle. MTP competitors and Tim replacement wannabes.

Rick Ballard

"I believe that Russert committed perjury and the fact that a man was going to be convicted and imprisoned largely because of his testimony was not important to him."

Odd what cumulative stress can do, isn't it? Having to show up every Sunday morning and recreate a believable illusion of impartiality must have been a terrible burden. He was almost believable almost all the time.


Very good point Rick. I can't pump these people up because they passed. He was every bit the cheap political hack (In the end, when it really counted, when his character was truly called into quesion) that Matthews is. Too bad you died Tim. I'll give you that.


I agree that he commmited perjury.


He was a successfully published author so a memoir was almost inevitable. Wonder what kind of notes are lying around.


Well, if that's true, Rick, imagine the strain on Moyers.

Rick Ballard

There is little doubt in my mind that he was far superior to whomever will be chosen as his replacement. He was personable and very rarely abrasively partisan. NBC has absolutely no one in their stable with those qualities.


It's too bad that he died leaving an unfinished gestalt.

Soylent Red

Repost from other thread:

While none of them are good ones, Russert was at least a tolerable one. RIP.

Rick Ballard


Moyers lacks anything resembling the self-knowledge necessary to feel stress when he lies and dissembles. I class him as much more of a true believer than was Russert. He lies for the "greater good" with great compulsion and no compassion - more of a Cronkite or Rather. Russert displayed an element of fairness which leads me to believe that conscience mattered to him. He was somewhat similiar to Brokaw in that respect.

Always allowing for the possibility that both he and Brokaw just triggered some spring of empathy within me that dries up at the thought of the other MSM monsters.


Anyone else struck by the collective narcissism of the media here. One of their own dies and they go wall to wall and tell us stories about how he was the first one to call Obama the nominee ( seriously I saw that myself ). Now if Larry Bird, a true legend in basketball were to die suddenly we would get maybe 5 minutes on him and his life and then return to other stories.

In case anyone wonders, Iowa is under water. Nearly every county impacted, and the corn crop under serious threat. Cedar Rapids downtown has water surging through the street. But my tv has Russert wall to wall, and did you know how good he was? He call Obama before any of us.



This is sad news indeed about Tim Russert and he was too young to leave this earth.

In sad times whimsical thoughts can arise--and as a replacement for TR and MTP--Jay Leno came to mind.
His contract on the Tonight Show is almost up and NBC doesn't want to lose him.
With the presidential campaign becoming a combat zone--Jay Leno might prove to be an entertaining referee and help take the nastiness down a notch or two.


You may be right, Rick. He was taught by nuns and I find that usually does have a lasting effect.


Has anyone heard from Pofarmer?

Once again, I don't have any idea where he lives, but I always assume it is someplace like Iowa.



So sorry about what is hapenning in Iowa. I have family in Wisconsin who are all safe to date but in shock about the devestation around them. Many towns are surrounded by water and there is no way in or out except by boat.


I think he posted yesterday, Jane.Soehow I picture him a bit further west.


I think it's Missouri, Jane.


Neither of those guys were elitists, Rick. Russert from Buffalo, Brokaw from Yankton, SD.

Both had checkered college careers (Brokaw bas said he majored in co-eds and beer while dropping out of the University of Iowa) and married up.

Both had more of the common touch than most all newsmen of their generation.

I will really miss that part of Russert that enjoyed his work so much.


That prophet that predicted that yesterday would be the end of the world got it right in terms of Russert's end.


Tim was one of the finest men Obama knew. Given his other associations, I'm not surprised.


LOL Jane


Ignore Jane..She's just being snippy to get Hit's attention :wink:

Michael B.

I don't know how we conclude that Libby lied at all. That said it seems that somewhere in Bush's presidency, a little overwhelmed with criticism, he decided that the role of Candide was for him. To promise that 'everyone in my administration will cooperate fully with the investigation' set the White House staff up against anybody outside with an agenda. At that point, everybody has to double down. For NBC, it didn't even have to be an anti-White House agenda. Maybe Russert didn't know where revealing his source would go or somehow NBC might find itself as the source of having revealed classified information. Libby, not doubling down, could have left with his law license and taken the fifth even if he did nothing; probably a good idea if you figure your the lowest guy on the totem pole in fact not likely to lie; that would have taken the consolation prize of perjury off the table. Similarly, Doug Feith has the criticism that Bush quit answering his critics over WMD and terror risk from Sadaam which just gave critics the closing arguments.


I think Libby like the others involved in the investigation were used to dealing with the FBI about leaks and such and rather assumed at the outset they were on the same side because he knew he hadn't been the leaker and, therefore, he was a bit too unguarded with that snake Eckenrode and the Fitzman.
I also think he thought taking the Fifth later on would be harmful to the Administration (or at least Cheney)and certainly contrary to Bush' instructions.
But you're right about the Candide moment and its practical effect.


I think Mr. Russert always made a good faith effort to be fair and impartial. I believed that before his untimely death; and I embrace it now.

That he wasn't always fair, that his "gotcha" game using unfairly edited tapes (sometimes shockingly so) was more, I think, indicative of the failings of the modern press than it was of the man personally.

At least I'd like to think so.

My thoughts in particular go to his father. Having your son die before you do must be terrifically sad.

Requiescat in pace.

hit and run

Hi Jane! ::wink::


The FBI one morning
Lost its notes suborning.
Where is that toad?
He's wanted at a harrowing.

Well, in my mind, Eckenrode and Fitzgerald drove him to an early grave.


Funny one Jane!!


Hi Hit -

Hey Clarice, it worked!


At 3:53 PM ET, I sent out a collection (Clarice, Tops, Tom and Sara will have it in their inbox as on my lists) I cut my collecting short to get the word of Russert's death out ASAP. I'm putting what I wrote here, so pleased to see that I am not all alone. I am gagging as they put him up for SAINTHOOD.

UPDATE: Tim Russert's death - STRESS? VP of NBC News division must have been concerned about what MSNBC was doing to NBC BRAND!!

Tim Russert has died. "collapsed and died" per Tom Brokaw a few mins ago.

Can only think of the rumors of serious dispute between a few sane people at NBC that what is going at MSNBC with OLBERMAN & MATTHEWS was ruining the credibility of NBC NEWS.

Many wondered why Tim RUSSERT, a VP OF NBC NEWS DIVISION, continued to appear on both the Matthews & OLBIE SHOWS?? Was Russert one who saw what MSNBC was doing to destroy NBC'S BRAND, was he trying to be "good corporate soldier" or "ordered to make those appearances".

"Stress kills" they tell us. Will this death get us the real story of what is going on at NBC?

In the collection I am assembling now, including Tom's post and many of your comments, I've added this:

Tim was known as a good Catholic, one must wonder if the actions of NBC's senior news stars; Tim, Andrea and Gregory, regarding the proscecution of Scotty Libby were not the beginning of the LONG SLIDE for THE NBC BRAND.

Remember that Chris Matthews even asked the REPUB CANDIDATES inane questions when he moderated the REPUB debate re Libby, Wilson & Plame.

If, in fact, Tim Russert held the tenets of Christianity & Catholicism dear, he would, like many of us, feel guilt strongly when straying from basic MORAL TENETS. Unrelieved or "rationalized" guilt is very stressfull.

I don't know Tim Russert's heart, but I do know that in the past few years, when his questioning of DEMS are compared to that of REPUBS the difference
is obvious.

SECULARS can write such actions off easily as they believe in the "end justifying the means",that "for the greater good" and the always reliable "for the children", I don't think a man of conscience could so easily bury guilt. It may take a few days, weeks or months but we will eventually hear what Russert really thought of how his beloved NBC's new agenda was destroying the NBC BRAND.

Oh lord, rewriting history, Ed Rollins just said on CNN's LOU DOBBS - "He never showed his partisanship". Going to need the another package of Pepto Bismo tablets to make it thru weekend, watching the Canonization.


Plame, spies and trip overseas. Gets home and dies of sudden heart attack. Poison is pretty common when you don't go CIA.

Tribute Fund

Pay tribute to the great Tim Russert at our non-profit www.tributefund.org. We remember the inspiring men and women in our lives.

Rick Ballard


The Vibrator uses the occasion to announce a preemptive cut n' run from town hall meetings.

"When a McCain adviser first floated the idea last month, Obama said it was a great idea."

I suppose that it wasn't the great idea that the Vibrator once knew...

The Copperheads have chosen their top annelid wisely.


Boy did that 8:24 posted come to the wrong place. As if his family will need charity to survive.


Like many of you, I was sad to hear about Tim Russert. I feel for his family especially his young son.


h/t NRO

JM Hanes

Let me know when the beatification is over and it's safe to turn on the tube again.


Rick: I heard someone say on TV today that Bambi has put more conditions on McCain over having townhall meetings than he does for meeting with Imanutjob.

Rick Ballard


That makes sense - after all, McCain is on the other side.


Ann, I feel for his son, who will never celebrate Father's Day again without thinking of this sadness. But, more than Luke, my thoughts are with Big Russ. I cannot imagine what it must be like for him right now to lose such a loyal and loving son and to live with the fact that he outlived him. We aren't supposed to outlive our children.



I keep picturing his dad in my head and my heart hurts. What a weekend for this to happen. I still can't believe it. I have done my share of yelling at him when he was on T.V. and all through the Libby case but right now I just keep thinking of his family.

Speaking of family, I was delighted to hear your grandson is back home with his dad. Happy Father's Day weekend to you and yours.

Rick Ballard

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died June 4 in Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds suffered in Sharqat, Iraq, when their unit was attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire and hand grenades. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Killed were:

Sgt. Shane P. Duffy, 22, of Taunton, Mass.

Spc. Jonathan D. A. Emard, 20, of Mesquite, Texas.

Sgt. Cody R. Legg, 23, of Escondido, Calif.

Sgt. 1st Class David R. Hurst, 31, of Fort Sill, Okla., died June 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), located at Fort Polk, La.

Staff Sgt. Tyler E. Pickett, 28, of Saratoga, Wyo., died June 8 in Kirkuk Province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using improvised explosive devices. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Pfc. Thomas F. Duncan, III, 21, of Rowlett, Texas, died June 9 in Sinjar, Iraq, of wounds suffered during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash. The incident is under investigation.

Not a millionaire among them and plenty of grieving parents to go around. Plenty of honor to go around for giving the last full measure in defense of our nation as well.


JMH - it will be awhile before the beatification is done. He (Tim) was the most (fill in the blank) ...

But, that is to be expected. We all do the same when a friend is lost.

The real questions are yet to come. Not about Tim, the man, but Tim Russert, the NBC Meet The Press moderator and, sad to say, the "brand."

hit and run

The Vibrator uses the occasion to announce a preemptive cut n' run from town hall meetings.

Well, when I first heard the news, all it had was that he would do one town hall.

I immediately made a prediction.

Which turned out to be wrong.

That is, my prediction was that he was going to suggest Labor Day weekend for the town hall so as to ensure as few people as possible would watch.


He chose the 4th of July.


How long till somebody posts that this was a plot by Karl Rove to avoid indictment and jailtime, some sort of Sealed v Sealed scenario ?


You are too good, hit.



As my daughter likes to say "Snap". Thanks for putting this in prospective. I wish the media would give our fallen heroes the same amount of love and attention, especially this weekend.



You are good! However, he hasn't given himself much time to prepare answers or hire plants for the audience. Wouldn't ya love to ask him a question?


Who is your best quess for his replacement? If they give it to Keith, I for one will be howling. They could hire Katie back....LOL

hit and run

Oh, and I really don't blame Obama.

I mean, I readily admit, I will definitely be distracted on the 4th of July.

Rick Ballard


The commie labor day is May 1st, no decent socialist ever celebrates the September Labor Day. I think McCain should accept immediately for the 4th. The Vibrator wants it out of the way so that people can forget his performance by fall. You-tube will take care of that problem.

He's a runner - if McCain accepts watch for BHO to start throwing in unacceptable conditions. I'm almost at the point of disliking that fellow.

hit and run

Wouldn't ya love to ask him a question?

The mind reels.

But I might start with "It's the 4th of July and a time for all Americans to proudly celebrate the founding of our great nation. But I have to ask, that flag pin you are wearing, Senator, is that a substitue for true patriotism?"


Gawd, I love your sense of humor and your manicured toes. I think that picture was when I fell in love with you. :) LOL

hit and run

I'm almost at the point of disliking that fellow.

OMG! Me2!


Oh, don't get me wrong I am not like Dick Morris. I just appreciate men taking care of there nails. :)


Oh, don't get me wrong I am not like Dick Morris. I just appreciate men taking care of there nails. :)

hit and run

I will tell my pedicurist that you appreciate her work.


Russert wasn't a saint. But he was a damn good newsman. He made Lawrence Spivak (there's a name for Jeopardy) look like a high school reporter.

His enthusiasm for politics as sport made for a pretty good TV show on Sunday AM.

And from all available evidenc he was a good son, dad and husband.

That's a pretty good legacy if you ask me.

He was like all of us, not perfect, just forgiven.

RIP Big Tim.


You know, Rick. If this Tim dude hadn't participated in a injustice against an unpopular administration figure all in aid of opposing the war, which extended it, those military dead in June might still be alive.

Surely those nuns taught him that the effects of evil are manifold.


From all evidence he was a perjurer who helped convict an innocent man.


Too tired to try to put in live link - don't think Gerard will mind my placing his post in full here:


With Russert Not Even Buried the Kossacks Ghoul Up for Olbermann
As I've noted before, I have bad thoughts. My bad thought for today -- shortly after I heard of the passing of the admirable and distinguished Tim Russert:

"I'll bet deep in the heart of that skanky pants weasel Olbermann he's plotting how he can swing into Russert's shoes when he's not worthy to lick them. There will probably be some crocodile tears tonight and then a casual couple of 'chance' meetings with NBC execs just after the funeral. Then he'll get his agent to call and raise the issue. Maybe even get some bloggers to start a campaign.... And there will be nobody at NBC to say, 'How dare you, sir? Apologize, sir!' Yes, it will be Countdown time for Keith."

Like I said, a "bad thought."

But all bad thoughts have their close cousins in the minds of men and, lo and behold, the denizens of the Daily Kos: NY Post: Tim Russert Dead of Heart Attack are already on the job:

"I don't want to see MS-NBC putting Chris "Tweety" Matthews in the Meet the Press catbird seat, just so he can run for Specter's PA senate seat like a good Republican. Meet the Press had enough Republican insider from Russert.

"Let's see Olberman running Meet the Press."

One hope the powers that be at NBC are not quite that depraved, but with Russert gone, NBC may be fresh out of honor and integrity. If so, why wouldn't they appoint the "Worst Pants Weasel in the World?"

Get the links to the quotes at Vanderleun's


I'll never understand why that jury didn't see the contradiction in the record between Russert's testimony at the trial and his earlier statements that were in the record. The perjury is in black and white.


I was willing to let bygones be until I saw Rick's list. This guy belongs in Hell.


God damn Russert's America.


Oh yeah, NBC too.


I'll stand over there with kim, Rick and Clarice. I have thought it all day, but I didn't expect anyone to actually say it.

Many truly great people have died during my lifetime - none of them got this kind of coverage. Fox news started with 5 or 10 minutes about Russert, and then broke the news of the prisoners escape in Afghanistan. huh?

Rick Ballard

I won't damn the man. That's a job beyond my pay grade. I do hold him responsible for the deaths of Americans, just as I hold Cronkite responsible for the deaths of Americans and many more Vietnamese and Cambodians some 30 to 38 years ago.

That said, I hold the Copperhead Dems who voted for the AUMF and then immediately set about undercutting our operations many times more responsible and the islamist scum doing the actual killing most responsible by far.

Mr. Russert has met his Maker and is beyond being touched by us. I pray that he was extended a greater mercy than that with which he treated our military. I will not miss him nor do I honor his memory. I would extend condolences to his family, just as I would to the family of someone who had been executed.

He's out.

Next batter.


Andrea Mitchell has referred how close she was to Tim Russert tonight, so many times, that the Libby case keeps me awake.
She spoke at one time on MSNBC how she talked to Tim every morning. I wish I could find the video, but this is a pretty good example.
Andrea Mitchell Cries Remembering Tim Russert (VIDEO

Should we be surprised now that she can't thank Tim from saving her arse at the Libby trial.


Geez, I've just suffered through the hagiography on Leno AND Conan. And earlier my mother in law went on about his wonderful book about his father. I held my tongue, though, didn't shout at the TV (and certainly not my MIL) he committed perjury and got an innocent man convicted!.

Well, I suppose I should leave the judgements to God and concern myself with repenting of my own sins -- and be grateful that my sins haven't been broadcast publicly...


Also, please add that Mr. Russert called the DEM primary !!OVER!!! And it was OVER!! He was did his own little "Walter".

If our country is cursed with OBAMA as POTUS, because all "politics is local", and so many of the REPUBS do deserve to be thrown out, hence, low local turnout for REPUB incumbents, we may also thank our Timmy for knocking Hillary, the lesser evil, out of the race.

The cable nets keep playing the clips of him talking about honor. And Hannity is all misty eyed telling about the letter he handed his son Luke on delivering him to Boston College four years ago.

It said "keep your honor". That was four years ago, shame Timmy didn't follow his own advise.

But then, the stress of knowing that, and of realizing what he'd done during these past four years and what he'd allowed NBC/MSNBC to become, may well have been what killed him.


Posted by: Ann | June 14, 2008 at 12:53 AM

Wonder why Fitzgerald never subpoenaed Tim or Andrea's phone records? Prolly the same reason he didn't subpoena Armitage's calendar,yet he went after Judy's phone records in the Holy Cross case AND put her in jail for writing NOTHING in Libby's case


NBC may be fresh out of honor and integrity.

I don't think NBC is that stupid to front Olberman in Russerts place as the face of NBC news . Especially given that Olby is a Obama "LAP DOG" (Matthews is a leg humping dog, not lap)

I suspect they are starting to reevaluate the whole operation and that Brokaw will come in an sub until they find the magic person. Andrea will try hard and I think they will give it to her.

Elroy Jetson

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Russert died way too young.
As tempting as it is, I am going to wait for his burial before I start thinking about who NBC/MSNBC might replace him with. It is the only decent thing to do. Hannity had so many good things to say about Russert (on a rare day that I actually listen to him). So sad.

Ralph L

Hit, there's something unusual about people with 2nd toes longer than big toes, but I can't remember if it's an urban legend or an actual medical condition. My brother's longest toes are his middle ones. Looks freaky.


there's something unusual about people with 2nd toes longer than big toes,

I think it means we are smarter. Or prettier. Or funnier. Or it could mean we just look freaky. ::grin::


I agree Sue

(looking down)

Isn't everyone's second toe longer than their first toe?

Hmmmmmm that explains a lot...


Isn't everyone's second toe longer than their first toe?

I thought so, until one day in grade school someone pointed out that my toes looked freaky. ::sigh:: Having never before seen someone whose toes descended, I was of the opinion that their toes were freaky.

Rick Ballard

"So sad."

Yeah. Who knows? Had he lived, he might have been able to do as much damage as did Walter Cronkite.

I don't really care who replaces him in the lineup - I just hope there's a good, dirty, bloody fight that ruins a few careers during the selection process.


My 2d toe is longer than my big toe. Does that mean Hit and I are digitally related?

JM Hanes

Moi aussi. Romans considered longer 2nd toes aristocratic. We're in pretty good company.

hit and run

Oh gosh. Y'all have no idea 'bout my toes. My little toe sits kinda on top of my foot.

When I was born, they took the handprints and foot prints. They showed them to my mother, and she freaked out, "he's only got four toes!?!?!!"

You can kinda see it here.

I mean seeing what a toe fetish you freaks have.

hit and run

Oh, and good [wait let me check...oh, yes] morning!


Shuttle Discovery lands safely home. Good Day!

Hey, my second toe is longer than my big toe. This is Freaky.


I'm with Rick--I see a bloody succession fight at NBC which truth be told has no one suitable in the wings but a number of partisan lying rats on its payroll.


For those of you with the longer 2nd toe, is your index finger longer than your ring finger. Seems to me that this may be a secondary sex characteristic, and of course with everything in life there are a few exceptions. Sorry HIT!


Yes, my index finger is longer than my ring finger. Make something of it if you will.

hit and run

My ring finger is longer.

I'd take a picture and post a link, but I would be ashamed for Ann to see the state my nails are in.


My mom has one thumbnail bed that is much longer than the other. She has an aunt with the same thing -- odd genetic characteristic.

My ring finger is longer.

Posted by: hit and run | June 14, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Was it that way before the chainsaw "incident"?


From the front my ring finger is longer. From the back my index finger is longer.

Beat that!

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