Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert; The Last Of The Great Reporters Has Died

Tim Russert [1950 - 2008]
NBC News Washington Bureau Chief

I do not want to feel this way, but I am very sad and surprised at my own reaction to what happened; today, suddenly, has left this earth a genious of television, a genious of political analysis, a man with a unique charm and sense of humour. One of those beings that go through life amazing others who looked up to him because he was on a pedestal; not because he forced that image -because he was very humble- but because his presence, his behavior, the quality of his work, produced such effect on people.

Tim Russert personified the common man who succeded in life. I believe he was the most brilliant, fair, entertaining, and captivating interviewer and political analyst in the history of this country, at least with the one I am familiar that started at the end of the eighties with my arrival to this country. As I already mentioned, humble to the bone, Tim said once "only in this country could happen that the son of a garbage man goes to become the chief of one of the most important television news bureaus in the world" a concept he valued. The son of a working class catholic-irish family -the first one to graduate from college, as Chief of NBC Washington News Bureau, he had the reputation of being a great mentor to each man and woman who worked around him.

I do not watch television with the exception of a documentary here and there and "Meet The Press" -Russert's program- every Sunday morning. Starting in 1991, Russert would show up with his devilishly cute smile in our homes for one hour to interview the most politically influent people and debate the most current and interesting subjects. Who could cover more information ab0ut Presidential Election 2008 in such an informed and honest way?

Russert adored his father about whom he talked all the time. He had written a book two years ago, inspired by the braveness and strong ethics of his father and those of his generation who participated in II World War. Unfortunately, his father will have the most painful mission -I think- which is to survive his own child. This afternoon, while Tim was at work, he collapsed as the result of a cardiac thrombosis when he was only 58 years old. A tiny instant defined his departure to the great consternation of all of us who deeply admired him; he has left a vast empty space.

A devouted Catholic, he knew Popes and Archobisps. In an interview last night, the Archobisp of Washington said: "We are all here in a journey; Tim's journey was short, but God decided that he was ready to move on to the next step, and if there was someone who was ready to be closer to God, that was Tim." A man larger than life, that was Tim Russert.


Tim Russert; el ultimo de los grandes periodistas ha muerto

Aunque no quiero sentirme asi, estoy muy triste y al mismo tiempo sorprendida con mi propia reaccion ante estos hechos; hoy se ha marchado repentinamente de esta tierra un genio de la television, un genio del analisis politico, un hombre con un carisma y un sentido del humor increibles, uno de esos seres que pasan por esta vida asombrando a otros que lo miran hacia arriba porque el estaba en un pedestal; no porque el forzara esa imagen, ya que era un ser muy humilde, sino porque su presencia, su comportamiento, la calidad de su trabajo, producian tal efecto en la gente que le rodeaba.

Tim Russert representaba al hombre comun y corriente que triunfo en la vida. Fue el mas brillante, justo, entretenido y cautivante entrevistador y analista politico en la historia de este pais, por lo menos como yo la conozco, desde fines de los ochenta. Como ya mencione, humilde hasta los huesos, Tim una vez dijo "solo en este pais sucede que el hijo de un recogedor de basura llegue a ser el Jefe de uno de los bureaus de noticias mas importantes del mundo", un concepto que el valoraba. Hijo de inmigrantes irlandeses-catolicos de clase obrera- el primero de su familia en graduarse en la universidad; en su calidad de Jefe del Bureau de Noticias de NBC en Washington, DC, tenia la gran reputacion de ayudar, apoyar, y estimular profesionalmente a cada hombre y mujer que trabajaba cerca de el.

No veo television con la excepcion de algun documental por aqui y por alla y el programa de Russert, "Meet the Press", cada Domingo. Desde 1991, Russert se aparecia -siempre con su sonrisa media diablilla- en nuestros hogares con su programa de una hora donde la gente con mas influencia en el mundo de la politica nacional era entrevistada en un formato honesto y entretenido. Quien mas podria reportar acerca de las elecciones presidenciales 2008 en una forma tan eficiente?

Russert adoraba a su padre y escribio un libro acerca de la valiente y esforzada generacion de aquellos como el que pelearon en la II Guerra Mundial. Lamentablemente a su padre le tocara la mision mas dolorosa -yo creo- que es esa de sobrevivir a un hijo propio. Hoy en la tarde, mientras trabajaba, Tim se desplomo y murio de una trombosis cardiaca a los 58 anos. Un pequeno instante definio su partida para la gran consternacion de aquellos que lo admirabamos profundamente; ha quedado un gran vacio.

Catolico devoto, Tim conocia papas y arzobispos. En una entrevista, el Arzobispo de Washington dijo las siguientes palabras anoche: "Estamos aca en un viaje; el de Tim fue un viaje corto, pero Dios decidio que era tiempo de tomar el siguiente paso y si habia alguien que estaba listo para estar mas cerca de Dios era Tim." Un hombre mas grande que la vida misma, eso era Tim Russert.

27 comments:

Gise =) said...

Bonito homenaje el que le haces, por lo que cuentas era muy humilde como persona y seguramente eso era lo que hacia que lo tuvieran en un pedestal. Siempre es bueno recordar los origenes para que cuando uno es famoso no se nos suba a la cabeza...
Todos tenemos una misión en la vida y el debe haber venido a dejarles lo mejor de el en cuanto a conocimientos de politica y de "interpretación" de esa rama del poder que yo tanto detesto...
Besikis guapa y no estes triste, lo peor es que era muy joven...
Buen fin de semana cariño!!!!

Lilian said...

Hola Gisella!!

Que que sorpresa tan agradable... aca es un sabado temprano por la manhana. Es increible como me afecto esta noticia, bueno no tan solo a mi; ahora leyendo las noticias me doy cuenta que casi todo el pais esta muy consternado. Es curioso esto del poder de los medios de comunicacion que nos pueden acercar tanto aun sin conocernos personalmente.
Tu tambien; que tengaws un fin de semana estupendo. Vas a la playa?
Besito :)

Jorge said...

Lilian
Cuando se recuerda a un hombre de la forma que tu lo haces, solo engrandece su obra...

Lilian said...

Queridisimo Jorge--
Gracias por pasar :) Por ahi escuche que alguien solo muere cuando nos dejamos de acordar de el o ella ... Por ahora, me ha puesto contentisima acordarme de montanhas y atardeceres ... la vida ha sido bella.
Un besito :)

Jorge said...

En la noche fría de santiago de Chile, en mis dedos helados sobre el teclado, igual están ahi, para dejar el mensaje de cariño de que no olviadremos, aunque el tiempo deje de sonar... la vida es corta, pero vale la pena recorar los tiempos hermozos vividos... gracias por traer la vida de antaño

cacho de pan said...

hummmm...qué dios más posesivo el de esta gente...no me sirve como consuelo.
Vivir y morir son dos hechos fortuitos a los que tratamos de dar trascendencia porque no soportamos su falta.
Posiblemente sea insustituíble, a pesar de que dirán lo contrario.

Lilian said...

Cacho--
Posesivo... cierto. Como sera la cosa? Yo creo que las razones de porque, como, cuando y donde de "nuestro viaje" o "la vida" y su termino aca en la tierra, son de indole muy personal e individual. No creo en las recetas en masa, en fin.

Russert es insustituíble, asi como tambien cada uno de nosotros; es que tambien el, en su profesion, era El Maestro porque primero era un gran ser humano.

Lilian said...

Jorge--
Nuevamente gracias por tus mensajes. Estoy absolutamente de acuerdo con todo lo que sugieres en tus hermosas palabras.

Fanmakimaki ファンマキマキ said...

Es absolutamente deconocido para mi. Veo la CNN y la CNBC pero solo cuando hay alguna noticia tremenda de esas que necesitas seguirla en directo y para eso la CNN es la mejor.

Lilian said...

Hola Makimaki :)

Si has visto CNBC entonces estas familiarizado con su trabajo aunque aparentemente no lo ubiques. Si es que alguna vez viste algun reportaje relacionado con cualquier evento en Washington, el lo habria producido junto a su excelente equipo. La forma de reportar noticias de NBC tiene gran reputacion.

Momo said...

Es absolutamente deconocido para mi tambien, Lilian.

Hum... muchos muertos ultimamente, carajo ! ... quando yo estoy a penas comensando a renacer.

Paz, luz y amor a todos los vivientes y a todos los muertos.

Besikis

Lilian said...

Momo--
"...comenzando a renacer..." felicitaciones. Me recordaste de las palabras de Charly Garcia, lo conoces? es un gran musico/poeta argentino.... "cuando comenzamos a nacer, la mente empieza a comprender que vos sos vos y tenes vida..."

Bambu said...

Pues no tengo el placer ... pero por lo que comentas toda una pérdida.

Un saludo!

Momo said...

Sí, Lilian, sin entrar en detalles, puedo decir que vuelvo de muy lejos.

No conozco a Charly García, pero esas palabras me gustan.

Kiss

Lilian said...

Bambu--
Es un placer conocerte... veo que vienes del Viejo Mundo :) Gracias por la visita.


Momo--
Lo importante es volver... me alegro mucho por ti, de verdad!

Anonymous said...

Me hubiera gustado mucho conocerlo.
Sonia

Lilian said...

Sonia!
Gusto de verte por estos lados :)
Es curioso porque yo nunca lo conoci en persona pero lo sentia como un familiar o amigo querido... Despues de su muerte, me di cuenta que esa sensacion no era solo mi caso en particular sino que el de millones de otras personas...
Que estes bien --

Momo said...

Gracias, Lilian, tus palabras son, como siempre, balsamo para mi corazon.

Que es de usted querida amiga ?

Esta éditando un poco menos ultimamente, no cierto ?

Abrasito carinhoso

Lilian said...

Querido Mo--
Gracias por acordarte de mi... Si estoy escribiendo menos porque entre mis obligaciones varias y el nuevo juguete que encontre [Facebook... shhhh no le cuentes a nadie] el tiempo se me acorta mas aun. Tengo muchas ganas de escribir un nuevo post y tengo todas las ideas en la cabeza; ahora tienen que traspasar al papel...
Un abrazo de vuelta :D

Momo said...

Por supuesto que me acuerdo de usted, querida amiga, usted està en mis pensamientos, y la siento cerca mi.

Admiro su lúdica tecnofilia, y comparto su entusiasmo para los juguetes (al parecer se me pegò el tratamiento de usted de Dante, pero me gusta, y a usted ?).

Abraso grande

Lilian said...

Sir Mo--

jajaja :D Te has convertido en todo un caballero medieval con ese tratamiento de "usted" traspasado por el "cacho de pan delicioso"...

Esta muy bien que sientas mi amistad cerca porque alli pretende estar para acompanharte en las batallas contra las pesadillas y bienvenir los nuevos suenhos.

Doréus said...

Hi there Lilian.

Like Momo, I've been browsing over here regularly and noticing that you've been posting a little less often. Mind you, your posts are always worth waiting for.

As I don't own (let alone watch) a television and as I try as much as possible to avoid politics in the United States (which I find extraordinarily petty and detached from real issues), I only learned about Russert because of his passing. So I won't comment.

But keep up the good work and don't get swallowed-up by Facebook! As I see from my students, it is addictive and all-possessing!

It is always a pleasure reading your blog. I guess I should take advantage of your relative mutism to read back in time.

Lilian said...

Hello Dóreus!

Well, to get such a great complement , and on top of that coming from you, means a lot to me. I will follow your advise and go back to writing about my thoughts and experiences, because the act of writing about them gives me a sense of satisfaction difficult to express, but I guess you would know what I am talking about since you are also a blogger. The posting delay is mainly due to my regular “work” and not so much facebook, although, it is also in the picture. As I told Momo, is the new toy, and playing is also good.

I admire your independence from television. Although, I only watch a couple of hours per week, I don’t think I would be brave enough to leave it totally out of my life.

Thanks for the visit and the kind words!!

Doréus said...

Hi!

I'm honoured that you think so highly of me...

And yes, I also find the act of writing extremely satisfying. As it is also part of what I do for a living, blogging is just a freer mode of expression for me, less constrained by the stylistic demands of essays, which does not mean abandoning rigour, as Momo noted.

As for TV, I did not so much make an effort to stop watching it as it made its way out of my life when I was an undergrad and living in a dorm (almost twenty years ago! Yech!). I found myself forced to watch the mindless stupidity other students who controlled the remote tuned to and I resorted to not watching it. As I had other things to do, it did not really matter. And life made it so that now, I don't have time for TV and actually find the way it has evolved extremely unnerving. For two years, I lived with a boyfriend and his television, and it (more than the strains that developed in our relationship) drove me nuts. I guess as I'm a historian of the nineteenth century, it's not too suprising that I find the noise broadcast daily on the tube more than a little annoying. This being said, I still think it's a medium that has great potential; I just think it's often not used to its best and I prefer doing without it.

And now, I'll return to my own real work: class preparation.

Lilian said...

Doreus--

How couldn't I have a high regard for a historian??? There are so many questions I would love to ask you, because History is one of my all time favorite subjects.

Beyond the century, in this case, the nineteenth century, do you specialize into more specific aspects, i.e, music, painting, literature, etc.?

I feel EXACTLY as you do regarding TV... Isn't it a nightmare when people with whom we live turn the TV on just so they can have backgkround noise? When we have so much wonderful music around and little time to listen to it? or just silence? what's wrong with that?

Warm Regards--

Doréus said...

Silence... This most prized, most rare of gifts! And we all (myself included) break away from it so easily...

Actually, I currently teach anything from the fall of the Roman Empire (AD 476) to the current period in my survey courses. My specialty is the history of disability, more specially the education of deaf people in Canada between roughly 1850 and 1950 (my dissertation was about three deaf institutions in Montréal between 1850 and 1920). What I'm really interested in studying is how social values change, and looking at the treatment of cultural minorities (the deaf can be construed as such) and how it shows what is important in a given society at a given time. I have touched on art and literary history, but I know many people who know much more about it than I. And that is a wonderful thing, because I'm spending my life learning!

Abrazos.

Lilian said...

Doreus--

"... studying how social values change, and looking at the treatment of cultural minorities ..." those two sound complex but extremely interesting. I am starting to realize that I share interests with you because, besides History, I also like Sociology very much. Thanks for the hug and I hug you back :)