Reaction to death of Tim Russert

06/13/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Tim Russert, the longtime host of NBC’s Meet the Press and the Washington Bureau chief for NBC News, died this afternoon, after a heart attack. He was 58.

Russert was considered one of the pre-eminent political reporters of his time, and his death was announced at 3:39 p.m. in a bulletin on NBC News by former NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw.

Russert was working at the NBC studios in Washington when he went into cardiac arrest around 1:40 p.m. Medics arrived on the scene just three minutes later and administered CPR. Russert was taken to Sibley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Russert has been working at NBC News since 1984 and became Bureau Chief of the Washington bureau in 1988. He became the moderator for the Sunday morning news program Meet the Press in 1991.

Before that, the Buffalo, NY, native worked in politics, serving as chief of staff to the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan from 1977 to 1982. He later served as counselor in New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s office in Albany in 1983 and 1984.

Russert also wrote best-selling books, Big Russ and Me, in 2004, and Wisdom of our Fathers, in 2006. This year, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Russert became part of the news four years ago, when he was subpeoaned in the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby CIA case. The information Russert provided became important evidence that Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald used to indict Libby on five felony counts of lying to the FBI and a grand jury and of obstruction of justice.

Eric Deggans, media critic for the St. Petersburg Times, reacted to the untimely death of Russert.

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