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Friday, June 13, 2008


Russert's Death A Tragic Loss

Journalists don't do it for love, they do it because they love what they do.

They don't do it for dollars either. Those who think it's about the money are usually the ones who have the most trouble of all when it comes to relating to the press.

There's no denying that the most well-known anchors and hosts at the network level are well compensated, but anyone smart enough to get to that point knows there are many other ways — far less public ways — to work less and earn more.

Tim Russert had his critics, same as any reporter who has ever strived for fairness, pursued truth dispassionately, and dared to ask the same question more than once when the response was nothing close to an answer. A journalist who does that is bound to upset people on every side of any issue at least once and awhile. But Russert remained above it, a professional who continued to ask questions that needed to be asked, and probably a few that didn't. He was, after all, flesh and bone, as imperfect as the rest of us, but certainly more driven than most.

Russert's death of an apparent heart attack today, at the age of 58, came far too soon. He will be missed for years to come, yet, the spirit with which he approached his work will surely live on in the young journalists he inspired. It's a tragic loss.

Click to e-mail TJ Sullivan in LA
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