President and CEO, NBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY
15 June, 2008
Dear Mr. Zucker,
Please accept my sincere condolences and sense of loss after the untimely death of Tim Russert.
Mr. Russert was an especially bright light among those who inspired me during my career in journalism. He proved that one could be intelligent and present intelligent thought in the context of television news – a quality all too rare in today’s media environment.
Mr. Russert – or Tim, if you might indulge me – had that rare capability to call respectfully a spade a spade when interviewing politicians, policy makers and about anyone else in the public eye. He did that without demeaning them, allowing their own character and record to dictate their level of respect in the public eye.
Tim could acknowledge and respect the regular Joe’s perception and knowledge and impress upon those in rarified circles that the only real thing separating their knowledge and judgement from the masses’ was their pay grade.
Watching all the memorial and retrospective programming on NBC and NBC this weekend has served to heighten the sense of loss and regret that so many of us share. In that regard, I would like to suggest an even more fitting way in which Tim can be remembered in a productive and respectful way.
Please tell every journalist and presenter in the NBC News Division to get off their asses, stop playing to the camera and start doing their job in informing the public about what their country has become and is becoming.
And Mr. Zucker, please tell David Gregory that he’ll never work again if he engages in the sort of public ass-kissing of public officials which he performed on Dick Cheney at the Radio and Television News Correspondents dinner.
Frontier Former Editor