One of the great voices of journalism suddenly fell silent to-day, 13 June 2008.
Growing up with those who more or less defined broadcast journalism -- Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite -- it's been rather difficult to find that kind of stature among broadcast journalists lately, when the main qualification seems to be either to look real nice or have a smart mouth.
Tim Russert, though, was of such stature. Many find it in the quality of his preparation, the thoroughness of his interviews, and other things, all of which were top-notch.
But I think the real secret was that he, unlike so many of his -- my, our -- generation, knew that that generation did not invent the wheel, let alone the world, but saw and understood that those who came before understood much, had much that had been passed on to them, and had much to pass on to us. And he took his place in that passing on.
I will miss him. But his legacy will live on in those who take their place in the same chain.
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