Looking Back at the All-Too-Convenient Death of White Hat Journalist Tim Russert

Until his untimely death in 2008 at the age of 58, Tim Russert was the host of “Meet the Press,” an NBC Sunday morning panel-format news-interview program covering politics, economics and foreign policy that began in 1947. Russert took the helm of the program in 1991. At the time of his death by “heart attack” at NBC Studios on June 13, 2008, “Meet the Press” was one of the highest-rated programs on television.

Each week, Russert would bring into his studio the top journalists of the day and pair them against D.C.’s top politicos. One never sensed political bias from Russert but rather a genuine interest in getting to the truth. He spared no one from critical questions. At the time of his death, he was diving deep into the CIA-Valerie Plame-Dick Cheney scandal and U.S. justifications for going to war with Iraq. And, intentionally or unintentionally, he exposed then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a political hack.

Russert was the son of working-class family of South Buffalo, N.Y. He was a man of Catholic faith who professed the civic virtues of post-World War II America. He loved his neighbor, honored his parents and cherished his country. This made him a bad fit for what the next decade has borne.

Some might observe that the doughboy-looking Russert was a heart attack waiting to happen, and the timing couldn’t have been better for the Crime Syndicate. But was it coaxed along? He had good genetics as his father “Big Russ” lived to 85. His mother was 76. He did not smoke. At his last physical, in April, 2008, he passed a stress test, and his heart function was good. His doctor estimated his risk of a heart attack in the next 10 years at 5 percent, based on a widely used calculator.


Russert was eventually replaced by the lackluster kakistocratic Jewish waterboy David Gregory — a man who could be counted on to “carry the ball” at all times for the Crime Syndicate. Yes, maybe it is all a big coinkydink that a real journalist disappears and is replaced by a hack- and never the other way around?

Read “Jewish Journal – David Gregory’s Jewish Roots, and How They Define Him”

Soon after, “Nobel-Peace-Prize Obama” would be bombing seven Mideast countries simultaneously WITHOUT proper Congressional approval — and without any meaningful scrutiny from the new star of “Meet the Press.”

The timing is also curious in the run-up to the banksters’ financial crisis heist three months later, otherwise known as the “bailout.”

Russert is noted for his 2004 interviews in which he questioned then-presidential candidates U.S. Sen. John Kerry and incumbent George W. Bush about their membership in the notorious Skull and Bones club at Yale. Both give nearly identical answers: “It’s a secret.” This was a hint to the average American that we’re dealing with one big club.

Some of Russert’s toughest questions were directed toward war-mongering Jewish neoconservative Richard Perle.

“Can you assure American viewers … that we’re in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?”

In 2004, he asked U.S. President George W. Bush, “In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?”

“I think that’s an interesting question,” Bush replied. “Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It’s a war of necessity.”

On June 13, 2004, to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Russert said:

Let me turn to the situation in Iraq and discussions the President and you have had with leaders of European nations. This is how Charles Kupchan, who works for the Council on Foreign Relations, put it the other day:

“No WMD, no link to al-Qaida, no progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the region has been essentially stirred up, not tamed, and al-Qaida recruitment has picked up. So Europeans generally feel that their assessment of the war going into the conflict was accurate.”

Russert gave testimony against Cheney aid Louis Libby — who was a Jewish CFR-member neocon and protegee of Jewish neocon Paul Wolfowitz — that resulted in Libby’s conviction in U.S. District Court (subsequently reversed by a Bush presidential pardon).

Russert would deliver pull-no-punch, well-researched questions that one never hears today.

To Kerry in 2004: “And people refer back to an interview when you first ran for Congress, back with The Harvard Crimson, where you said … ‘the United Nations should have control over most of our foreign military operations. I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.'”

John Kerry’s strange pedigree was internationalist, influenced by his father.


After Russert thanked U.S. Sen. and warmonger John McCain for appearing on the show in 2006, McCain responded, “I haven’t had so much fun since my last interrogation.”

Russert dismantled Hillary Clinton’s B.S. story that she was threatened by sniper fire while arriving in Bosnia as U.S. First Lady. Oh, no, we can’t have these challenges going on in the current year!

With then-presidential candidate Obama in 2008, Russert challenged his claims of transparency and exposed him as a liar.

RUSSERT: You talked about Senator Clinton having records released from the Clinton Library regarding her experience as first lady, and yet when you were asked about, “What about eight years in the state senate of Illinois,” you said, “I don’t know.” Where, where are the — where are your records?

SEN. OBAMA: Tim, we did not keep those records. I…

RUSSERT: Is your schedule available anywhere? Are — the records exist?

SEN. OBAMA: I — Tim, I kept my own schedule. I didn’t have a scheduler.

RUSSERT: Senator Durbin, your colleague, publishes his schedule each day. Would you do that?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, these days I have a public presidential schedule that I think everybody has access to.”

Which is it, Obama? You didn’t have a schedule or you destroyed it?

In a Chicago Tribune interview, Obama stated, “I don’t know the extent of the records that I have as a state senator.”

It is obvious that Barack Obama violated the Illinois FOIA Law by his failure to produce records and violated the spirit of the law and policies of the State of Illinois.

The Final Straw?

While interviewing former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan regarding his then-recent book release, “What Happened?: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” Russert came close to implying that 9/11 was an inside job — and he most certainly implied the Iraq narrative was a big lie. Twelve days later, Russert lay dead. Shades of Paul Wellstone?



Winter Watch Takeaway

Tim Russert is dear to our hearts as a practitioner of the “nothing to see here, move along” you-decide school of journalism. What we find revealing is just how many of his arrows have been scrubbed into the YouTube memory holes along with the channels who tended to share them. Do a Google search and you will find instead pages and pages of Russert misdirection remembrance videos and articles.

8 Comments on Looking Back at the All-Too-Convenient Death of White Hat Journalist Tim Russert

  1. Makes you wonder. So many bright minds of peace and thought not allowed to exist past a certain date.

  2. Alright Winter Watch, I gotta twofer for ya. The first one is Mr. Russert with the then President of the United States, Mr. Richard Bruce Cheney, following September 11, 2001:

    Then I have one from the former Governor of the Empire State, Mr. Mario Matthew (I HAVE MOB TIES – SNL Phil Hartman “Election 1992”) Cuomo speaking about Mr. Russert and “buckling up for safety”:

    Now I had met Mr. Russert in the early 2000s and he seemed like a nice, affable, gentleman. Often I drove past the Russert home (to my knowledge the wife still owns the residence) on the way to my own home and it is truly a very nice residence (side note: I do not live in the Russert’s neighborhood, but sometimes used to travel through it) that seems fitting for both the man and his family. For the longest time, his son kept the father’s pick-up truck and seemed to actively drive the vehicle, which I though was a good idea as a form of memory.

    Still, although I do not disagree with RW or this thread at all, I am going to offer this one thought:

    Mr. Russert was an insider of sorts with deep ties to Albany, New York State, New York City and the Southern District of New York (U.S. Attorneys). At one time, this was a very powerful group of moderate democrats that primarily consisted of folks from Irish, Italian and Jewish backgrounds. It would be my (humble) contention that with time, this group has lost a great deal of its power and influence within both the Democratic Party and the United States as a whole, BY DESIGN.

    The first loss of ground came with the passing of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 2003. As we are all aware, his seat was provided to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who I would opine was instrumental, along with her husband Bubba, in destroying the more centrist and moderate faction of the Democratic Party. Mr. Russert and his father were representatives of this moderate part of that political party. These common sense Democrats, hailing from Buffalo, represented a collapsed blue collar economy, which had wealthy owners at one point in history; these owner / patrons happened to commission a whole lot of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings:


    which is evidence of the town / city’s (I would only label Buffalo loosely as a “city”) lost prosperity. By the 1980s, the town was on the brink of financial collapse due to mismanagement and corruption, that resulted in a fiscal mess. Add into this financial storm, the never ending escalation of Empire State taxes to cover some of the most insane programs ever conceived, and you end with a once great city / town becoming a shadow of its former self.

    For what it is worth, Mr. Russert had insider help achieving a prime position with Meet the Press and seemed “melba toast” enough to potentially run for some form of office in the future (which I do believe was in the “cards”). His very odd passing and that of Senator Paul David Wellstone are actually part of a much larger, permanent, removal of political moderates in that period.

    These are people who might actually have asked a question or wished to have a reasonable political discussion. Not only did the time move on from them, but so did the technology and the basic concept of respectful political discourse. Take, one time mayor, Jerry Springer’ talk show and add “smart phones”, lots of delusionary Big Pharma products, additional fluoride, degraded air, “real TV”, as well as the continued destruction of classical education, then Welcome to Wherever You Are!

    The moderates we are speaking of may not have impeded the decline of life within the United States; however, there is always the potential chance that they would have caused enough questions to create a spark that would have slowed and / or changed the course of our current position. As I have mentioned on WW before, I often find the transitions of Mr. Dick Gregory and Mr. Jim Marrs as being very interesting in terms of timing. This WW thread seems to find similar questions regarding the timing of certain folks, who had a public platform, and then transitioned under very questionable circumstances.

    All my best,

  3. When you try and position Russert into today’s media, it is impossible! He would stick-out like a sore-thumb and make Tucker look like a little girl. The Russert-Chaney interviews were always classic! Russert still knew where ‘his lines’ were drawn at the time; he knew where NOT to go and what topics to traverse carefully in dealing with the ‘halls of power.’ The thought of a Russert today doing a show is refreshing, but it ain’t happening.

    He knew the ‘rules’ during his zeitgeist and now they are different, but still there and still being followed, or you are gone! Oh!!!! If we only had a reeeaaallll media???

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