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?
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.