The smartest man in Washington, DC died on Friday. I was driving home from work when the radio announcer (I listen to the local news station these days) said that Washington had lost one its key news reporters. I figured it was someone well-known, but hadn’t been around in awhile. Then they said it was Tim Russert! Of course I was shocked, as was everyone. I didn’t think he’d been ill, and he certainly wasn’t that old.
I’m not a news junkie. About the only time I listen to the news is driving to work & back. That’s about all I can take. (And even then it’s sometimes difficult when the announcers are interviewing someone and start to get argumentative. It’s part of my personality that I hate confrontation. My Myers-Briggs profile even says so.) But in recent years I’d learned that I could make good, informed decisions on various issues by listening to Tim Russert. I knew that I’d not only have all the facts, I knew the information would be unbiased.
Although I knew who Tim Russert was, I never paid that much attention to him until the 2000 (fiasco of a) Presidential election. Here was the guy who’d said the results would all come down to Florida. I figured I should start listening to someone who understood the election down to that level of detail. And when I began listening to him in earnest, I found him to be totally unbiased, looking at all angles of the situation, giving me the information I needed to make up my own mind.
Oh, and his white board with “Florida, Florida, Florida” written on it is in the Smithsonian Museum.