Russert Remembered on 'Meet the Press'

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Friends and colleagues remembered Tim Russert on Sunday during a special edition of "Meet the Press," just two days after his death from a heart attack.

And fittingly, they left empty the moderator's chair Russert occupied for so many years.

"His voice has been stilled," began Tom Brokaw, who led the conversation, "and our issue this sad Sunday morning is remembering and honoring our colleague and our friend."

Russert's son, Luke, spoke about how his father always told him that he loved him on NBC's "Today" show, Monday morning,

"There's not a day that goes by that I did not know my father loved me," he said. "My grandfather spoke more through actions and concrete language and emotions, but my father, being the product of the baby-boomer generation could express emotion, and he definitely did towards me. And for that, I'm eternally grateful."

Russert was the longest-serving moderator on "Meet the Press," television's longest-running program. He had hosted the Sunday morning broadcast for more than 16 years.

All of those on the program agreed that Russert was tough, but fair when he conducted his interviews.

What he didn't like, said consultant-pundit James Carville, was an elected official or anybody else who wasn't prepared to face him.

"The biggest insult to him was someone who came on and ... didn't take the show seriously," Carville said.

"He would spend all week preparing," said executive producer Betsy Fischer.

PBS' Gwen Ifill, a former NBC correspondent, called the program "The Church of Tim."

"I would actually get a pass from my own pastor to not be in church on Sunday if I was gonna be on 'Meet the Press,"' she said with a smile.

Besides his duties on "Meet the Press," Russert also served as chief political analyst, a frequent correspondent and was an election-night on camera fixture sitting alongside MSNBC or NBC's main anchors like Brokaw or Brian Williams. He was also NBC News' Washington bureau chief.

The network has not released any statement concerning who would host "Meet the Press" next week, or in the weeks that follow.

Sources: The Associated Press, The Today Show

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