Tim Russert – My Issue This Sunday

Tim Russert - Waves Goodbye Tim Russert (1950 – 2008) believed that “being informed is the first job of being a good citizen”. I do too. For more than a decade I have watched Tim interview his guests each and every Sunday. I rarely missed Meet the Press.

I was saddened to hear of Tim’s passing last Friday. I’ve been watching the bountiful tributes with misty eyes. I respected his intelligence, preparation, passion for what he did, his omnipresent big smile, good humour and down-home humanity.

Tim’s relationship with is father, Big Russ, was inspiring. When he announced his book, Wisdom of our Fathers, I purchased a copy to give to my dad on father’s day. I used the page included in the book to write a bit about what my father meant to me. My dad liked that.

During every U.S. primary, caucus or election night, I would be keenly interested in what Tim had to say. I never found myself disagreeing with him. I don’t remember a partisan moment. If he said it, I took it very seriously.

It’s Sunday morning as I write this. Tom Brokaw is doing a tribute show for Tim in the background. I have never watched Meet the Press under another moderator. He helped to keep me informed. Sunday morning won’t be the same without him.  His chair will be tough to fill.

Tim Russer's empty table at Meet the Press

Click to watch interview with Tim’s son Luke.

Sydney Pollack – An Appreciation

Syndey PollackI liked Sydney Pollack. I really liked him. My first memory of him was his performance in Tootsie (1982). For years Sydney essentially played the same character over and over – usually a strong, no-nonsense, humane executive, agent, or ‘all-business’ leader type. But, unlike some actors who do that, Michael Caine for example, I’ve never grown tired of it.

I’ve enjoyed watching him interviewed on Charlie Rose a half dozen times. I’ve followed him in the press. He seemed like a really nice guy – certainly intelligent, highly respected and very good at what he did.

He was consistently good in Tootsie (1982), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Random Hearts (1999), Changing Lanes (2002), The Interpreter (2005) and Michael Clayton (2007).

Of course he was also a producer and a terrific director. Actually a better director than he was an actor having directed The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Electric Horseman (1979), Absence of Malice (1981), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985), The Firm (1993) the remake of Sabrina (1995) (though the original was better), Random Hearts (1999), and The Interpreter (2005) among many others. Not all were great but most were very good.

Without a doubt he was a top-tier Hollywood director but I’ll miss his on screen performances the most.

Reference: imdb6 | wikipedia12 | Appearances on Charlie Rose