I never met Tim Russert, who died Friday of a heart attack, but I had an appointment with him almost every Sunday morning for Meet the Press. I watched the program to get my dose of political news, but more to watch Russert work. He epitomized what a journalist should be--smart, tough, fair and very well prepared.
An invitation to appear on Meet the Press, which Russert hosted for more than 15 years, was both highly prized and feared by those who entered Russert's den. He could be relentless at times in trying surface a point, often to the extent of making his guests sweat and silently pray for their segment to end. An interview could turn into an interrogation if Russert was on to something and the guest was avoiding questions. I learned from Russert that interviews are all about the homework, being thoroughly prepared and having the "evidence" at hand. He will be greatly missed.