Veteran journalist and “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert died Friday of an apparent heart attack while recording voice-overs for Sunday’s show, according to NBC. Russert, 58, was also the network’s Washington bureau chief and had grilled politicians and public figures on “Meet the Press” since 1991.
A “Meet the Press” grilling was often considered an essential proving ground in the career of any national politician. Russert took the helm of the 60-year-old public affairs program in 1991.
“If you could pass the Tim Russert test, you could do something in this field,” said Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for Newsweek magazine and msnbc.com columnist.
Russert’s tenacity as a reporter and his consuming passion for politics was evident during his nearly round-the-clock appearances on NBC and MSNBC on election nights.