Tim Russert (1950-2008)

Tim Russert, Christofer & Benjamin WagnerThe New York Times just confirmed some sad news: Tim Russert has died of a heart attack.

You’ll recall that Chris and I visited Tim in his NBC offices in November, 2006 to interview him for our documentary, “Mister Rogers & Me.”

We scored the interview courtesy of my uncle, with whom Tim had worked for years, after I read Tim’s wife, Maureen Orth, remembrance of Mister Rogers in The Nantucket Inquirer-Mirror some months earlier.

It was a cold, drizzly Monday morning as we pulled into NBC’s Washington, DC, bureau. Despite a fair dose of preparation, I felt exceedingly nervous. Here I was — some kid from Iowa — interviewing on of journalism’s foremost interviewers. Worse, it was only Chris and my third shoot, and one that had to take place under challenging circumstances; we had just fifteen minutes to get what we needed.

We were ushered through the lobby by his assistant, Lisa, past the “Meet The Press” set, to a large, off-white, windowless conference room dominated by a huge, oak table. Chris and I quickly conferred on our set up, and tossed up our two lights — one of which was missing its bulb. Moments before one of the biggest interviews of my life, I dashed through the rain to the car for a replacement.

I was pacing the conference room when Tim finally walked in.

Please visit “Making ‘Mister Rogers & Me’ to read the rest of this blog post.

Related Posts