"I see "Meet the Press" as a national treasure. In its 56th year, I am the temporary custodian, and I know that when my time is over, I'll pass it on to someone else."
About This Interview
Tim Russert says that on Meet the Press he tries to ask questions that the effect the everyday lives of viewers: "The first question I ever asked on Meet the Press was to Senator Bob Dole. There was a tax cut put in place for people making over $50,000 a year, and I asked him why that group was being targeted— while people who were buying a cup of coffee or a glass of beer were being charged sales tax. Well, my dad loved that question. He drinks coffee, he drinks beer." Tim Russert worked for NBC News for over two decades and at the time of his untimely death was the longest-serving moderator on Meet the Press. In his Archive interview, Tim Russert speaks about his early years growing up in Buffalo, NY and his decision to go to law school. He then talks about his transition to television news, joining NBC News in 1984 as vice president — working closely with his mentor, NBC president Lawrence Grossman. He chronicles his next career moves: in 1988, he became the Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief of NBC News and in 1991 he joined Meet the Press as its moderator. He discusses meeting with Meet the Press co-creator Lawrence Spivak, who gave him the advice to "learn as much as you can about your guest, and his and her position on the issues. And then take the other side." He took this advice to heart in his over 16 years at the helm of Meet the Press . He also reveals what he considers the biggest news story of his career, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States. Tim Russert (1950-2008) was interviewed in Washington D.C. on the set of Meet the Press on October 12, 2003; Karen Herman conducted the 20-minute interview, which was to be the first part of his full Archive interview.