I lived for Sunday mornings.
Photo credit: Getty Images, The New York Observer
It wasn’t for the satisfaction of sleeping in after staying out late on Saturday nights. It wasn’t to revel in the last free morning of all-too-short weekends.
On any given Sunday for the last 12 years, my alarm clock was set for 10 minutes before 10. I raced to brush my teeth, grab some breakfast, and turn on the TV. Upon hearing a chorus of brass and string instruments, and the words, “Our issues this Sunday,” I knew I had made it. I didn’t want to miss a second. It was time for Meet The Press.
The news of Tim Russert’s death this afternoon left me vulnerably nostalgic. Tim Russert was the reason I got into journalism. When I applied to the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, I framed my passion for journalism in my personal statement by alluding to my regard for what I naively termed his weekly “modern-day Spanish Inquisitions.” His fairness, his preparation, his tenacity – these were the virtues I wanted to embody as a journalist, I wrote. He was my standard bearer.
What I respect most about Russert was his unwavering committment to his craft. He fought his way through smokescreens and half-truths by openly challenging the honesty of public officials purportedly committed to faithfully serving the American people. He shunned lip-service, and he demanded clarity. He even took time on certain Sundays to set Washington aside and examine in-depth some of the most pressing issues of our time – religion, race, and the family.
Those of Russert’s caliber are few and far between. During my experience in Peru, I’ve realized how easily the truth can be hidden behind a cluster of stars or a handful of medals. After having enjoyed hours upon hours of Russert’s Sunday intrigue, I can say that I’ve learned three important lessons that will hopefully serve me well while I am in Peru.
Work hard, be fair, and dig deep.
Posted By Ash Kosiewicz
Posted Jun 13th, 2008