NBC Washington Bureau chief, Tim Russert, is dead at 58.

A "Russert" search on this blog yields a lot of hits. We have mentioned him often on the Bosque Boys, usually obliquely (in keeping with his role as a facilitator of the American political conversation) and usually with a grudging fondness.

Here is an extended impression of him after an appearance on Washington Journal with Brian Lamb back in May of 2006:

Tim Russert followed. Maybe I am a fool for his working-class persona, but I cannot see how people can generate hatred for Russert. He tells great unassuming stories about being a kid from Buffalo who made good. He offered a meaningful account of how and why his father recently opted for a Ford Crown Vic over a Mercedes, Lexus, or Caddy. He read a moving letter attacking the New York Times Magazine for their sloppy journalism in re a feature that dealt with his personal memories of his mom.

Later, a passionate caller castigated Russert for being in the tank for the Bush administration. Ironically, the indignant caller provided an almost inverse interpretation of the Condi Rice interview from David Limbaugh. Why weren't you as rough on Rice as you were on Nancy Pelosi last week? She accused him of letting his corporate bias cloud his news judgment (FYI: the corporate news conspiracy: all the news orgs are owned by a few corporations who filter and water down the news).

Tim Russert was at the center of American politics for a long time. I will miss him. May God comfort his family, and may God rest his soul.