Longreads

“When I run for president,” Tim Russert would tell candidates who tried to turn his interviews back on him, “I’ll answer all your questions.”

If Russert was anything, he was skeptical. As the longtime moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, Russert gave viewers the impression that he’d both heard everything before and that this kind of thing — no matter how unique any new movement may have seemed — had already happened. Every event had a historical precedent, and so did every tactic and every lie and every political sidestep. Russert had a long memory, and he knew what questions to ask.

Russert died ten years ago today, on June 13, 2008. A decade on, journalists and moderators are still trying to live up to his legacy for asking the right questions. Whenever I try to think of who is carrying his baton today, with the same rigor and acuity, I’m…

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