Rick Salutin doesn’t often get a fact wrong. (His interpretations can be debatable, although he’d be surprised how often this corner agrees with him.) But when Rick wrote, “Back in 1995, [Tim Russert] made a guest appearance as himself on an NBC cop show, Homicide, for which they wrote in a ‘cousin’ of his named Lt. Russert – as if he needed some extra promo,” it’s almost exactly backward. The Megan Russert character was long-standing, and the character who got written in was this broadcaster fellow “Tim Russert.” And of course, he didn’t need extra promo: the show did. It always did. It was finally cancelled, unloved except by six or eight regular viewers.

Anyway, here’s the clip. It features “Cameo Acting,” the worst form of acting known to man. Fortunately Tim Russert had other skills.




  1. “I shouldn’t even be here. This is a mistake.”


  2. Worse Russert cameo acting can be seen in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b9QB06oQiQ, part of a student film/teen soap opera parody that Boston College turned into a (kinda) legitimate promotional tool. Russert’s appearance, absurd as it may seem, seems to me a pretty good testament to his love of his son and of a good Jesuit education.

  3. Well thanks, I suppose, for pointing me to Salutin’s piece, as I’m glad to have read it. I’m not sure it tells me much about Russert, but I know it tells me a fair bit about Salutin.

    I’ve got to go find some mouthwash now though.

    I think Salutin just made me throw up a bit in my mouth.

  4. Nice find! Strangely, Tim Russert doesn’t appear to have aged a day between 1995 and 2008.

  5. I don’t know what Tim was talking about. I’ve played golf in Buffalo. It’s no worse than Oakville.

  6. Rick’s right about the ‘gotcha’ style of Russert’s journalism. He had no doubt legions of interns researching every quote to find that gem of an stark inconsistency, and then pressed the politician hard to explain it. Try to evade the question or say it was irrelevant to the discussion about the underlying policy, and you were toast. Give a simple answer – any answer – and that was it, you had made it through. There never was any follow up on the policy in question, the important thing was the appearance of a hard hitting question. I think some Inkless blogger made a similar point not too long ago.

    I liked Russert a lot, but that is probably more a reflection on the talent pool among the over-sized egos and sycophants that are most TV media personalities (where personalities are as or more important than their skill set).

  7. Okay, yes, diabolical acting, but the show was awesome.

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