Tim Russert, who died today at age 58, was "possibly America's most influential political journalist," James Poniewozik writes in Time. His no-nonsense style was informed by a Jesuit education in working class Buffalo—but not all appreciated his "gotcha," visceral style of questioning. Yet "his Meet the Press was anything but toothless, and it became established as a required trial by fire for political leaders," Poniewozik writes.
Tributes are flowing in from all quarters of journalism and politics today. Tom Brokaw said in his broadcast that "for all of his success, he was always in touch with the ethos" of blue collar Buffalo, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Clintons, who have had several run-ins with Russert, said in a statement that “in seeking answers to tough questions, he helped inform the American people and make our democracy stronger,” the New York Times reports.