INSIDE TIM RUSSERT'S OFFICE: IF IT'S SUNDAY, IT'S 'MEET THE PRESS'
Opening Nov. 20, Exhibit Recreates NBC Newsman's Washington Office
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 — Step into the office of Tim Russert, one of the country's most respected journalists, in a new exhibit offering a unique window into the world of the moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press."
Inside Tim Russert's Office: If It's Sunday, It's "Meet the Press," which opens Nov. 20, 2009, recreates Russert's NBC Washington office much as it looked on June 13, 2008, the day he collapsed while preparing for his next show and died of a heart attack at age 58. In this unpretentious office, Russert rigorously prepared for interviews that created news and made "Meet the Press" the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program.
Russert's hard-hitting interview style and ability to cut through political spin made him one of the country's most respected journalists. As moderator of the show for nearly 17 years, Russert grilled presidents, members of Congress and foreign leaders, but he was especially remembered for his common touch.
Each Sunday morning, Russert signed off his broadcast with the words "If it's Sunday, it's 'Meet the Press.'"
"Tim was probably the most respected and popular journalist of our time," said Charles L. Overby, chief executive officer of the Newseum. "The public will see both the professional and human sides of Tim as they are invited into his office."
NBC News donated Russert's original office furniture to the Newseum. Many of his personal items were lent to the Newseum by his wife, Maureen Orth, and his son, Luke.
"On behalf of all of us at NBC News, we are deeply touched that the Newseum has chosen to recreate Tim's office for its visitors. As a trustee, Tim was a huge advocate of the Newseum and everything that it represents," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. "From his Buffalo Bills memorabilia to the white board from the 2000 presidential election, I hope that visitors will get a sense of the friend and colleague Tim was and a glimpse into what made Tim's office a very special place for us at NBC News."
Russert's desk is stacked high with research material and handwritten notes, illustrating the rigorous preparation Russert put into each show. The important themes in his life — family, faith and sports — are reflected through the family photos, books and mementos of his beloved Buffalo Bills and other sports teams that line his office.
Other highlights include:
- A large wooden sign reading "Thou Shalt Not Whine" that was located at the front of Russert's desk and summed up his attitude about hard work.
- The white board Russert used during NBC's election night coverage in 2000 containing his handwritten words "Florida, Florida, Florida," in reference to the critical role the southern state played in the election.
- Draft scripts of a "Meet the Press" interview with President George W. Bush in February 2004, with Russert's notes and revisions.
- Russert's collection of historic and nostalgic items from American pop culture and other humorous political souvenirs sent to him by fans.
- Photos from the "Meet the Press" set featuring some of Russert's favorite guests.
A Newseum-produced video, which plays continually in the exhibit, features some of Russert's more memorable interviews and remembrances from those who worked with him and knew him best.
Inside Tim Russert's Office: If It's Sunday, It's "Meet the Press" will be open through 2010.
About the Newseum
The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. Within its seven levels of galleries and theaters, the Newseum offers a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
The Newseum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors (65 and older) and $12.95 for youth (7 to 18). Annual memberships also are available. For additional information, call 888/NEWSEUM (888/639-7386) or visit newseum.org.
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
"INSIDE TIM RUSSERT'S OFFICE" PRESS PREVIEW:
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. (use Freedom Forum entrance on Sixth Street)
Washington, DC 20001
To attend the preview, RSVP to Jonathan Thompson at email@example.com or 202/292-6353.