The Corner

Tim Russert & 9/11

Dick Cheney with Matt Lauer this morning:

Tim was never into “gotcha” journalism. He would ask you tough questions, he would remind you of quotes you made previously in other settings or on earlier shows, so you never got away with anything going up vis-à-vis Tim. But the main thing was, it wasn’t just politics; it was substance. And the best way to discuss a complex subject under extraordinary circumstances — which is the situation we faced in September of 2001, just a few days after 9/11 — was to go on “Meet the Press.”

Q Yeah, I remember that interview vividly. The nation was reeling. I was glued to that. Anything stand out from that interview?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I always, when I think of Tim and think of “Meet the Press,” that’s the show that always comes to mind. We did it up at Camp David. The President and the national security team were meeting all weekend up at Camp David, planning our response to 9/11. And Tim came up there and we did the show from a facility right next door.

And it was a remarkable moment in American history. There was this tremendous sense, obviously, that something enormously significant had happened on 9/11. And, of course, we had lost 3,000 Americans that morning to the worst terrorist attack in our history. And Tim captured on the show — and the way he handled it, captured the feeling and the emotion of the moment. But he also gave us a great opportunity to get into the substance of the kind of response that was being considered, analysis of who had done it.

We went back and reminisced to some extent about what had actually happened on the morning of 9/11. So it was — it was a remarkable moment in my career. But a lot of that was due to Tim and the way he handled the show.


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