Tim Russert's reputation for "objectivity" is based upon the diligence of his staff, which actually take the trouble to sift through a politican's record for contradictions. In response the politician stammers that he was "taken out of context." Whereupon Russert DROPS THE SUBJECT. If he actually questioned their incoherent jargon, called them on their use of cliches (look to the language, Orwell always said), forced them into retreat, then he would deserve his reputation.
"Meet The Press" was usually a politican's last stop, akin to the confessional, wherein Fr. Russert would scowl and look paternal (meanwhile the guest would look penitent and humble, yet eager for more self-abasement) before administering a figurative sign of the cross and blessing. Of course, this is considered Real Fair and Balanced journalism (I can't imagine that when the obits for Seymour Hersh are written we'll see many references to his empyrean detachment). Journalists shouldn't be merely "respected" and loved; they should inspire odium and fear.
If I'm being too harsh on Russert, it's a response to the adulation he inspires in most of my reporter friends. The world in which they operate allows so few chances for uncompromised reporting that Russert's occasional feints look honorable in context. All the best to Big Russ, the father he adored, who shouldn't have to endure this on this of all possible weekends.