In this brave new online world, one of the no-brainer stops for reaction to big events is now social media - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like. On Facebook, new groups commemorating Tim Russert have sprung up — RIP Tim Russert, Tribute to Tim Russert, and Buffalo will always love you, Tim Russert — plus sorrowful posts on pre-existing groups like Tim Russert is my Homeboy, Tim Russert Is My Anti-Drug, and I love Election Night because of Tim Russert and his whiteboard. There are many more — a search for "Tim Russert" yields 153 Facebook groups — and there are a few cranks in there, but you get the picture.
Meanwhile, on the various NBC/MSNBC MySpace pages (not to mention the network's blogs), comments are piling up from fans and admirers expressing their sadness and sympathy at the loss. The pages for Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd and other network colleagues have all accrued many comments from viewers reacting to the news and to the on-air sadness so clearly visible over the weekend (and, yes, for many hours). Meanwhile, Russert's page was quickly replaced with "Tim Russert - In Memoriam" page with photos, video and updated information about his death. The page currently has 504 comments.
On Facebook and Twitter particularly, people held forth in their taglines, emoting in 140-character spurts of feeling, reacting to the news of Russert's death. Here are a few culled from those sources (as well as Gchat taglines) - keep in mind that these sources are network-specific, so it reflects my online circle (594 friends - or "friends" - on Facebook). Some of these are journalists, obviously, and some of these are civilians, as it were — and some of these are probably in your network so you've seen them already (never mind that "Matthew" sort of shows his hand), but for the sake of semi-privacy I've restricted it to first names only. It's loosely in reverse chronological order, for no reason other than the fact that it reflects the period from Friday to Monday, and I arbitrarily added any new examples at the top.
Carolyn just wanted to publicly say she is sad about Russert.
Claire is thinking of Tim R.
Rachel is always slayed by Thunder Road, but especially today.
Jay Meet the Press today on Russert is so revealing of the tribe's beliefs & sacred rites, most of all: "tough but fair" and "do your homework."
Sara is composing herself after the memorial Meet the Press.
Jack is missing Tim Russert.
Katie is sad about Tim Russert.
Eric wonders if 36 hours of tim russert tributes on msnbc will suffice.
Chez wishes there were more political journalists like Tim Russert.
Howard is mourning Tim Russert. He was, among many other things, a terrific guy who never let it all go to his head.
Janis sad. we needed tim russert.
Anya will miss Tim Russert.
Eric Matt on Tim Russert here
Kevin is mourning the loss of Tim.
Jonathan RIP, Tim Russert.
John is Sad, sad, sad.
Matthew is sad. Tim was a great friend to me through the CIA leak case. (We faced contempt together for a time.) So very sad.
Andrea is so sad. RIP Tim Russert.
Adam is deeply saddened by the passing of a legend and a role model.
Alana is sad.
Michael will watch MTP this week.
Adam R.I.P TIM RUSSERT.
Barry Is Also Very Sorry To Hear The News About Tim Russert. He Was A Very Good Man.
Giacinta is praying for Tim Russert's family, he was a very nice man. I will miss him.
Serena wishes Tim Russert could have seen the conclusion of this historic election year.
David is wow, Tim Russert. Rest in peace.