Published June 16, 2008
This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," June 13, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BILL HELLMER, CO-HOST: Roger Ailes, the chairman, the founder of the FOX News Channel is with me now. I know you know him well. Roger, your thoughts tonight:
ROGER AILES, FOX NEWS CHAIRMAN & CEO (ON THE PHONE): Well, yes, we're all very sad about Tim. I've sent a note to NBC News on behalf of all FOX News employees saying how sad we all are about it. I worked with him for two and a half years at NBC, but I’ve known him for well over 20, and I think before the last presidential election, I had lunch with him. He would always have lunch with people and at lunch, you felt like you were on "Meet the Press," because he always had penetrating questions.
I think the thing I remember and it’s strange on a day like this because it’s so sad, but Tim was one of the funniest guys I knew. He would – he did great impressions when he worked for Moynihan. He did great impressions, Cuomo he did impressions, he did impressions of presidents. He would go into voices. He always had the latest joke. Not only was he funny, he appreciated humor. And so it's hard to find a picture of Tim when he isn't smiling. He was just a guy who enjoyed life.
My last impression, my wife and I were at the Radio & Television Correspondents’ Dinner, and we saw him as we walked into the room and we went over and talked to him. And I said, "How you doing?" And he said, "You know, I’d just got back from driving Luke," I don't know if it was his or Luke's pickup truck, driving him up to Boston. He said, "We were in old clothes and there I am driving this pickup truck, and when I pull into a gas station, some guy would say, ‘Aren't you Tim Russert? What are you are doing out here in a pickup truck?’"
And Tim said, "You know, Roger, that's what life is all about." He said, "I was there because I really wanted to be. I had a chance to talk to my son at long-lengths of time." And he said, "It really was the best time driving back to Boston in that pickup truck."
And that’s sort of the last time -- and that was just a month or so ago when I talked to him. -- He was very, very good at what he did. He was an example for all journalists today and tomorrow.
HEMMER: Well said, Roger. Thank you for that. Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of the FOX News Channel.
AILES: Thank you, Bill.
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