NBC's Russert Says He Made `Dumb' Statement

NBC News reporter Luke Russert said he made a "dumb" misstatement on the "Today" show Wednesday when he suggested that smart people supported Barack Obama for president.

Almost immediately, Russert took a hazing in the Web world. Wrote Tim Graham of the conservative Media Research Center on the NewsBusters blog: "Out of the mouths of young, untrained reporters come the unspoken beliefs of the liberal media."

Russert, son of the late "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert, is covering youth issues for NBC News. He filed a report for "Today" about campaign activity at the University of Virginia, and talked about it live afterward with Matt Lauer.

Russert, 23, said about the university: "The smartest kids in the state go there so it is leaning a little bit toward Obama."

Oops. Now he's either implied that students at other colleges in Virginia aren't as smart as those at the University of Virginia or that you have to be dumb not to support Obama. Or both.

He said in a blog later Wednesday that he misspoke and "made what is without a doubt, quite simply a dumb comment."

"I meant to say that many of the kids who go to UVA are from affluent, highly educated households who are leaning (toward) Obama and hence their kids lean Obama," he said. "Plenty of smart college kids will vote for John McCain from UVA and plenty of smart kids go to Virginia Tech or George Mason and they, too, could end up being big Obama voters.

"Today was one of my first lessons in the perils of live television," he said. "Lesson learned."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Russ Fan 1 Location: Eastern NC on Sep 29, 2008 at 10:37 AM
    I liked his old man, even though I'm a Repubican. I heard the comment when he said it. I didn't have a problem with it at all. MOVE ON...this is such a non-issue.
  • by Anti-Obama Location: Your Bible on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:52 AM
    Revelation Chapter 13 tells us it is 42 months, and you know what that is.
  • by Tom Location: Washington on Sep 27, 2008 at 07:42 PM
    Oh my gosh, don't we have enough to worry about other than what this young man said. Get over it and lets go onto more important things. This is what is wrong with this country, we have to make a big deal over what someone said. Get over it and move on!
  • by Joseph Location: Kinston on Sep 27, 2008 at 06:41 AM
    Look's like that nut didn't fall far from the tree.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Sep 27, 2008 at 12:53 AM
    Maggie, he did voice his opinion and that of his family, friends and co-workers. He shouldn't back off of it because it is obvious that it is the way he feels. The only mistake he made was betraying the majority of the mainstream media by drawing attention to the fact that they are in the tank for obama. When your child speaks, be careful, they will air your laundry.
  • by tj on Sep 26, 2008 at 05:32 PM
    This one's for you, Mr. or Ms. Editor...kudos to you for posting lots of differing opinions. I don't think anyone can rightfully accuse you of bias. Good show.
  • by tj on Sep 26, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    you say Fox News is ''one-sided''? Oh, but CBS, ABC, and especially NBC, I suppose they're NOT?! Give me a break ! The three major networks have had a monopoly on the news with their nauseatingly liberal spin on everything for decades ! Along comes a lone network that finally gives conservatives equal time, and you have the nerve to complain. Limbaugh said it best : ''To think like a liberal is easy. It just requires the complete abandonment of common sense.''
  • by Steve Location: Kinston on Sep 26, 2008 at 04:31 PM
    Hey---pay me what they are paying this young "intellectual" and I will gladly accept what ever you wish to say about my comments. I remember when I was his age. I had been working for 12 years at some job or the other. I also has served seven years in the military by that age. His problem is that he has attended "play schools". I graduated from the "School of Hard Knocks". I neither commend or castigate him. He does ,however, need to realize that he has a long way to go before he will have any concept of what is going on in this world, especially from his vantage point of "protected status". I wish him well. No, actually, I do not care.
  • by J Location: Belhaven on Sep 26, 2008 at 12:39 PM
    I wonder who is really SMART???????????
  • by maggie Location: Kinston on Sep 26, 2008 at 11:28 AM
    just an error in judgement I don't think he really intended to offend anyone but now you are attacked no matter what you say and if thats the way he really feels then he should like the rest of us be allowed to voice his opinion whthout being chastized for it. give the young fellow a break already!!!!!!!!!!
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