I'll just add two things. First, this is not a partisan issue. Russert's routine is as bad for Republicans as it is for Democrats. Second, his schtick perpetuates the idea that the worst possible sin in a politician is displaying even a hint of inconsistency. But you know what? It turns out there are worse things. Obviously politicians ought to be held accountable for the words they say, but Russert and his colleagues ought to focus a little more on what's really important and a little less on what somebody said in 1998.
GOTCHA....I'll second Matt Yglesias's takedown today of Tim Russert's stale and clownish version of gotcha journalism. Russert is a one trick pony whose act got stale a long, long time ago.