Tim Russert is known as an hard questioner, by establishment standards, but even when he is actually being tough—as with Rudy Giuliani—the guest gets some softballs, and plenty of time to answer the hardballs.
Ron Paul got no softballs, and little time, as Russert asked him question after question after qurstions, fed to him by his staff, with only a few moments for Ron. Yet he swatted the arrows away.
Originally, Russert had announced that Ron would be on for an hour. Then just before airtime, he said 16 minutes. Yet Ron was on for more than twice that, with no commercial breaks. Obviously the director knew hot television when he saw it. He also knew that this show marked a ratings-high for Meet the Press, at least in the Russert era.