The segment was remarkable for the rational, informed tone of the discussion. These guys clearly have some differences of opinion, but their exchanges were respectful and intelligent. No shouting, no posturing - at no point did they even interrupt each other. Russert himself closed by thanking them for the civility of the exchange. As a result, pretty much nothing got in the way of the analysis of the evidence, and a smart viewer couldn't help but come away knowing more about not just the issue, but how science goes about studying issues.
By the pro wrestling standards our media use to conduct public discourse these days this was pretty dry stuff, but I'd take this over Crossfire any day of the week. Those interested in the autism issue should read the transcript.
Also, as a side note, it was pointed out that thimerosal is no longer being used in most vaccines, which means that parents have one less thing to worry about, and also that we'll have some hard evidence with which to evaluate the alleged thimerosal/autism link here in a few short years.