August 14, 2013

"What caused NBC’s Meet the Press to fall behind Face the Nation and This Week?"

Jennifer Rubin tries to answer the question. She's got a list of 8 things, and I especially like:
2. Bob Schieffer has gotten feisty. He zings administration guests, asks probing questions, and gives snappy commentary. Given the choice between a Schieffer and a Gregory interview, I’d watch the former every time.
I agree! I think Schieffer got angry about Susan Rice lying on all the talk shows about Benghazi. He's been on fire since then. He's so old, so I was assuming he was coasting, but he woke up.

Something Rubin doesn't have on her list is: David Gregory is too concerned about being nice. He's always smiling and getting along with the guests. That is not what Tim Russert did. Russert intimidated the guests. He cornered them, often using a brilliant sequence of quotes displayed on screen. Very entertaining! Russert seemed to be directing the show toward us, the audience. Gregory seems more to be letting us watch while he socializes with his Washington friends.

16 comments:

BDNYC said...

Russert was great. At times it was like watching a devastating cross-examination.

Rob said...

Russert's "brilliant sequence of quotes" was often a parody of cross-examination: "In 2005 you said, 'The sun rises in the east," but today you're telling us the sun sets in the west!"

I do wish I'd been in the room when Russert and his editor decided to name his book Big Russ and Me. I've always suspected his original plan was to name it simply Me. It was filled with wonderful anecdotes about Big Russ, such as, "When I visited the Pope, I thought, 'What would Big Russ do in this situation?'"

harkin said...

Bob Scheiffer is not "feisty". He's just the least pliant of the lapdogs. Stephanopolis, Scheiffer and Gregory are all shills for the DNC. My gosh Scheiffer deserved an assist from Obama for his debate performance.

It's a disgrace that we applaud commentators who are only slightly less lapdog than the others.

And ease up on the Russert worship, yeah he's better than what we have now but his "gotcha" momements were different for conservatives and liberals. From the right he wanted embarrassment, from the left he wanted scoops.

The Drill SGT said...

Russert was clearly a liberal Dem. Hell, he'd been Daniel Moynihan's Chief of Staff.

However liberal, he also thought of himself as a journalist. Being a lawyer may have helped his questioning skills. I suspect some Jesuit taught him logic and debate...

Danno said...

I rarely watch these (or any) shows on TV, as I prefer to read, and have found myself disgusted when I watch the clowns on these shows. Thanks Ann for posting the topic and link to Jennifer Rubin's article to inform me on the state of affairs on the MSM's Sunday morning talking heads.

Richard Dolan said...

Who watches any of these shows? I suspect that the dwindling audience consists almost entirely of people who are set in their partisan references.

Almost Ali said...

Gregory is a lightweight. And to some degree, a stooge.

rcocean said...

People focus too much on Gregory. The weak points are the guests and the dull/meaningless round-table. I couldn't care less what David Brooks or some other WaPo/NyT/WSJ writer thinks about the issues.

And the guests! As Rubin states they constantly have the same 20 senators and congress-criters on every week -and many aren't in the leadership or even heads of committees.

Its like a dumbed-down version of the old McNeil-Leher report.

rcocean said...

This stat says it all:

Bob Dole/63 appearances
John McCain/53 appearances
Joseph Biden/43 appearances
Richard Gephardt/41 appearances
Richard Lugar/36 appearances

Gahrie said...

Can't stand Gregory.

I strongly disagreed with Russert much of the time, but I respected him and enjoyed him.

luagha said...

David Gregory also committed a firearms felony on national television. Who wants to watch that?

Michael K said...

I watch This Week for George Will and ignore the others. I usually turn off TW after Will talks.

cubanbob said...

All those shows are so boring. They are all a Washington insider/liberal circle jerk. Agree or disagree when I want intelligent opinion and commentary I go to Ann and my other favorite bloggers.

Stephen Reynolds said...

All those shows are generally boring, in this day and age hardly anything vibrant can't be known by then. Instead they allow for the Susan Rice type political performances. Gregory is just the weakest swimmer fighting to keep from going down the drain.

harkin said...

"I watch This Week for George Will and ignore the others. I usually turn off TW after Will talks."

Watching Katrina Van Der Drivel scanning her notes in panic every time GW speaks is entertainment unto itself.

If only Stephanopolis didn't always stack the deck 3-1 against conservatives plus interrupting whenever a conservative was making a point (not as often as Gregory however).....it could be a halfway decent show.

Jack Okie said...

IMO, nobody did it better than Lawrence Spivak.