January 7, 2014

"Meet The Press" has run out of time, right?

Politico has an item titled "NBC's 'Meet The Press' hits historic lows in the final quarter of 2013":
It's no secret that NBC's "Meet The Press" has been in bad shape of late. Indeed, the show has been on the decline since David Gregory took over in 2008. But the most recent numbers are especially troubling.
This is no mystery! The show is completely different without Tim Russert, who challenged his guests — "guests" seems like the wrong word — with questions, often built on a series of quotes — displayed on screen — that would box them in painfully. We at home enjoyed the tension and pain. Gregory expects us to look on as the respected elite of Washington are made comfortable while they deliver the speeches they arrived with. And Gregory plays favorites, shoring up liberal commentators when they seem to be stumbling, supplying arguments and glossing over rough spots for them. Russert would go in for the kill.

Make it fun for us, not for your guests, Gregory. We, the audience, are the guests who need to be having a good time. You don't have a show without us. You just have a bunch of Washington insiders giving their talking points.

Watching last Sunday's show, I mistakenly believed that Gregory vocalized his awareness that he was just letting his guest blather out talking points. The guest was — as Gregory put it — "President Obama's economic point man Gene Sperling. He is the Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for economic policy." He's the "point man," on the show to give the Administration's points.

I guess they thought this wasn't ludicrous because they had another guy on the other side. It was "the host of CNBC's Mad Money, Jim Cramer. He's got a new book out called Get Rich Carefully." Well, hell! NBC balances the Administration's "point man" with an NBC insider who has a new book. This segment was set up with video of Obama speechifying about how Americans care about mothers and children struggling through tough times. Anyway, that's all so absurdly unpromising that somebody made a decision to put a segment of the panel of commentators before them. The panel normally comes at the end of the show. Instead, the first thing that happens, as Gregory tries to keep us, the audience, on board, is him turning to Chuck Todd  — the Political Director of NBC News! — and asking him how Obama can "take his presidency back" — which translates in my head to: Obama's in trouble, how can we help?

The intra-NBC colloquy looks like this:
MR. TODD: Well, it’s going to have to start with making sure health care works. I mean, at the end-- you know, it’s interesting-- 
No! It's not interesting!
I was talking with some administration officials over the weekend...
Lucky you! You insider-y insider! I think I'll just lean back while you bathe me in the Administration's talking points. So, yeah, first, make sure health care works. Okay. Hey, NBC bigwigs, complete numbskulls don't even watch Sunday morning news shows.
... and I said so what's your January going to look like, and they ticked off a whole bunch of issues. 
Really? Thanks, Mr. Todd. Could you now tick off the issues so that we can relive the wonderful experience that you had when some administration officials ticked off talking points to you?
Confirmation to Janet Yellen, fight for unemployment, insurance. We’re going to have those NSA reforms…
GREGORY: Yeah.
Oh! An incisive contribution from Mr. Gregory. He says, "yeah." What a nice man! Supporting the recitation of a list of issues by the Political Director of his network.
MR. TODD: …so they're going to take all these issues. They sort of left out health care completely, and I said, so what does health care look like? 
See? Todd, who's also NBC's Chief White House correspondent, offered a smidgeon of pressure: What about health care?
Well, they said, as long as everything continues to get a little bit better, a little bit better, they think they can somehow ease things. And I-- and ultimately, no matter what, they would like to be talking about anything other than health care.

GREGORY: Right…
Right! Gregory's contributions, faced with his fellow NBC insider, were: "Yeah" and "Right." Gregory then goes around the table and invites the other panelists to say something about what Obama needs to succeed. Gregory's question is a statement followed by the word "right" — "right" with a question mark. The Obama administration people — Todd's unnamed "officials" — "want some credit for a good year, right?" We have to listen to 3 panelists answer to "Right?," each speaking in an uninterrupted paragraph. (100-150 words in the transcript. I counted.) These guests are: Democratic Congresswoman (Donna Edwards), Steve Schmidt (the ostensible Republican, you know, the one who trashed Sarah Palin after the 2008 election), and Judy Woodruff (from PBS, so presumably NBC's idea of a neutral, objective voice). Do you care what they said? I'll summarize. Edwards said things are getting better and better and that's good news for Obama. Schmidt says health care will be a major issue even though Obama would prefer to forefront other issues. And Woodruff says everything everybody's said so far is right.

Wait, I was wrong about saying that each panelist got out an uninterrupted paragraph. At one point, Gregory interrupted Woodruff to say "Right."

So, is anyone still watching? We arrive at the video of Obama modeling empathy for the poor and hungry. Denying families security is just plain cruel. Sperling and Cramer appear. There's a lot of talk that I won't summarize. And we're getting to the end of the segment, and the transcript looks like this:
MR. SPERLING: …and David, today is the first day-- this is the first week ever where women cannot be discriminated against on their health care just because they're women. It's the first time 129 million Americans…

GREGORY: Okay.
Okay! He says "okay." He doesn't challenge with a question that digs into the meaning of the claim of discrimination.
MR. SPERLING: …cannot be discriminated against because they have a preexisting condition.
GREGORY: These are the selling points.
I perked up here. These are the selling points. Is Gregory about to take charge and stop the Administration's "point man" from dropping his points in exactly the form the Administration likes? Will Gregory actually challenge the guest?
MR. SPERLING: I’m talking about…

GREGORY: I’m not going to let you get [crosstalk].

MR. SPERLING: I'm proud of it and-- and it's important for American people.
Whoa! I actually cheered out loud as I watched this in real time. Gregory knows what the problem is, I thought. I mean, it's ridiculous that he's saying it out loud: I can't just let you say your selling points. I need to challenge you. But at least it's a start. Admit you've got a problem. I rewound to listen again. I listened to the part that the NBC transcriber rendered as "[crosstalk]."

What Gregory said was: "I’m not going to let you get to all of them 'cause I'm outta time."

Yes, you are out of time. You're all out of time. We're not going to let you get to all your talking points. It's our time, and we're not giving you any more of it.

89 comments:

chr1 said...

So is he a journalist?

A lawyer turned broadcaster and Washington resident digesting talking points somewhere in the third stomach?

A chronicler of power?

Brando said...

Isn't Jim Cramer a Democrat and Obama supporter anyway? This is like setting up a debate between a kitten and a sligthly different looking kitten.

Greek Donkey said...

I agree buti also think these shows depend on high level officials and high ranking members of congress subjecting themselves to quesrions, which they don't seem to be as willing to do as they used to. I don't want to return to Russert erra, though, because it was too uch him. They should gomback to a panel of members of the press asking questins of one guest at a time.

Ann Althouse said...

Cramer has been an Obama opponent, according to Wikipedia: "On March 2, 2009, Cramer drew the attention of some critics after his evaluation of President Obama’s spending plans and the administration’s handling of the banking crisis. Cramer’s name came up on March 3, 2009, during a White House press briefing after Cramer said that Obama was responsible for 'the greatest wealth destruction I have seen by a president'.... On March 5, 2009, Cramer responded to the White House. He said, 'Huh? Backup? Look at the incredible decline in the stock market, in all indices, since the inauguration of the president, with the drop accelerating when the budget plan came to light because of the massive fear and indecision the document sowed: Raising taxes on the eve of what could be a second Great Depression, destroying the profits in health care companies, tinkering with the mortgage deduction at a time when U.S. house price depreciation is behind much of the world's morass and certainly the devastation affecting our banks, and pushing an aggressive cap and trade program that could raise the price of energy for millions of people.'"

But now that the stock market has been amply bolstered, I don't know where that puts Cramer.

Brando said...

I like Greek Donkey's idea--bring back the gauntlet of skeptical members of the press, with the rule that anyone who asks a softball question gets banned from the show. Make it a truly tough round of questioning where spin and talking points can get picked apart, so viewers will see the press at their best and the spinmeisters either doing a heroic job keeping it together, or an entertaining spectacle of flailing. The ratings would be through the roof--a better show of its type than any other--and politicians would feel compelled to go on so they don't seem cowardly.

Brando said...

Ann--I see--though I thought I remembered during the Jon Stewart vs. Cramer fight a few years back that Cramer protested that he'd voted for Obama and was a registered Democrat. Though he certainly became more critical of Obama early on (which made him a persona non grata for the Daily Show).

Pogo is Dead said...

Memo
Meet the Press
December 7, 2008
To: David Gregory
From: Rob Yarin, Executive Producer

It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

Capisce?

Rob.

Unknown said...

Washington journalists' life's blood is "access." And the only way you get "access" with an administration like this one is by currying favor. Basically our press corps is a bunch of toadies and cowards.

Ann Althouse said...

The loss of Russert was profound. There's no way to go back to him. He's gone. But NBC should have shown respect for the value he built up in their old show. They acted like they just owned a name of a show that had inherent value. But to produce a bad show under that name was worse than to put on some other show that's an assemblage of talking points. That show is a weekly demonstration of the failure to understand the value Russert had given to that old show name.

Larry J said...

Brando said...
I like Greek Donkey's idea--bring back the gauntlet of skeptical members of the press, with the rule that anyone who asks a softball question gets banned from the show.


The problem with that is that most of the Press is just the PR wing of the DNC. How about a panel of ordinary citizens? Make the politicians keep answering the questions until people can cut through the double-speak.

Bob Ellison said...

Yes, "the loss of Russert was profound". He was a treasure, and easily the best interviewer on TV. His show was the only one I made time for every week.

The new guy is awful. I stopped watching after his first few shows.

Now I do Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace is very good, and he's as tough on righties as on lefties.

tim in vermont said...

Well Althouse, thank you, I think, for watching it for me. I haven't watched the show in years though I used to be addicted to this type of show, shows like "Washington Week in Review" the original "Crossfire" (Jane, you ignorant slut! Version)

Limbaugh may have his problems, but there really is very little counterpoint to the alphabet networks. I can't even watch FOX anymore. I don't really care which deserving veteran is being denied his patriotic right to fly a flag by his condo association.

I think that for political junkies like myself, it is far more fun to participate in a discussion with the not like-minded on a blog, than to watch a tongue bath by some lickspittle leftie in the guise of a newsman.

RecChief said...

The difference is thta Russert was a journalist, Gregory is still trying to get invites to the "elite" parties. There is difference

Brando said...

It certainly makes you appreciate what was so enjoyable about Russert. I used to watch that show every Sunday, hangovers notwithstanding. Turns out he was a Democrat, but from just watching his show you really couldn't tell if there was any side he was ever on--anyone taking the chair in front of him was going to be treated with healthy skepticism, and Russert's team did great research ahead of time and could break down any spin.

What's more, he did it with a level of politeness that never made him seem like a jerk (which is not the case with most TV pundits these days). Just friendly and smiling, and not about to let anyone get an easy ride. And because of MTP's ratings and reputation, they could still get high profile guests.

Dale Light said...

They are not going to bring back a panel of journalists who ask hard questions about the administration's policies until there is a Republican in the White House, and then it will be nothing but hard questions.

AJ Lynch said...

If any of the networks had balls, they'd replace Gregrory with a Taranto or a Reynolds or even an Althouse. Of course, none of the Imperial City poobahs would get caught dead on that show so the guests would have to be anti-govt types.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

A masterful takedown, Ann.

So I'll supply some crudity:

Good fucking riddance, MTP. Shameless hacks, all.

Bob Ellison said...

AJ Lynch, I like the idea of an Althouse show! First episode: Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren.

rehajm said...

The loss of Russert was profound. There's no way to go back to him. He's gone

I miss him to but the format he used on the show could be reproduced if they were willing. It isn't difficult to research the points and load the quotes into the chyron.

If they were willing...

rehajm said...

In the mornings we have CNBC running to catch how US markets will open. Last election cycle they took a similar turn left, fawning over their Democratic guests while stifling those on the right. We had to turn the sound off. Now their ratings are way off and there's more centrism and a few stabs at journalism, though it's unlikely to last once Barack is back to having something to say every day.

John Lynch said...

The point of the show isn't to change minds, but to provide the talking points the audience needs to avoid changing its mind.

It's a service, you see.

Illuninati said...

No one needs TV news anymore. The internet provides news more quickly without the need to wallow through hours of propaganda. If Meet The Press dies who cares?

SGT Ted said...

The last person they should have picked was David Gregory. He was a Democrat Party kiss-ass when he was a regional reporter in California. Tim Russert was a reporter. Gregory is a DC Beltway toady and suck-up.

rehajm said...

But now that the stock market has been amply bolstered, I don't know where that puts Cramer.

He's still quite critical of the administration, particularly as it relates to energy policy. They're killing the golden goose, more or less.

Bob Boyd said...

Great post. I hope David Gregory reads it.
If so, he'll be taking his anti-depresants via suppository for a while, until he can get his face out his hands.

betamax3000 said...

Perhaps They Have Just taken on an Alternative Meaning of the Name "Meet the Press." It is Not Our Representatives Meeting a Questioning Press, it is Us, the People, Meeting the Press That Supposedly Represent Journalism. Upon Meeting This Dysfunctional Press it is No Wonder We Don't Like Them.

jacksonjay said...


In early December, Davy had Mike Rogers the former FBI agent/Congressman as a guest. Of course this was during the website crisis and Rogers was concerned about the security of the site. Rogers was teamed with Rep. Chris Van Hollen who argued that the website was fixed and ACA is great!

Gregory introduced the next segment as a "reality check"! The guests were Zeke the Architect and Ezra the Wunderkind! Obviously, the whole segment was Gregory allowing the hacks to present the "selling points" for the Administration. MTP "reality" indeed!

lemondog said...

"David and team are poised to set the political agenda

Set the political agenda means, what, setting the direction and tone? Isn’t that kinda what talk shows should do?

Used to watch ALL the Sunday talk shows, ending with Buckley early afternoon, and only the PBS evening news. That dwindled to PBS news and finally ended all network news shows a number of years ago, opting for Internet news...Yahoo, Google, Bing, other, as well as some online newspapers.

Curious what talk show ratings were a decade ago or so, along with the age demographics. Are younger people going elsewhere for news, or perhaps they just are not interested.

In today’s environment would Tim Russert be able to command stronger ratings?

CBS 3,340,000 total viewers doesn’t seen a lot given an adult population roughly 235 million.

Bruce Hayden said...

Gregory is one talking head I tend to walk out of the room when I find them is on the air, ever since he illegally brought the illegal standard sized magazine on air in DC, showing his egregious partisanship and cluelessness in the gun debate, and then was not charged for the national televised crime, apparently because his wife as buddies with the head prosecutor. Something like that.

St. George said...

Back in the day, Meet the Press hosted foreign leaders. I remember seeing the Shah of Iran.

What happened to that?

The relentless focus on Washington play-by-play gossip gets old. People are starving in Greece. The French government is laughable. Turkey's a muddle. The Senkakus. Nothing about those things.... Not important, I guess.

MadisonMan said...

Russert always seemed to be working -- finding quotes, investigating angles, etc.

Gregory coasts. He brings in "guests" and lets them rule.

That's not interesting to watch, not at all.

lemondog said...

The relentless focus on Washington play-by-play gossip gets old. People are starving in Greece. The French government is laughable. Turkey's a muddle. The Senkakus. Nothing about those things.... Not important, I guess.

Ditto local ‘news’

Breaking news = a car crash, fire, traffic snarl..... but nothing on city/state government.

Original Mike said...

"Cramer has been an Obama opponent, according to Wikipedia"

I bet Cramer wrote the Wikipedia article. More than once I've scratched my head as I've watched Cramer tow the liberal line.

While NBC may wish for better ratings, they'll grin and bear it for "the cause". From their viewpoint it's like paying taxes; a civic duty.

David said...

The walking dead can talk to the other walking dead until eternity.

SGT Ted said...

Oh yes, the felonious, Common Sense Gun Law Breaking, David Gregory. I had almost forgotten that part.

If you outlaw 30 round magazines, only criminals and David Gregory will have access to them.

CStanley said...

They could just change the title to "Meet the Lapdogs".

I haven't watched, but it sounds like I'm not missing anything. I agree with one of the comments above, they would have done better to have retained Russet's formula of putting up the quotes and having the guest defend his or her words.

alan markus said...

"the Press" is a term that seems a bit archaic, as is "speed dial" on your phone.

Chuck said...

As someone said above, Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday is as good a questioner as Russert ever was.

Professor Althouse, you quit too soon in your summary of last Sunday's Meet the Press. You didn't get to David Gregory's excellent but mild questioning of Janet Napolitano, who will lead the Obama-selected political delegation to accompany the U.S. Olympic team to Russia. It's a weird selection, in that the whole point of the delegation was to send a high-profile list of gay and lesbian American athletes along with Napolitano. But Napolitano, long rumored to be a lesbian, has alwyas said that she is not a lesbian, and she opposed same-sex marriage initiatives when she was running for governor of Arizona. (Good question is whether she was fair game for being "outed" by gay activists if indeed she was a closeted gay politician who opposed marriage equality.) Gregory asked her about her flipping on the gay marriage issue and she just mumbled something about evolving and that a lot of people have changed their minds and yada yada yada. And that is of course where David Gregory let her off the hook.

Chuck said...

From the MTP transcript:

GREGORY: So you’re no longer Homeland Security secretary, so I could ask you all those political questions that I wanted to ask you for so long from when you were a politician. So here’s a couple. We’re talking about the statement about gay rights in America and same-sex marriage, and some of the difficulties that athletes experience in Russia. When you were governor, you opposed same-sex marriage. Have you changed your views on that?
MS. NAPOLITANO: Yes. I-- I think-- like many in political and elective life in the early part of this century, that the evolution hadn’t occurred and my statements were very much in-- in that way; which is to say that this was something that society-- in a way, the arc of history as it were-- needed to-- to get there. And the arc of history has clearly arrived.

[Gregory then turns away from the gay marriage "evolution" and turns to Napolitano's having endorsed Obama over Clinton, and whether she will endorse Clinton in '16, which of course she will.]

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/53985963/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts/#.Uswi6NJDvE0

Pogo is Dead said...

Why do you bother watching?
Do you expect something to change or to be revealed?
Why do you think so?
Is there any evidence for it?
It's like believing PRAVDA was monitoring and critiquing Stalin.

The US press and government are a Möbius strip of logrolling.
Dick Gregory was hired to do PR for Obama, nothing more.

Larry Nelson said...

As I understand it, a hundred years ago most newspapers were highly partisan, and consumers read what suited their opinions.
Technology evolved and limited stations on radio and TV necessitated the facade of objectivity.
Later, as more media options emerged, the facade cracked, to reveal the partisanship of the DC elite (insider) media.
Gregory will not miss any cocktail party's.
For the rest of us: Pick the news source that satisfies your mind.

Michael K said...

"He was a treasure, and easily the best interviewer on TV. His show was the only one I made time for every week."

People have forgotten that This Week was a vehicle for David Brinkley, the last conservative TV host, to joust with lefties Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. When Brinkley died. TV news died.

Eric said...

This is why the old media aristocracy is doomed and nobody will care. You describe the difference between Tim Russert and David Gregory wonderfully. The result is obvious and has been for a while. NBC will continue to react by doing nothing. Perhaps, maybe, in a few years, David Gregory will leave to pursue "other assignments" and he will be replaced by his twin. Probably a woman, because that will "shake things up."

madAsHell said...

David Gregory has a face for radio.
His eyes always tell me that he is lying.

Paul Fraker said...

Ann, a while back you mentioned that Bob Scheiffer was getting "feisty" (I believe you used that word) which was making "Face the Nation" more interesting. I agree. Also, I find that he relies less on conventional wisdom types in his roundtable. When will ABC put Cokie Roberts out to pasture? Everything that comes out of her mouth is dead. And Judy Woodruff, God bless her, wouldn't dare swat a fly on her show, let alone on someone else's. She is a poor interviewer as well---"What about that?" is about all she can muster.

Original Mike said...

A third vote for Chris Wallace. We get up Sunday morning to catch his show. I sometimes then watch Gregory's show, but more as sport than to learn anything.

EDH said...

"What Gregory said was: "I’m not going to let you get to all of them 'cause I'm outta time."

Yes, you are out of time. You're all out of time. We're not going to let you get to all your talking points. It's our time, and we're not giving you any more of it."

Outta Time

You don't know what's going on
You've been away for far too long
You can't come back and think you are still mine
You're out of touch, my baby
My poor discarded baby
I said, baby, baby, baby, you're out of time

Well, baby, baby, baby, you're out of time
I said, baby, baby, baby, you're out of time
You are all left out
Out of there without a doubt
'Cause baby, baby, baby, you're out of time

Pogo is Dead said...

NBC's Meet The Pantscrease.

FleetUSA said...

Professor,

Thank you for watching and reporting on such silly DNC blather. I gave up on the Sunday morning shows a long time ago. It is all inside softball.

Pogo is Dead said...

Teen Beat for the disintelligentsia.

Writ Small said...

I heard Russert once describe his preparation process, which basically consisted of drawing a line down a sheet of paper and putting the "pro" arguments on one side and the "cons" on the other. That exercise seemed to be all it took to come across as balanced.

Russert critized everyone, of course, so I guess that made him the most annoying person in the restaurant or something, but that also made him much respected by me.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Russert was OK, but he wasn't that great - he just appeared to be when compared to the majority of the liberal media.

William said...

Melissa Perry-Harris could host a segment on which Republicans have overweight children. She could ask those Republicans probing questions about whether their professional duties are causing them to be failures as parents. I'm sure the segment would be wildly popular with NBC's core audience and would spike ratings.

Michael said...



Russert was full of shit but for that little gimmick of using other people's quotes to make them squirm. But so what? What difference did that squirming make? Russert was an insider and he loved being an insider. All that squirming was laughed off later over drinks at the Palm.

Nobody watches those shows anymore except old people whose minds are not going to be changed.

eric said...

File this under, Yet another reason to vote Republican.

Vote Republican if for no other reason than to get the press to do their damn job.

If you want the government to be held accountable, vote Republican.

If you trust the government to take care of you and do what's right for you and the rest of the country, vote Democrat.

Levi Starks said...

So... Death of Russert = Death of objective journalism?

Skeptical Voter said...

Mr. T used to say "I pity the fool".

Anybody who has nothing better to do on Sunday morning than to watch the current iteration of Meet The Press deserves some sympathy.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why do you bother watching?"

I watch MTP, Face the Nation, and Fox News Sunday, mostly listening only while doing something else and for the purpose of noticing things that could be bloggable (such as the use of the word "unravel," blogged on Sunday, which highlighted something that was obvious and yet would have slid into oblivion without my service).

Ann Althouse said...

"Anybody who has nothing better to do on Sunday morning than to watch the current iteration of Meet The Press deserves some sympathy."

I have something better to do: blogging. These shows are raw material for me.

But I don't watch them on Sunday morning normally. I have them on my DVR and I watch them at some point when I want to clean the kitchen or something like that. I keep a pad to write a notation of a word or 2 when something jumps out, then I find the transcript to get to the whole thing for blogging.

Seeing Red said...

Cramer got punked by Stewart. Stewart bitched about his stock calls and brought up his mom losing money.

Does anyone know what Stewart's brother did for a living around that time?

Seeing Red said...

...Melissa Perry-Harris could host a segment on which Republicans have overweight children....


Tampon earrings would be mandatory for her.

jr565 said...

Bob Ellison wrote:
"Now I do Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace is very good, and he's as tough on righties as on lefties."

I agree about Wallace. He doesn't just do the single question get an answer and not respond to the answer like most modern day tv interviewers.
And he asks followups for dems and conservatives.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

Meet The Press was around (and a great show) long before Russert. (although Russert was great.) The problem isn't the abscence of Russert, the problem is that Meet the Press has clearly become a propoganda organ of the Left. At one time I set my alarm so that I wouldn't miss MTP....I haven't watched an episode in years

Gahrie said...

That show is a weekly demonstration of the failure to understand the value Russert had given to that old show name.

I don't know what is bringing about the deification of Russert, but MTP was a great show for a generation before Russert began hosting it.

Marty Keller said...

The giveaway in Althouse's comments is the word "show." It's a show, people! Entertainment, carefully packaged to give the rubes a seat at the Mad Hatter's table. Almost none of it has relevance to the actual world that actual rubes inhabit. After reading Mark Liebovich's This Town, which accomplished the neat trick of making me laugh and barf at the same time, I was reminded yet again that our nation's "elites" are essentially the marriage of People and Oprah. We are all invited to be spectators, but gosh don't do anything unruly like dumping the damn tea into Boston Harbor! Just laugh, scowl, and applaud on cue, and the beautiful people will take good care of us. There, there, you don't need to make decisions about your own health, now; David Gregory (peace be upon him!) and his fellow politerati will make everything fine.

rcocean said...

That's what happens when you don't John McCain on.

rcocean said...

Great write up. Frankly, I can't sit down and listen the cable TV chat shows anymore. I want a transcript - assuming I'm even interested in the guest.

The "panelists" are completely useless establishment hacks that say nothing of importance. I assume that, outside of political junkies, the people who watch it are over 60 and don't know the internet has been invented.

Timothy Cornell said...

I loved it when Bill Moyers asked Tim Russert why he hadn't been more skeptical leading up to the Iraq war. Gee, Russert said. I would have, except no one called me. Russert was always a lapdog to power. The show was much better and hard-hitting before he was on.

Kevin said...

I can't believe no one pointed this out but scanning the comments I don't see it.

That's not what a point man is. A point man is the soldier in a patrol who walks up front and is the first to walk into the minefield or to get shot in the face. While most ambushers will skip the point man and wait till the main body of the patrol comes into its sights, that doesn't do much to lessen the point man's peril.

garage mahal said...

I loved it when Bill Moyers asked Tim Russert why he hadn't been more skeptical leading up to the Iraq war. Gee, Russert said. I would have, except no one called me. Russert was always a lapdog to power. The show was much better and hard-hitting before he was on

Yep. Russert's Nantucket journalism was just as useless as Gregory is now. Was always funny watching Russert trying desperately to convince himself he was a common man too.

julia mottram said...

Geez. Nbc is going to kill meet the press but keep msnbc?. Talk about suicide.

Michael said...

I think the professor has done us a service in pointing out what is often overlooked: how the "press" is lazy. When I read physical newspapers I do so with a felt pen and I circle the times an actual person is cited versus "a source" or "some close to " of "a witness" or whatever. Any of these could be the writer herself, of course, and I read the articles as though this were the case. Same w/ TV journalism. Right.

Lydia said...

Gregory simply doesn’t have the chops to do the job. His entire background is TV. Russert, on the other hand, had been Daniel Moynihan’s chief of staff for several years. Moynihan, for those who remember, was a very smart, combative guy who gave more than a few Democrats a big headache.

Big Mike said...

We arrive at the video of Obama modeling empathy for the poor and hungry.

Nothing shows empathy for the poor and hungry like an extended golf vacation in Hawaii during a particularly cold winter.

Sam L. said...

David Gregory is pushing the left's agenda. NBC is a co-conspirator.

People have caught on.

damikesc said...

The loss of Russert was profound. There's no way to go back to him. He's gone. But NBC should have shown respect for the value he built up in their old show. They acted like they just owned a name of a show that had inherent value. But to produce a bad show under that name was worse than to put on some other show that's an assemblage of talking points. That show is a weekly demonstration of the failure to understand the value Russert had given to that old show name.

Thing is, who can fix it? The Washington Press Corps has become stenographers for the Democrat Party. Nobody takes them seriously.

There are a few reporters who people might listen to, but none are on NBC as is.

Doug said...

Russert was the tallest midget.

Richard Dolan said...

Fortunately for us, but perhaps not for her, we have Althouse to report on the dismal doings at NBC, confirming everyone's suspicion that David Gregory is just a sockpuppet for Team Dem. From what I am told, he's got a lot of company in that role on the networks. But not having watched a network news program in a long time, I don't have the personal experience to say (and no plans to spend the time to find out). It all seems so Chet-and-Dave, so 1960s. As Althouse says, it's all so out of time -- almost a time-capsule, like bell bottoms and other oddities from a time best forgotten.

Years ago, I would watch some of the political gabfests. But they became so stale and uninformative that it wasn't worth the time. Glad to see I haven't been missing anything.

EMD said...

When do we stop having to watch reporters interview reporters?

This happens even in sports.

SteveR said...

Nothing said on any of these shows really matters or makes much difference. Very inside baseball. Its got entertainment value for a small number of people. Thanks for watching, Professor, its not changed.

H.A. Reynolds, Jr. said...

Don't kid yourself, Girlie, Meet the Press has been boring East Coast Establishment tripe for at least two decades.

And this from a guy who shares an Alma Mater with Mssrs. Paulson, Geithner and Immelt (that would be East Coast Establishment College. Wah Hoo Wah).

Russert was merely slightly more interesting tripe; MENUDO, if you will.

How boring? I could only read 20% of the article.

Miriam123 said...

I'd like to see Jake Tapper in the spot. See what he does with it.

Willys said...

'Gregory, eh?'

Maybe he should broadcast in French.

Corky Boyd said...

David Gregory lost all respect when he used sexual innuendo when he questioned President Bush's decision to drop Harriet Myers for a supreme court nominee.

It was his tasteless use of the term "sloppy seconds" to describe Bush's actions that made me think this is how liberals talk when they surround themselves with only other liberals.

Gregory was a poor choice to replace Tim Russert. There is only one heavyweight who could do justice to Russert's legacy and that is Jake Tapper.



Corky Boyd said...

David Gregory lost all respect when he used sexual innuendo when he questioned President Bush's decision to drop Harriet Myers for a supreme court nominee.

It was his tasteless use of the term "sloppy seconds" to describe Bush's actions that made me think this is how liberals talk when they surround themselves with only other liberals.

Gregory was a poor choice to replace Tim Russert. There is only one heavyweight who could do justice to Russert's legacy and that is Jake Tapper.



frpeter said...

If it's Sunday, it's time to go to church.

Martin said...

The problem may be in part that it is so insipid, but even more, it is scripted by the West Wing. "WE" are going to do this or that? Yeah, that's a tell. If I want the Admin talking points I can go to the DNC or WH or MSNBC and view Maddow's or Hayes' lates shows-- and get it faster and easier than sitting through all that crapola on Sunday morning.

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