Monday, April 21, 2014

The McLaughlin Group is rising fast

Everybody's having a good laugh at David Gregory's declining ratings at "Meet the Press" with the Vodkapundit quipping: "Honestly, it couldn’t happen to a nicer group of shills."

The comparison to Tim Russert is inevitable.  Russert would open each show with a news update and a sincere thanks to his guest before checking his notes then going full-on hammer and tongs.  Russert's staff would find obscure position papers or transcripts and spring it on unsuspecting guests.  It was great television.

Even Garrick Utley managed to bring a little conflict to MTP by - get this - making guests meet the press.  There would be a little panel and they would take turns asking questions.  There is no such interrogation on Gregory's show where it's mostly a panel of politicos sitting around a table regurgitating talking points.  I couldn't bear to watch Debbie Wasserman-Schultz this past Sunday since I knew Gregory wouldn't knock her off her spiel.

Which leads to another gripe about most Sunday morning shows in general.  What happened to guests of opposing viewpoints appearing together?  They just shuttle in-and-out of the green room to make speeches instead of engaging in debate.  David Gregory's MTP is just the worst example of this parade.

1 comment:

Sunday softy said...

The late great crusading muckraker Tim Russert's main shtick was to read one quote or report finding, "challenge" his guest to "respond," but then blithely accept whatever answer was given (or not) and move on.

Testifying in the Scooter Libby trial, Dick Cheney's communication director Cathie Martin had to reveal her notes for how Cheney handled the news that the administration had falsified evidence of Iraq's nonexistent nuclear program. Those notes began, "Option 1: MTP-VP. Pro: Control message."

"It was a tactic we often used," said Martin under oath. "It's our best format." Martin then testified about the process by which the Vice President would feed information to favored reporters while freezing others out. Tough Tim Russert never had to worry about the chill.

Oh, David Gregory is a vapid hack and then some. But let's not elevate Saint Russert into the lost standard Gregory could never meet. He achieved Russert's standard just fine. He just made the tactical career mistake of not unexpectedly dropping dead.