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Opening Arguments

So long, David

Wow. Hot stuff from the new president of NBC News:

NBC News President Deborah Turness had some tough words for "Meet the Press," telling the New York Times in an interview published Sunday that the show had been raking over the "cold embers" of news from the week before.

"The show needs more edge,” she said. “It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago. We need more of a coffeehouse conversation.”

It's a rare public critique from a news chief and it comes less than two weeks after the unceremonious departure of David Gregory, who had hosted "Meet the Press" since 2008. After months of failing ratings and reports that Gregory was on his way out, Turness announced earlier this month that Chuck Todd will take over hosting duties on Sept. 7.

[. . .]

Some of those changes may include reverting back to the format from the show's early years, which included a panel of journalists asking guests questions, Turness told the Times.

"Raking over cold embers" is a very good description of what the show has become. I confess I've barely been able to watch the show since Gregory took over, but I'm not sure how good Chuck Todd will be, either. I fondly remember the old format of a panel of journalists grilling the guest, but the "coffeehouse conversation" idea sounds promising, too, as long as they don't pack it with liberal or left-leaning journalists. The Fox All -Stars panel is packed with conservatives, usually one token liberal per discussion, and I'm not crazy about that, either.

Biy, if she's willing to be that disparaging of Gregory in public, negotiating with him must have been a real nightmare.


If Turness is serious about this, we need to organize a grassroots campaign to ask that certain journalists be permanently banned from the panel of Meet the Press, or we’ll boycott the damn thing ab initio. I’d start with Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, David Gergen, David Brooks and George Will. Even at their best, they’ve all gotten more airtime than their shaky talents merit. But I’m sure you have dozens more who deserve the Meet Ban.

My candidates: Paul Krugman and Katrina vanden Heuvel. God, are they ever insufferable.



Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:38pm

"The only way to do news on television is not to be terrified of it," Mr. Brinkley said. "Most of the news isn't very important. In fact, very little of it is."

"Good Night, Chet."

"Good Night, David."

Those were the days, my friend.