David Gregory Gets the Heave-Ho On ‘Meet the Press,’ Which Will Continue To Suck Anyway

The big news around the Beltway on Monday is that NBC is pulling the plug on David Gregory as host of Meet the Press, and will likely replace him with the equally hacktacular Chuck Todd, who hosts The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. That’s according to Mike Allen’s Playbook, so if anyone is up-to-date on all the latest news in the world of hackery, it’s Mike Allen. And while this news is making waves among media types, there’s one simple thing to keep in mind: It won’t make any difference at all.

It’s true that Gregory’s always been something of a boot-licker, as this unbelievable clip demonstrates:

But as much I’d like to verbally suplex David Gregory for being an awful host who’s subservient to the very power structure he’s supposed to be holding accountable (because he is), the fact is that the format of Meet the Press — as well as CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week — makes it completely unwatchable. These shows are hopelessly predictable and feature the same guests saying the same shit about the same stuff over and over and over again.

Here’s the quintessential Sunday talk show episode in a nutshell: It has Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham exchanging rote talking points for 20 minutes about why President Obama is/isn’t doing a good job of handling [insert problem here], followed by a roundtable discussion featuring a syndicated columnist, a political strategist, an ex-congressman, and some asshole out with a new book. These “experts” then debate the merits of all the bullshit spewed in the first part of the show in an effort to ascertain whether Democrats or Republicans are currently winning the bullshit war.

End credits.

It should also be added that no matter how wrong these roundtable pundits are, they will continue to be invited back to render their “expert” opinions about the pressing political issues of the day. In fact, some of them might even get their own Sunday talk show after having been proven wrong with deadly consequences.

And please spare me the, “Meet the Press was so much better when Tim Russert was hosting it.”

No, it wasn’t.

  • edwardrynearson

    Remember, if it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Presstitutes

  • suesista

    Russert was responsible for turning MTP into an insiders group stroke with the focus on the moderator. I don’t understand how anyone can watch this awful stuff. IMO the format is the problem, where connected personalities compete to produce controversy over substance..

  • billorviswhite

    It’s going to continue to suck because all of NBC/PSNBC is another arm of the Queen Hussein Obama “administration.” After liberal Tim Russert passed, they put in an OK guy by the name of David Gregory, but anyone with half a brain could see that he was being programmed by his liberal bosses and too many elites inside The Beltway. Now, far-left NBC is installing this socialistic lib who will deliver more ObamaMedia propaganda. Goebbels’ grave just popped out of the ground and has been doing a victory dance for the evil spread of Big Gov’t and Socialism. Amen, Bill

  • aynwrong

    MSNBC has an entire roster of people who are miles more qualified then David Gregory to discuss and host a conversation about our national politics and more importantly the policies that emanate from the beltway. Chris Hayes, Rachael Maddow, Ari Melber, Melissa Harris Perry, Steve Kornacki can all talk about policy and politics with a degree of understanding that Gregory doesn’t seem even remotely capable of approaching. They also have a habit of interviewing people who are genuine analysts on very specific issues. The opinions of these analysts are often at direct odds with so called beltway wisdom. And yet with the occasional exception of Maddow, I have never seen any of these people ever make an appearance on Meet the Press.
    But they are choosing Chuck Todd. They are choosing to replace David Gregory with David Gregory with a goatee.

  • tommytoons

    I’m so sorry NBC picked Todd….I would have liked to see a fresh face or Rachel Maddow, who’s not afraid of posing tough questions.

  • gorilla cookies

    Some points:

    1. Chuck Todd is a nominally better choice than David Gregory. Gregory is more of a slickster front man; Chuck Todd always struck me as one of the data-crunchers behind the camera who somehow got bumped up. He is a little schlumpy, and we need more schlumps on TV. Sunday morning political show viewers, however many there are left, are not looking for slicksters.

    The bottom line is if you are looking for insight on a political topic, you might turn to Chuck Todd. You might (as much as I hate to say it) turn to Tim Russert. But you never would turn to David Gregory, who came across as lightweight and vanilla. He is like the Jay Leno of Sunday morning hosts.

    From a TV standpoint, the best choice would be Gwen Ifill. She knows her stuff, has a certain warmth and sense of humor, and is not another white male TV host, which would be nice to see once in a while. She reminds me of Bob Scheiffer, who is the most watchable of all the Sunday hosts.

    2. From now on, these shows should vow to never have politicians on these shows unless they are directly in the news. Having Lindsay Graham or McCain bashing the
    president, and then some DNC spokesman defending him, is so boring, and such a waste of time for viewers, it is a wonder anyone watches those shows
    anymore. As much as the journalist roundtable segments are often unedifying, they are a million times better than the politicians with talking points segments.

    Or how about go back to the original version of the show, where a newsmaker came on and was grilled by a collection of prominent journalists, all of whom were actually reporters in the field, meaning they did more than just sit around and host MTP.

    3. I never understood the appeal of Tim Russert. I remember one time he
    had Benjamin Netanyahu on (his first time as PM), around the time of the
    Wye peace accords. And Russert asked him what he thought of the Monica
    Lewinsky scandal! And then there was that Buffalo Bills stuff, and the
    constant “gotcha” clips …

    4. I can’t believe the poster gives the evidence of Gregory being a
    bootlicker is him ASKING A TOUGH QUESTION OF A GUEST. So politicians
    should get tough questions, but Glenn Greenwald shouldn’t? Don’t you see
    the contradiction there? Journalists can be more than bootlickers for
    politicians. Some are bootlickers for Glenn Greenwald.

  • Michiganmitch

    “It has Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham exchanging rote talking points for 20 minutes”. Check the program logs. It is more like 15 minutes of Miss Lindsey and 5 minutes of some Dem, usually not as influential as Durbin.

  • undsoweiter

    I wasn’t watching Gregory, so now I’m not watching Todd. You’re right, that is different.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Yeah, I called this one months ago.

  • repugnicant

    Sunday talk shows have been useless for years now, much having to do with FOX creating a safe haven for conservatives. Republicans refuse to go on any shows they deem as being ‘liberally biased’, or rather skeptical of their views. That dumbed down all the other network’s shows in order to get Republicans to come on.

    People like to say that Maddow would be an excellent host, and I agree, but she can’t get any Republicans to guest on her show, which of course would carry over to MTP. Not going to happen.

  • glogrrl

    O.M.G.! From the frying pan into the fire….Chuck Todd is WORSE! A smarmy guy who is a Republican who tries to act neutral. And, shave that damn goatee!

    • rokchok

      Actually, he’s not a republican. But thanks for playing the game.

      • 624LC .

        He is not a journalist, republican or not. So, no real change.

      • glogrrl

        Then he’s a DINO, because he’s not much of a Democrat.

      • Tommygun

        No, he’s just a parrot that repeats rightwing talking points.

    • Christopher Foxx

      A smarmy guy who is a Republican who tries to act neutral.

      Todd tries to act neutral? When?

      • glogrrl

        He’s on MSNBC recently…..He tries, but never succeeds.

  • Richard_thunderbay

    They program should be retitled Meet the Boot-licking Toady.

    • glogrrl

      Now, they can call it, “Meet the Boot-Licking Todd-y”.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I thought it was called Meet John McCain now.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Should be more like “Meet the Ass-Crack Licking Toady”.

  • cablejunkie

    chuck losing some lard was the dead giveaway this was coming.

    • Tommygun

      He didn’t so much lose the lard as shift it into that empty space between his ears.

  • Kerry Reid

    Thank you for not lionizing Russert, who was, as you point out, pretty terrible in his own right. Side note: the weeklong grief-a-thon that NBC and MSNBC put on when Russert died in 2008 was appalling. He talked about the news. He wasn’t the news — particularly not when we were in the middle of an historic election cycle and the economy was on the precipice of collapse.

    As for Gregory, maybe he’ll have more time for ballroom dancing with Karl Rove. I’m sure Murrow would have done the same, right?

    • cablejunkie

      and why does his dopey son get to go right to the top without any dues paying?

      • Kerry Reid

        I believe that is part of what Katha Pollitt described in an essay called “Affirmative Action Begins at Home” as “the eternal golden braid of network and schmooze.” She was calling out the “alternative” and “liberal” media of the 1990s (including The Nation) for their tendency to decry racism while not actually hiring editors and writers of color (but always finding room for sons and daughters of existing staff members and their various college buds), but it of course holds true for the network and cable pundit shitfests as well.

        • cablejunkie

          bottom line

          they are all full of it,it will never change..

          • Kerry Reid

            I tend to agree. Which is why I pulled the plug (figuratively anyway) on cable news over a year ago. I haven’t even watched Maddow, who struck me as the best of the lot, because the entire format is just too geared toward 24-hour-news-cycle outrage pandering.

          • cablejunkie

            rachel is as honest and real as you can be in the corp media culture. i always get the feeling she would love to go even further.

          • Kerry Reid

            Yes. And she has spent time in academia and in activist work as well as journalism, which I think serves her well in bringing in a wider array of perspectives than just “Here is what we’re supposed to be upset about and pimping this week.” But it is quite hard, as you say, to go against the grain of the corporate cable culture.

          • cablejunkie

            she also tells great stories when she opens her show,always proves the facts and the truth have a liberal bias.

          • Kerry Reid

            Decidedly not shrill and abrasive as well, nor is she smarmy. I think Seth Meyers once described Chris Matthews as sound like “an auctioneer in a wind tunnel.” My boycott really isn’t about Maddow — I just found that the entire cable-news apparatus wasn’t giving me useful insight and tended to rile me up in unhelpful ways.

          • cablejunkie

            speaking of MSM,this morning on espn radio

            tiger woods=poloarizing
            rory mcilroy=not polarizing(the current best and greatest golfer)

            pres obama=polarizing
            gwb=not poloarzing

            notice somein?

  • Badgerite

    A ‘blather show’ change. I’m all a twitter.

  • Michael West

    David Gregory is undeniably terrible…but his question to Greenwald is not a good example, as it was a completely valid one. Why SHOULDN’T he be charged with a crime?

    • i_a_c

      Why SHOULDN’T he be charged with a crime?

      The Pentagon Papers case, mostly.

    • gorilla cookies

      Right. Plus to ask a question, you don’t have to agree with its premise, you just want to have the guest address it. His comment came after Peter King suggested Greenwald be prosecuted. So it was not crazy for him to ask it, nor did it break some kind of journalist code. I am not aware of any code or law that says journalists should never ask tough questions of the methods of other journalists. Hey, it’s even possible for journalists to question the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Pentagon Papers. Journalists don’t have to march in lockstep, even regarding questions of freedom of the press.

      Here is the subtext: Did Greenwald go farther than most journalists with the Edward Snowden leaks? Well, he has raised money for him, through the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He admitted that he covered up damaging info (Snowden’s “manifesto”) because it might make him look bad — which means he basically functioned as his PR advisor. None of that is actionable, of course. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more out there …

  • rokchok

    Sorry, but MTP was MUCH better when Russert hosted. Sorry you feel differently. But as someone who worked with both Russert and Gregory and think both are (were.. unfortunately) decent people, Gregory wasn’t up to the task. Todd will be.

    • Rollo Tamasi

      “Gregory wasn’t up to the task. Todd will be.”

      But, how do you square that with Todd’s statement that it was not his job to correct disinformation? Well, maybe I should ask what is the task you have in mind?

      http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/09/18/inform-the-public-not-my-job-says-chuck-todd/

      • Kerry Reid

        I think Stephen Colbert handled the job description in his 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner address:

        “But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works. The President
        makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those
        decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make,
        announce, type. Just put ‘em through a spell check and go home. Get to
        know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got
        kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid
        Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration?
        You know, fiction!”

        • D_C_Wilson

          It still kills me how much poutrage Colbert received from the Washington Villagers over that. He held a mirror up to them and they didn’t like what they saw.

          • Kerry Reid

            It truly was one of the first times I realized that they were growing ever-more irrelevant. They looked doubly idiotic — for not laughing at the jokes he made at their expense (and frankly screwing up by calling his performance a bust) and for not realizing that his real audience wasn’t their oh-so-important selves in that ugly-ass banquet room — it was the millions who were going to turn his speech viral on the internet.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Yep. They didn’t like anyone giving the public a peak behind the curtain to show how cozy the Villagers had become with Bush, Inc.

    • cablejunkie

      why?

      • Razor

        rockchok is Chuck Todd’s mom.

        • cablejunkie

          i knew todd was a bird brain.

      • gorilla cookies

        Yeah, I’m also curious as to why you think Gregory was not up to it … Knowledge or TV presence?

  • mjr

    I watch Gregory for a few weeks on the show and found him to be disgustingly offensive. Now when it comes on, I change the channel to “This Old House” because there isn’t a single network Sunday news program that is worth watching – and I learn stuff on PBS.

  • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

    One GOP mouthpiece is being replaced for another….there’s the librul media for you.