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Robert Reich On The Meet The Press Elite Freak Show

The media's idea of the 'Average American'


When I saw the Meet The Press lineup I IM'd my friend to express my disgust that Meet The Press was yet again getting elite pundits like Mike Murphy, Mary Matalin, James Carville and Bob Shrum to discuss the issues of the day rather than regular Americans and the officials we elect to represent us. I can't think of a group of people less suited to the task. Robert Reich saw that too, though he mistakenly calls Tim Russert smart.

Tim Russert, one of the smartest guys on television, interviewed four political consultants – Carville and Matalin, Bob Schrum, and Michael Murphy. Political consultants are paid huge sums to help politicians spin words and avoid real talk. They’re part of the problem. And what do Russert and these four consultants talk about? The potential damage to Barack Obama from saying that lots of people in Pennsylvania are bitter that the economy has left them behind; about HRC’s spin on Obama’s words (he’s an “elitist,” she said); and John McCain’s similarly puerile attack.

Does Russert really believe he’s doing the nation a service for this parade of spin doctors talking about potential spins and the spin-offs from the words Obama used to state what everyone knows is true? Or is Russert merely in the business of selling TV airtime for a network that doesn’t give a hoot about its supposed commitment to the public interest but wants to up its ratings by pandering to the nation’s ongoing desire for gladiator entertainment instead of real talk about real problems.

Less than a generation ago people thought that by the sheer virtue of someone getting on tv they were smarter than those of us in the great unwashed. Thankfully we now know that ain't the case by a long shot.