David Gregory to host “Meet the Press”

I could snark away, but I’d prefer to give David Gregory a chance to prove himself as the new host of “Meet the Press.” The announcement should come soon, according to the Huffington Post.

Of the Politico’s list of people who didn’t get the job, I’d have preferred almost any one of them — Gwen Ifill, Chuck Todd, John King, Katie Couric or Ted Koppel, though not Andrea Mitchell. But Gregory always appeared to be the leading contender, so the pending announcement is no surprise.

Gregory’s got the chops. My main problem with him is that he seems as though he’d rather be boiled in oil than be accused of liberal bias, which occasionally leads to his tying himself in knots to avoid acknowledging reality.

The late Tim Russert was not perfect. He was tough on Republicans but tougher on Democrats, and his prosecutorial style of questioning — “You said this in 1987, so why are you saying that now?” — often devolved into self-parody. But his enthusiasm, respect for his guests and engaging personality overcame his shortcomings, and I miss him. It looks like I’m going to keep missing him, though Gregory could grow into the job. If not, there’s always Bob Schieffer. (Sorry, but Media Nation is a Stephanopoulos-free zone.)

So now Tom Brokaw retires once again. I thought he was an ideal placeholder after Russert’s death, someone with the stature to maintain the “Meet the Press” brand while holding the infighting at bay until after the election.

Instead, Brokaw too often projected laziness, lack of interest and — in moderating the second presidential debate — even petulance. Brokaw was a fine anchor and he’s got a record he can be proud of. But he can’t go back to being an elder statesman soon enough.

7 thoughts on “David Gregory to host “Meet the Press”

  1. Rob

    Dan, what are your thoughts on the point made by some (like Tina Brown) that the whole MTP format has gotten stale and needs to be changed? I happen to agree with that sentiment. Even with Russert, the show had devolved into a pattern of 1) politician spewing talking points, 2) Russert puts up prior conflicting quote, and 3) politician uses talking point to explain conflicting quote. It was/is very rare that we learn anything on MTP that we didn’t know before. Powell’s endorsement was “breaking news” and even that was known a few days beforehand.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Rob: The guest list has been dreadful for years. How about those weeks when Russert had Carville, Matalin, Shrum and Murphy? Good grief.

  3. Ron Newman

    Initially I misread your headline as ‘Dick Gregory to host “Meet the Press”‘. Now wouldn’t that be fun?

  4. Rob

    You’re right about that, Dan. They have these panelists on to talk about inside baseball that any of us probably learned about 3 days earlier from Politico. Seems to me like these Sunday shows are becoming irrelevant because they provide little new info and have really boring analysis. Maybe they’ll spice up the analysis at least with some new blood too.

  5. io saturnalia!

    I still can’t get the vile image of Gregory dancing on stage with Karl Rove a year or so back, though why should NBC’s current generation of talking heads pretend any sort of journalistic detachment, now?Ifill would have been OK, and I like what Todd does with the polling analysis and all, but I’m liking frequent “Countdown” guest Richard Wolff more and more. Or, hey — why not Tavis Smiley, who has been excellent as an “MTP” guest? He’s not everybody’s cup of tea, for sure, but he does the homework, and it would definitely bring a different vibe to a now-moribund chat show.

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