Archive for david gregory

Sunday Talkers Shame Themselves

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Sunday Talk Shows

The only thing missing from yesterday's Sunday talk show openings was the Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton singing the duet of, "Baby It's Cold Outside." It's actually quite a good rendition. You can see it here.

But are these chatfests, Meet the Nation, Face the Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, etc. really doing their jobs -- providing a public service? Bringing us unfiltered news? I think not.

Yesterday they all began with a moment about the cold weather, then immediately went into full Chris Christie coverage. What everyone of these shows ignored was this:

HUFFPO:

The emergency began Thursday following complaints to West Virginia American Water about a licorice-type odor in the tap water. The source: the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which had leaked out of a 40,000-gallon tank at a Freedom Industries facility along the Elk River.

Here it is, Sunday, four days later, and over 300,000 West Virginians were still without clean tap water. They can't drink the contaminated water, can't bath in it, can't cook with it, can't do wash in it, and yet how much coverage did it get on the public service shows? Zilch.

But doesn't this crisis meet national standards? If a spill like this can happen in W.V. it can happen anywhere. Should we be investigating how it happened and seek out safeguards? Evidently not if the victims are in West Virginia.

The network news talkers are treating this less than a throw-away story. If mentioned at all, it's like "Entire neighborhood all paint their houses the same color of grey." What they leave out is that all of these houses were painted in lead-based paint and everyone in the neighborhood is going to die of cancer. If it's not a Republican or Democratic attack, it's not worthy of the Sunday talkers. And that's why these supposed news shows should be embarrassed and reprimanded. They owe everyone an apology for spitting on the urgent and legitimate problems of one of our fifty states. A chemical spill effecting so many IS NEWS.

Now the EPA is constantly coming under attack on Sunday GOP talkers as an example of over-regulation. Republicans use this ruse almost almost as much as the concern over voter fraud in their Red states or the damage same-sex marriage is causing their "normal" marriage. Yet when a disaster strikes, why the crickets? Why not demonstrate what the EPA does? If it wasn't for them, these innocent people, victims of a dangerous chemical spill might be glowing in the dark or have three ears by now.

What's equally startling is that there isn't even an adequate clean-up plan in force to allow such a vast sum of people to be provided with bottled water and food to get them through this crisis time. This Elk River, where the chemicals spilled, runs for hundreds of miles, reaching both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. We're talking potentially half of our nation being affected.

To me that's news. Grumpy Chris Christie playing dumb or lying about his part or knowledge in his bridge-gate scandal is news, and should be covered, but so should the plight of the victims half of our nation. When a hurricane displaces and damages vast swaths of land, the press is all over it. But in old West Virginia, not so much.

Beltway news is noisy, to say the least. But is it urgent or more important than pressing news about half our nation facing a possible poisoning? Hardly.

Maybe next time stations come up for licensing, lets remember that Meet the Press and the other talkers are just paid political content masquerading as public service. Maybe locally qualifying shows should be produced, (improving local economies) and demanded in their place if they're being done to meet the FCC public licensing obligations.

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Video- Rep Joaquin Castro (D-TX) Slams Darrell Issa Over Benghazi Report: 'Crusaded for a Year on a Fairy Tale'

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Video- Meet The Press: David Gregory- ACA Problems "Comparable To Iraq"

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The NBC embed is confusing so if I didn't get it started in the right place the psycho babble is at 6:58.

ADDED-
Have to put up this wonderful comment by Baud at BJ-

Obama lied to us about weapons of mass uninsured.

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Video- Insurance CEO Defends Obamacare: ‘We’re Not Cutting People, We’re Transitioning People’

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Oy. Via.

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The Heir, On-Air, Blows Square To The Spare With Fair Hair

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Guthrie Gregory

Let's get down to it. Gregory or Guthrie? They're not just two pretty faces. They are the front (wo)man for NBC's most durable public affairs program, the prestigious MEET THE PRESS.

This year the Boston Red Sox miraculously went from worst, to first. MTP threatens to do the same, but in reverse.

They have steadily been the standard bearer for decades and the erosion has been felt ever since the untimely passing of Tim Russert. From the founding days of Lawrence Spivak until now, MTP has been a gold standard in the Sunday morning punditry and political gab.

But now there's a change in the air.

The heir (a little play on words there,) David Gregory, is dragging down the ratings of the show. It's gotten to the point that the topic of his replacement is being discussed more and more as the ratings continue to soften like an over-ripened Dixie peach. He won't go willing, but he'll go if he's told to. There will be some face-saving manipulations required but NBC has had much success in covering up their failures. Just look at their recent past in prime time.

I would venture the most obvious move will be Gregory's stepping aside to become a special 2014 election consultant. And if that's not face-saving enough, he might become special NBC Presidential Campaign guru. Sadly for David G, (no, the other David G., I'm DG) Savannah Guthrie sat in this past week as host and she did an unbelievably fine job.

The Twitter was all atweet with kudos for the fair Miss Guthrie. She totally "manhandled" Rand Paul, something mush-mouthed Gregory never could do. He always stops short of probing and is more concerned with his next question and going to commercial on cue than nailing someone who's deceitful or lying. David's adequate. Savannah's great. So in case you missed it, here's Savannah Guthrie putting the screws to Rand Paul with "follow-up." Got that David G. "Follow-up."

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Video- Meet The Press: David Gregory Thumps Ted Cruz-'You Haven't Moved Anybody'

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Is Debunking Lies A Journalist's Job?

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Chuck Todd

Recently MSNBC's Chuck Todd has been taking some vociferous heat for a comment he made last week on Morning Joe. A NATIONAL JOURNAL article on this entitled 'Liberals Turn On Liberal Media' included this assessment of the event:

Todd said it's not the media's job to correct Republican misinformation about the Affordable Care Act. Liberals don't agree, and, where members of this crowd would usually focus their attacks on "lies" spread by Fox News or various right-wing personalities, Todd's comment had them turning on a mainstream pundit.

Two issues come to the fore as I read this. First, Chuck Todd is no more a liberal than Joe Scarborough. They're both on MSNBC but that's not saying they're liberal. One of the nice things about that organization is they have people with all degrees of political backgrounds there to share many different views. Chuck's bend isn't as right at Joe S's, perhaps, but he's no Ed Schultz or Reverend Al.

Now to the second issue: if by pundit, the National Journal means a talking head, and not much more, then okay. Chucky boy is a talking head. But he's not a journalist by any stream of thinking.

Oh, he carries a vaunted title: Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News. But that's pretty much a title and position by default. He's a talented trained parrot who repeats what he's told, but is generally devoid of independent thought. Give Polly his cracker and he'll say what he's just heard.

parrot

Todd is really a statistician who got promoted to his current position by default. He replaced David Gregory when DG moved into the MEET THE PRESS seat sadly and untimely vacant by the loss of Tim Russert. It was a domino game and Todd was very affable, relatively well-liked and there was an opening. When Gregory moved into the MTP chair, and Savannah Guthrie was better versed in legal affairs, so NBC chose the numbers man Todd, by natural progression. He wasn't groomed for the job but was as  good a choice as any if they were going to promote from within.

A scant few years ago, he was the go-to-guy for polling statistics, for MSNBC. The closest he got to the White House was the tour or standing outside the fence as he shared the latest polling news on McCain-Palin in Cleveland. He opined and crunched numbers -- not a bad background for understanding trends. But certainly not a journalist position. His fact-finding was minimal -- he received polling information,verified its source and passed it on. But he looked good, knew where to point to when they put up a chart or graph and seemed genuine doing so. He even flashed a periodic sense of humor, endearing himself to NBC viewers, myself included.

But things have a way of catching up to you. It seems his lack of journalistic integrity has come to light with his recent comments and the liberals, as they do with anyone they think is not doing an honest (possibly read, 'liberal') job, hold their feet to the fire. Todd just happens to have made a major gaff which further dings his credibility.

IT IS THE MEDIA'S JOB TO CORRECT MISINFORMATION.

If that's not job one, then it's a close 'job two' -- 'one' being getting honest/unbiased news to the people.

Now to be fair, Todd did issue a response to the criticism, reported here on MEDIATE:

Chuck tweeted“Somebody decided to troll w/mislding headline: point I actually made was folks shouldn’t expect media to do job WH has FAILED to do re: ACA.”

That sounds like a bit of the blame game, usually reserved for guilty people or the right-wing press. A braver stand might have been, "I misspoke." That would have been simpler, more honest and this would have been over.

But Chuck didn't leave it there. He continued his twitter defense:

Chuck Todd Tweet

Blame the White House. Hey, Chuck, you're the Chief White House Correspondent. Don't you think you have some responsibility?

If you read this far, I'm confident you're saying to yourself that I don't care for Chuck. Actually, just the opposite is true. I find him much less annoying that most. His politics are a bit right of center for my comfort. At MSNBC, few besides Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell and the good Rev Al will hit agreeable chords with me more often than them. But I still like listening to Chuck, when he's not whining. He does that too much and he's oftentimes offering up his personal thoughts, feelings and intuition which lately haven't proven to have a batting average much above the infamous "Mendoza line." But I'm glad NBC has him.

Over time, I hope he'll learn that it's better to fill the air with honesty, investigative information and valid insights -- and that he'll assume a journalist's integrity role for finding and correcting misinformation. If not, there's another presidential election coming up in 2016 which means in just over a year, NBC is going to need a numbers cruncher and perhaps someone a bit more responsible will cover the White House and Chuck can go back to his numbers board. He sure was competent there.

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