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Ed Driscoll

Demon with a Glass Jaw

April 25th, 2014 - 1:23 pm

 ”NBC News President Slams Media Coverage of David Gregory as ‘Vindictive,’ ‘Untrue,’” Randy Hall writes at Newsbusters:

Meet the Press host David Gregory has been the focus of turmoil since the Sunday morning NBC program suffered its lowest ratings since 1992 during the past year and was the subject of a meeting with network news president Deborah Turness in March. After that gathering, NBC “doubled down” on Gregory as host of the series, along with giving him additional duties on the network’s news website.

However, an article written by Paul Farhi in Sunday’s edition of the Washington Post stated that during the first three months of 2012, the NBC program finished a distant third, far behind CBS’s Face the Nation and This Week With George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Just four days later, Turness sent a memo to the show’s staff declaring that coverage of Gregory’s troubles has been “vindictive, personal and above all — untrue.”

The document began with this assertion: “There has been a great deal written about Meet the Press in the past few days, much of it quite ludicrous. I wanted to reach out to reiterate my support for the show and for David, now and into the future, as we work together to evolve the format.”

While it’s possible Farhi’s article got some details wrong (the Washington Post getting a story wrong? Hand me the smelling salts!) a TV network whose venerable Sunday talk show is generating its lowest ratings in 65 years really would need its own psychological consultant if it didn’t want to do something about it.

Turness’ response sounds very much like the dreaded “vote of confidence” a team owner gives his losing football coach deep in the season, when it’s obvious he and the rest of his exhausted team are playing out the string until the end of December, when replacements will quickly be in order. Or perhaps, it’s analogous to how ABC began the process of pushing a venerable institution of its own out the door, as Roger Friedman wrote a year ago at Showbiz 411:

ABC may have decided that the only way to make [Barbara] Walters retire was to announce it and see what happened. It’s too convenient that the two stories were published within a half hour of each other. I’m no particular fan of Walters, but this seemed pretty blatant today. I called a close friend of hers who said, “Barbara has been talking to them about retiring from the news side, but not entertainment.” Indeed, the Walters everyone knows would never, ever completely retire from television. It’s her life.

These stories today were also well timed by someone at ABC who knew that Walters’ personal publicist, Cindi Berger, was out of the country, traveling, and on business elsewhere. Berger’s office was surprised by the afternoon ambush. But this is the Machiavellian way networks conduct themselves these days.

But what I really love is the complaint by Turness that “some of the chatter has been vindictive, personal and above all – untrue.” It’s hard to tell from the memo quoted by Mediaite if Turness is referring to internal chatter from his own NBC employees, or as is more likely, he’s using “chatter” to describe the response on the Internet to Paul Farhi’s article in the Washington Post. 

If it’s the latter, then it’s awfully rich for NBC to be complaining about news and opinion stories being “vindictive, personal and above all – untrue,” when that’s been the near day-to-day playbook of NBC since, oh, January 20th, 2009, to pick a date at random.

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Top Rated Comments   
To find a liberal like Tim Russert is not easy. Russert was a liberal of the old kind, the kind that could dialogue with his adversary. The present generation of liberals are ideologically formed reactionaries who follow the script without any critical thinking at all. There are no Tim Russerts any more. American liberalism is a wasteland just as much as American liberal television.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
David Gregory looks like a suit and tie version of Pajama Boy.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I completely lost interest in this show when Gregory brought an empty 30 round clip on the air (to push for a nationwide ban). Since NO ONE on the show's staff was intelligent enough to realize that this clip is illegal in D.C....OR...if they did it never occurred to them to simply move the taping of that episode to their Baltimore affiliate, since this clip is legal in Maryland, he got the network in hot water. His lack of judgement would have cost anyone else their job, but at NBC Gregory "walks on water"!!
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (48)
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19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tim Russert, while leftist, could still have an honest dialog with conservatives, and even more important he could ask challenging questions to leftists. He could put himself in a conservatives shoes to question his liberal guests in the way a skillful conservative would, instead of giving them constant softballs, or challenging them with hackneyed straw man charachterizations of conservative positions, that the leftist can easily shoot down. Modern leftist reporters seem totally incapable of this basic skill, or else if they know how to do this basic kind of honest reporting they choose not to.
But the main problem is not just Gregory, but the shows producers and editors, who are just as clueless and biased as he is.
Face the Nation and This week are not much better, although their hosts occasionally do something right, where Gregory almost never does.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't give a rat's rear end what NBC thinks of my "chatter" or that which I read on the innertubes. The only real vote I get is to not watch, so I vote all day every day. And in those occasional chances to tell advertisers what outlets I turn to for information, their networks are never listed.

Their ratings are shrinking - not just for MTP, but overall news division - and revenues (advertising) follows ratings closely. It's been decades since news divisions have been profitable but the less they bring in, the more losses, and that brings unfavorable attention from the suits.

So we're winning that election. Keep up the good work.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
But they are all so much smarter than we are......doncha know?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US is now "The Nation of the Perpetually Aggrieved". Everyone is insulted or angry or abused all the time. We have become a nation of precious buttercups.

Harden the eff up.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have been very active in helping to host the TV talk show thread on FreeRepublic.com for some ten years now.
Every week we watch and analyze MTP and DNC Dave's antics as well as the other shows.
We watch the show to find out what the left will be concentrating on, how they will be covering for the numerous screw-ups of their side and what the newest talking points from the DNC will be. We are never disappointed.Its always a left wing show and always has been.
What other network would hire the likes of david axelrod and the entire crew of MSLSD?
NUff said.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nice Outer Limits callback.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Catino is right about who is a liberal. The word "liberal" originally meant someone who loved liberty - see John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. It has now become a euphemism for "socialist," and socialism is not love of liberty but of state control of the economy.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
They first used "progressive" because Marxism or communism didn't sell well at the turn of the 20th Century. After a while, the disasters of their programs became an inescapable stigma, so they expropriated the term "liberal" (which wasn't really being widely used) until they made that toxic as well about 25 years ago, when they began slowly switching back to "progressive."

But note that "socialist" is no longer a tainting label, after four decades of effective federal control of education of all levels has led to radicals controlling most faculties and curricula, because the radicals have effectively obscured its real meaning.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
If socialists were proud to be socialists in public, they wouldn't be stealing the good names of other political movements (liberal) or hiding behind new names every 5 to 10 years ('progressive' being the latest one).
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look. NBC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DNC. Gregory is just another mouthpiece. His ratings matter as much as truth-telling does to Obama.

Putting the narrative out is the most important. The Lie has to be repeated and come from all quarters to sound authoritative.

Gregory is just a loss-leader among the liars.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is racist to criticize NBC for their ratings failure.

I hear Gregory has a tough time getting to work since he refuses to turn right at any corner...

20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
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