After news leaked to the Washington Post that NBC News went so far as to hire a “psychological consultant” to interview the friends and family of David Gregory, NBC News has once again been forced to release a statement standing by its embattled “Meet the Press” host.
THR reports that Deborah Turness, president of NBC News, said in a statement:
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. Unfortunately, some of the chatter has been vindictive, personal and above all – untrue. NBC News is proud to have David in the important anchor chair of Meet the Press. He is passionate about politics, and is committed to getting answers for our viewers on the issues that matter to them the most.
Earlier in the controversy, NBC News pushed back with the claim that it had not hired a “psychological consultant,” but a “brand consultant.”
Apparently the consultant was hired to find out why nobody likes David Gregory.
Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that replacing the late Tim Russert with Gregory was a colossal mistake on the part of NBC News. “Meet the Press” went from first place by a wide margin under Russert, to a perennial loser behind ABC’s “This Week” and “Face the Nation” on CBS under Gregory.
At the height of his powers for over a decade, Russert was a one-of-a-kind newsman in a mainstream media that is widely seen as bubbled, out of touch, and entirely too enamored with government power and the Democrats that protect it. Though a liberal, Russert was an incredibly likable everyman who loved football, his son Luke, and holding power on both sides of the aisle accountable.
Most importantly, Russert was almost always smarter and better prepared than the person he interviewed.
His untimely death of a heart attack in 2008 was not just a loss for NBC News but also for an American political process sorely lacking in honest brokers.
Gregory is the mirror opposite of Russert: a left-wing elitist with an air of snobbery and disdain so thick it follows him around like Pig Pen’s dirt cloud. Time and again, Gregory has betrayed his biases on “Meet the Press,” and usually in the most obnoxious way possible. Moreover, Gregory is not half as smart as he thinks he is nor a quarter as smart as Russert was.
Does NBC News really need any kind of consultant to point out that no one enjoys spending their Sunday morning watching a dishonest jerk be a dishonest jerk?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC