I’m in a good and giving mood today so I thought I would take a moment out to offer NBC some free advice. Meet The Press is toast, and you’re not going to pick up a single viewer with your new posse of hosts. Frankly, this shouldn’t have to be pointed out.
Chuck Todd, who proudly proclaimed that it is not his job to inform the public is not the solution to David Gregory, who made no effort to inform the public.
Let me take a moment out to ask Chuck Todd a question that I’m dying to hear his answer to; why does a stenographer with a camera pointed at them make so much more money than the stenographer sans camera?
But I digress. Here’s the deal; people who don’t want to be informed aren’t watching Sunday morning political talk shows. Again, I’m still flummoxed as to why I have to explain this. So when you spend an hour describing how every side of every issue has exactly the same merit as the other side, no one cares. That false equivalency you’ve created in order to get people to check out of politics, makes them check out of you and your vapid bullshit program.
Also, I can’t for the life of me understand why all of these shows are subversively right wing when they’re not being pathologically "even". Here’s a little tally that Media Matters did of guests on the Sunday morning talk shows.
"Even" doesn’t really appear to be neutral, does it? All of the networks, with the exception of Fox seem to be missing an obvious fact of the political culture in America; there is no center right in the republican party anymore. The center right (such as it is), now exists in the democratic party. The only options in camp GOP are far right and batshit right. I define far right as the crowd that still clings onto the trickle down canard that’s been thoroughly disproved. They still think that social safety nets are bad for them. The batshit right is the "Kenyan usurper" crowd.
Those are the only two options in the GOP. A moderate approach to anything simply doesn’t exist in the republican party so there’s no one in America who is interested in a slightly right analysis of politics. You either need to go full batshit like Fox, or you need to present empirical facts. Why did I leave out the going-left option? Because any objective course correction for all of the major issues we face, would be (strictly speaking) a leftward change in direction. We’ve so badly fucked up nearly everything with a far right wing approach, that there’s no right to be had without more fucking up. The Bush "doctrine" (I like the implication that there was any thought involved by using the word "doctrine") fucked up the middle east for decades. "Corporations are people, my friends" has thoroughly fucked up our electoral process and our income inequality situation, not to mention creating stagnant wages. There is no credible argument made for fixing our problems by going further right.
Going "democrat" isn’t really a winning direction for Meet The Press either. MSNBC has already taken the position of mouthpiece for the DNC. Liberals don’t much care. They’re not like republicans who love bathing in the message of the RNC. Liberals are inherently different than conservatives. We’re not as interested in being told what our opinions are. We don’t crave an authoritarian figure to be our daddy, telling us what to think and eat. Liberals generally like to think. Not just that, but we like to think that our ideas are better than any other liberal’s ideas. Seriously, trying to get liberals on board with one single solution is like herding cats. My liberal friends all have better ideas than mine. Well, they think they do. You and I both know that my ideas are the bestest in the world. Anyway, that’s why Fox has more viewers than MSNBC.
And frankly, we’re not talking about huge numbers when it comes to cable news. The most viewed show on cable news is O’Reilly with around 2.7 million viewers. That’s pretty insignificant in a country with around 150 million adults. And O’Reilly’s viewers are an average of 68 years old. They’re the spry, young whipper snappers of the Fox viewing audience whose average age is 71 years old. The Sunday morning talk shows are much smaller in terms of viewers. "This Week" is the highest rated show at 890k viewers in the "demo" (25 – 54 years old). These are not culturally relevant numbers we’re talking about.
This new gang of commentators that NBC has assembled for Meet The Press isn’t going to get the ratings job done because they haven’t changed the formula. They just changed the shade of eye shadow on the show. Chuck Todd actually sucks at what he does more than David Gregory did at the same game. Joe Scarborough only had 105k viewers on excruciating three hour long Starbuck’s ad so he’s not going to help. Luke Russert’s brand of frat boy dim wittery won’t come in to save the day. Andrea Mitchell isn’t bad, but I don’t think she’s going to usher in the big ratings numbers.
Sorry NBC, you’re not going to fix anything with the polish you’ve attempted to apply to your turd.