So NBC replaced one 40-something, white, male Beltway Conventional Wisdom dispenser with two first names (David. Gregory,) with another 40-something, white, male Beltway Conventional Wisdom dispenser with two first names (Chuck. Todd.)
Then they gave the new guy dead guy's house band and backup singers, loaded up the sheet music from the dead guy's cast album, bound him in the dead guy's winding cloth and in every other way clad him the dead guy's Beltway Conventional Wisdom raiment.
And they called it rock an roll (transcript not yet available.)
For all the hype, Mr. Todd's Wild Ride --
-- show no sign of being more than a slightly more uptempo version of the original Gregory flop: the same tired trundle down the same Beltway track through the same tunnel full of fake peril, clatter, flashing lights and cardboard cutout characters from which you inexorably arrive at the same destination. I'm sure that the sheer novelty of a new clown at the Mouse Circus will mean that Important Publications as diverse as Presidential Optics Review, Retread Monthly and Politico will have Important Things to say about Mr. Todd's debut. But from way up here in the cheap seats, the distinction between Spinal Tap and a Spinal Tap Tribute Band
was lost on me.
Scary Lawyer Guy has more here:
Unsurprisingly, The New York Times has a very different view of the show which long ago devolved into little more than a safe, moist spot for pundits like David Brook's to unspool their Beltway ovipositors and lay a clutch of "Both Sider" eggs:...The panel discussed a segment of Todd's interview with President Obama, itself a bit of a joke, as Todd attempted to goad the President into acknowledging that we would need to invade Syria, as if that was accepted wisdom that had permeated the bloodstream of official Washington. The President, sober and expansive in his explanations, seemed a poor match for Todd's desire for simple solutions, but part of the reason "don't do stupid shit" is a smart, albeit pithy, encapsulation of Obama's foreign policy is that the types of decisions the President is wrestling with and people like Todd think have simple answers, do not.Regardless, the panel discussion unfolded as one might expect. Mitchell tsk tsked the President for making Saudi Arabia "mad" at us for not toppling Assad last year (never mind the fact that the Saudis fund madrasses that teach precisely the type of radical Islamic ideology that we are fighting or that most of the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia) and Henderson helpfully observed that when Congress returns on Monday (after a 38 day vacation, a whole other topic that might have merited discussion … alas) they will be looking to do "the bare minimum."That this is accepted as fact and allowed to pass without comment speaks volumes about the cynicism Todd claims to deplore in D.C. yet accurately reflects the media's long-ago acceptance that lockstep opposition to Obama is a symptom of dysfunction in Washington, not in one political party...
“Meet the Press” is one of the few remaining news programs for adults, delivered in plain English. Mr. Todd may still be the substitute teacher, but he looks like he could quickly master the class.Meanwhile, down the dial, The Wrongest Man in America continues to be given a huge platform on actual, network teevee from which to spout his insanity (h/t Heather at Crooks and Liars);
Truly. one of the great mysteries of modern teevee is exactly why toxic, lying monsters like The Wrongest Man in America continues to be handed second chances by the media no matter how frequently they shit the bed. And despite lots of speculation, we can only be certain of one thing: if you watch it from now until Frashokereti, you will never learn the answer to that riddle -- or even hear that question raised -- on Meet the Press with Shuck Todd.