Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

Breaking: "Meet the Press" to change its name to "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss"

From Republico:
Playbook: Chuck Todd likely to replace David Gregory on 'Meet The Press'

Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent, is likely to succeed David Gregory as moderator of "Meet The Press," with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, top political sources told POLITICO's Mike Allen.

The move is an effort by NBC News President Deborah Turness to restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death of Tim Russert in 2008. Gregory, his replacement, suffered from low ratings and, in recent months, an onslaught of negative press reports.

While Todd is not a classic television performer, sources said his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game, which brings with it authenticity, sources, and a loyal following among newsmakers and political junkies.
What Republico declines to mention is that the decision to change the pitchman for their reeking-awful "Both Sides" bilge demonstrates NBC's faith in it's basic business model: selling the same old snake oil to a country already gagging on it.  And so their decision to stroll 90 feet past David Gregory's office to find another NBC Village-sanctioned "Both Sides" delivery system for their weekly "newsmakers and political junkies" Centrist porn makes perfect sense.

Here are some selected Gregory-isms from this week to illustrate this point with a little emphasis added to draw your tired eyes to the correct coordinates.

Because Both Sides...
DAVID GREGORY:  I'm going to leave it there. And the prediction and this question of what comes next is actually where we're going to go next in the program when we come back. So thank you all very much. So how the political system has so unraveled that the politics of impeachment is being played on both sides. Two key players are going to join me in just a minute, involved in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Greg Craig will be joining me up next on Meet the Press.
And Both Sides...
DAVID GREGORY:... And we'll discuss the motives behind the current talk of impeachment of President Obama by both Republicans and Democrats, coming up next....
And Both Sides...
DAVID GREGORY: ...There's also been talk of impeachment of the president on both sides, by the way.
And Both Sides...
DAVID GREGORY: But let me stay on this. Aren't we at a point in our politics, and the argument will go both ways, who's contributed more, Republicans or Democrats, efforts to de-legitimize presidents and go back, just even in our recent times, certainly happened to Bush, happened to Clinton, has happened to President Obama, that impeachment is discussed more as a means of recall than it is as the legal action that it was originally intended to be.
And Both Sides...
DAVID GREGORY: At least they're still dancing in Milwaukee. Chuck, I thought that was really, you know, until it becomes electorally destructive to one or both parties, this won't change. Until voters change the incentives for both sides--

CHUCK TODD:  It's going to change.

DAVID GREGORY: --until you reward.

CHUCK TODD: And that's -- what's happened here is we don't have an electoral system where swing voters matter.

And the torch is passed...
CHUCK TODD:  Right? They don't matter. We know what the middle wants. Until you have candidates that feel as if they can move away from the base in a general election more often, or that they will lose. And if that's gone, and that incentive's not there, then you're going to get this...
And, just for the hell of it, let's toss the editor of America's White Supremacist Journal of Record onto this media midden pile to see if it livens up the flavor:
RICH LOWRY: Exactly. This is the shame of the situation. Obama never ended the war in Iraq, as he said. He abandoned the war in Iraq right at a time when we'd achieved a fragile stability that we might have been able to maintain.
Might as well sling this shit on closed-circuit Beltway QVC for all it has to do with anything going on in the real world.

You know, there is a subplot in Citizen Kane that comes to mind...

Well into his declining years, Charles Foster Kane acquires himself a mistress, who later becomes his second wife, and along the way Kane takes it into his head to mold her into an opera singer -- a profession for which she is singularly unsuited.  She has zero stage presence and a terrible voice, but Kane commands limitless wealth and power and believes that he can turn the middling-talented Susan Alexander into an elite opera star in the same why he has accomplished everything else: by sheer force of will.

And no expense is spared.

He builds a magnificent opera house in which to stage his fantasy; he bribes renowned instructors and musicians into tutoring Susan to the point of torture; by all the various means at his disposal he packs the house on opening night.

And, predictably, she is a disaster.  Boring.  Flat.  Awkward.  Dwarfed by the scenery and the army of actual professionals who have been employed as props to fill out the stage,  But act after act she dutifully goes through her paces like a show-horse while the audience falls asleep or makes paper dolls or begins to laugh out loud at how dreadful it all is.

By any objective measure this was a humiliating failure, but high up in his exclusive box surrounded by cronies and yes-men, the man footing the bill for it all sees only marvelous success.  He is enthralled by what he sees, because all he sees is himself -- his gargantuan ego -- reflected back to him through the lens of the house he built and the singer he invented.

When, in giggles and whispers, reality begins to seep, Kane is furious.  When audience grants her 60 perfunctory seconds of polite applause, Kane begins pounding his hands together.  He leaps to his feet expecting his followers to follow and is mortified when they do not.

Over at NBC they apparently believe they can avoid Kane's humiliating fate by simply soundproofing their executive suites against giggles and whispers.  Clearly no one is telling Deborah Turness that the lighting on her shitty Sunday Morning Mouse Circus is the not problem.  The set is not the problem. The camera angles are not the problem.

Hell, in the end, even the painfully inept Beltway sockpuppet David Gregory is not the problem.

The problem is that somewhere people with wealth and power -- the people who are footing the bill for all of this -- remain enthralled by the same, monstrous production of the same grotesque lie over and over and over again.

The problem is that somewhere those people are still standing and applauding, and will go right on standing and applauding whether their "Both Sides" fairy tales are reflected back to them through the lens of David Gregory or Chuck Todd or Joe Scarborough or a Pekingese riding a pachyderm.

(Side note:  The video is not available but it was damn funny to skip past Morning Joe this AM just in time to see the panel -- including Tom Friedman -- scatter like roaches when asked to respond this portion of Friedman's interview with President Obama:
"I’ve been speaking in generalities, and trying not to be too political, but that ideological extremism and maximalist position is much more prominent right now in the Republican Party than the Democrats.

"Democrats have problems, but overall if you look at the Democratic consensus, it’s a pretty commonsense, mainstream consensus. It’s not a lot of wacky ideological nonsense, the way it is generally fact-based and reason based.

"We’re not denying science, we’re not denying climate change, we’re not pretending that somehow having a whole bunch of uninsured people is the American way. We’re doing things that are pretty sensible. I’m optimistic that these things go in cycles, and that the Republican Party will eventually free itself from the grip of this kind of extremist ideology. But it’s necessary to happen soon.”)


Al in Portland said...

"his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game,"

Yes, it's all just a game to them. Because their kids aren't killed in wars, they don't have to worry about unemployment checks, they don't have to worry about fracking spoiling the environment where they live.

It's just a game.

milegrinder said...

Change you can believe in (Gregory for Todd). Or not. So when is this *change* supposed to happen? Stupendous news. Good to know there's a reason I still won't watch MTP. Hell, chuckfuckingtodd is the reason I stopped watching MSNBC with my coffee and oats before work, given it caused me to scream down the road 20 over the limit, spitting and sputtering. Wasn't the caffeine.

casimir said...

But it seems the analogy to Citizen Kane disappears in the most important way: in the scene as you relate it, all of Kane's wealth did not deprive the audience of its capacity to judge the singing. In contrast, the dismal prospect for our civilization is due more than anything to the efficacy of Both Siderism.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

3Bulls defined Chuck Todd for me.

Redhand said...

We all knew this was coming. And after a few more years of careening down "both sides" of the road they will again shoot the messenger, not kill the message. I couldn't possibly be more disgusted with NBC.

Unknown said...

Kudos, DG. Kudos.

Like veneer peeling off cheap furniture, the disengagement of this kind of "news" reporting from the actual facts becomes ever more blatant.

But in Echo Chamber Land, Brooks, Todd, and their ilk know what the patrĂ³nes who write the checks want to hear. So they provide it even if it makes less sense than the gibberish of a free-range schizophrenic.

I believe it was A.J. Liebling who observed that freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one.

Kathleen said...

Your Pho-Todd-Shop is so perfect. The mainslimers and their minions are "a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors" (h/t Shakespeare). I must find a more lyrical, melodic way to describe my contempt for them.

steeve said...

The NBC suits will insist that they're totally reinventing the show. A change so massive that they can't conceive of doing more.

Like a sci-fi show thinking they created the most inventively unique alien race possible with some extra forehead makeup.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I fail to see how this egregiously malevolent pretend journalist is going to change any of the MTP trajectory. He IS a worthy successor to Dancin Dave, though.

I am putting a small amount of money on the currently long odds that Palin's fake Internet TV channel is a play for the Big Chair after MelonHead Chuckles is kicked to the curb in favor of second-tier sports.

Anonymous said...

Hmph - from Dancin' Dave to the Goatee of Douchebaggery. Yup, looks like I will continue to not watch MTP.

And another irrelevant/irreverent comment: What's with these two-first-names people anyway! David Gregoryl Chuck Todd. Who's next - Bill Pete? Mike Fred? sheesh.

- Mike from CA

Pinkamena said...

So now the RWNJ bias on Press the Meat will be overt rather than covert. Lovely.

Cliff said...

after MelonHead Chuckles is kicked to the curb in favor of second-tier sports.

I am reminded of ESPN 8, "The Ocho," from the movie Dodgeball.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Two offerings...

1. You could have a picture of David Gregory with one of those nose/glasses/moustache "disguises" to illustrate his replacement.

2. A mild rewrite of some dialogue from "Memento"...

Teddy: You don't want the truth. You make up your own truth! Like your Internet file. It was complete when I gave it to you. Who took out the 12 webpages:,*ck, EVERY liberal website? Who took them out?
NBC: You, probably.
Teddy: No, it wasnt' me. See, it was you!
NBC: Why would I do that?
Teddy: To create a puzzle you could never solve! "Why don't people like David Gregory? Gee, I don't know. But I'm sure Chuck Todd will fix everything. He's what viewers crave. He has electrolytes."

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger

Jado said...

You know, YOU are to blame for the demise of the Dancing Gregory - you won't even TRY the Kool-Aid.

Not even a little sip. It was fine for 8 years under Bush, but then the rumors swirling that it was full of bugs was confirmed when the peons who worked the trash cans in the cafeteria were "down-sized", and everyone could see the wings and legs floating in the drink, BUT THAT SHOULDN'T MATTER!!!

It's still the same Kool-Aid everyone loved for 8 years. WHY won't even try it?

KadeKo said...

You forgot the cherry on top of the Citizen Kane metaphor:

New York in Furor for Susan Alexander