Monday, July 22, 2019

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The Return of David Gregory

This Sunday, rather than sullying myself spelunking through the dung-caverns of The Sunday Shows for (literally) the 1,000th time, I taught an adult Sunday school class on the subject of faith during dark times and the space program.

And you know what?   Turns out, talking about the perils and promise of daring to have a grand and humane vision of our place in the cosmos was so much better for my peace of mind than following the reverberations of Stephen Miller's weekend fascist duckspeak on Fox News:

And so imagine my disappointment (but not my surprise) when I opened my dying local, right-leaning newspaper this morning to see this --

-- above the fold on the front page.

Which, sadly, paired perfectly with a cartoon on the paper's op-ed page showing a Bernie Sanders "Free Stuff" campaign headquarters on the desolate lunar surface with the caption "Why do critics think my ideas are too far out?" and this depressingly typical letter to the editor:
Letter: Boycott Du Quoin Fair

Maybe if the band Confederate Railroad would change their logo from the Confederate Battle flag to the Gay Pride flag, Gov. J.B. Pritzker might let them play the Du Quoin State Fair.

He flies it high on the Capitol and proclaims he wants all welcomed and included here — except those not, in his view, “politically correct.”

He is in my view politically prejudiced and ignorant to downstate conservancy and love of their traditions.

Boycott the fair. I will!
 Welcome to Trump Country!

And I would've let it go.  I would've let it become just another of the hundreds of daily Conservative insults to intelligence, decency and civilization that I don't write about because I'm just one guy and having whammed my fists against that wall for decades now, my hands are getting kinda tender.

And then David Gregory decided he just had to go and lecture me about what Trump voters are really like.


In case you are unfamiliar with Mr. Gregory's body of work, until he was fired and replaced with the equally odious Chuck Todd, he spent most of the Obama Administration failing spectacularly every week to even pretend to care about journalism as the Meet the Press pitchman.

During his tenure at Meet the Press,  Mr. Gregory had basically three signature moves that kept him on good paper with NBC/Comcast management --

-- by making Meet the Press an impregnable fortress of Beltway Conventional Wisdom:
  1. Never ask any Republican any inconvenient followup questions about the seditious bullshit they're slinging.  For example, Gregory personally oversaw the rehabilitation of Newt Gingrich's reputation over and over again by putting him back on the air and treating him with cloying deference every time Gingrich publicly shit the bed.

  2. Reverently reading aloud from the latest column by David Brooks and then asking David Brooks what he thought of it.  

  3. When in doubt, Both Sides Did It.

After finally getting the ax from NBC, Mr. Gregory followed the familiar path trod by so many other pundit hacks who had found themselves temporarily on their uppers and needing to make up some Important Journalism-Looking shit to look busy while they were weaseling their way back into the spotlight.

And thus Mr. Gregory decided to Have a Placeholder Podcast, which lasted 36 episodes.  FYI, Gregory's podcast has now been "archived" and should you try to listen to any episode the app will rapidly cycle you through the titles of all the episodes, showing them as having zero minutes and zero content, which has to be the most accidentally awesome metaphor for Gregory's career I have ever heard. Guests included most of the Usual Horribles (Ron Fournier, Tom Friedman, Charlie Sykes, etc.)

Mr. Gregory then went on to Write a Shitty Book About His Spiritual Journey and use the IOU's he had collected as the Meet the Press pitchman to persuade his fellow members of the Beltway Pundit Guild to treat his book as a work of profound insight, and give him the opportunity to dish on office politics at NBC.

Then, inevitably, CNN bought his contract and put him back to work in front of the camera doing exactly what had had been doing at NBC:  obediently toeing the company's party line.  And so, today, in his new job as a CNN political analyst and substitute co-host of New Day:

GREGORY: But I think -- I think, you know, one of the problems -- and this was the problem with Hillary Clinton's "deplorable" line. And this is the problem with -- what a lot of Democrats have now, which is to say the president is racist. And, as some commentators have said on -- on this network, if you support him, then you're supporting a -- a white nationalist, is that there's lots of people who compartmentalize and say, gosh, I really don't like that stuff he's doing on Twitter and all the rest, but I like my -- you know, I like my tax cuts or I like how the economy's going or -- and people are going to feel like, oh, so then I'm a racist, so I'm supporting him?  
There's a chance -- this is what you're saying -- that -- that -- that this kind of approach can divide people who might not approve of it but feel all of a sudden besieged by that attack. 


Democrats are the problem because "a lot of Democrats now" are making  "lots of people who compartmentalize" feel bad about their unstinting support for the pathologically-lying, openly racist, sexual predator in the White House who -- since Day One -- as been torching our alliances, sucking up to dictators and madmen, stoking white supremacist rage, propagating deranged conspiracies,  wrecking every democratic institution and stooging for Russia's imperial ambitions.

And you know what? I'm absolutely sure David Gregory does know literally dozens of people who don't like the Tweeting, but fucking love their tax cuts and feel "all of a sudden besieged" by us awful, dirty hippies for lumping them in with Donald Trump.

In fact, I'd bet the rent money that most of them are very same Beltway Insider Club Members and Very Serious Republicans to whom Mr. Gregory used to administer soothing handjobs when he was the pitchman for Meet the Press.

Because David Gregory isn't in journalism business.  He never had been.

David Gregory is in the Beltway Conventional Wisdom business.  Which is why a place will always be found for him at the Beltway media table.

And right now, the Beltway media is frantically building an armada of lifeboats for themselves, their collaborators and fellow travelers, and that sizable percentage of the Republican Party who are thoroughly enjoying Donald Trump's braying racism and fascist cos-play, but plan to pretend they never heard of Donald Trump or the Republican Party once the party is over and the bill for the breakage comes due.  And in exchange for a place in the spotlight,  hollow, unprincipled sock-puppets like Gregory are only too happy to put their shoulders to that disgraceful project.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

1 comment:

Tom Shefchik said...

Congrats on getting this into C&L!