I’ve been debating writing something about the disaster that was this week’s edition of Meet the Press, but my betters have written about it far better than I could.
I went on a tirade last night on Twitter, linking Comcast (owner of NBC), NBC, the producers of MTP, and of course Chuck Todd, and I was not alone.
Here’s the thing when you make a segment so egregious that it suddenly made Chuck Todd’s name a world-wide trending topic, mostly with people demanding NBC do something about this: you have to address it.
Chuck Todd personally addressed it by blocking people on Twitter who were being mean about him. Heh.
This is what Comcast/NBC/MTP chose to say via Chuck Todd:
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about the gun video we showed on Meet the Press today. Some were upset it only featured African-American men talking about their regrets of pulling a trigger. All of the men in the piece volunteered to be a part of the video and the larger project it is a part of.
“But the last thing we wanted was to cloud the discussion of the topic.
“The original decision to air this segment was made before Wednesday’s massacre. However, the staff and I had an internal debate about whether to show it at all this week. When we discussed putting it off, that conversation centered around race and perception – not the conversation we wanted the segment to invoke.
“We decided against delaying the segment because we wanted to show multiple sides of what gun violence does in this country. We thought the issue of gun violence in our culture and society was an important conversation to continue — too important to put off for another week. The consequences of gun violence should not be hidden.
“As I say to all audiences, Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job. I hope folks view the gun video as a part of the conversation we should all be having and not the totality of it.”
And as anyone who has ever had to explain a joke after telling it, you know you lost. This statement was such a truck load of crap that all the flies in Manhattan were buzzing around 30 Rock.
I think the show exceeded its shelf life long ago and should be put down, humanely. And it’s not just Chuck Todd’s MTP: it was David Gregory’s version, and it was the most-overrated talking head in the history of teevee news, Tim Russert’s MTP was also long past the expiration date.
All of the Sunday Talkies are bad, but this segment will be taught in J-Schools as what not to do. Ever. It will be held up, along with the blow-back as an example of what happens when you stop being journalists, which they all clearly stopped being some decades ago.
The world has a great need for journalists, and news. The media landscape is changing fast as television sets are turned off, and newspapers are going away. It’s not a question of the platform, as media analysts always say. We need journalists more than ever and instead we have marketing messengers. The Sunday Talkies are nothing but an extended QVC sales pitch from shameless hucksters to shameless hucksters.
Paraphrasing Karl Marx, or one of the other Marx Brothers, our media has gone from tragedy to farce and everyone seems to know it except for the suits in NYC who make the decisions.
Cancel Meet The Press. Do it.