Friday, July 24, 2009

David Gregory Sinks to New Low in Sanford Affair and Finally Wins BuzzFlash's Media Putz Award




David Gregory

For reporting that is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism, and for being beholden to corporate paymasters rather than the citizens of America.

The aftermath of journalists -- and Stephen Colbert -- sucking up to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford showed us that we have come a long way since the now-famous Dan Rather-Richard Nixon confrontation of March 19, 1974.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Dan Rather, with CBS News. [Sustained audience reaction] Mr. President -- Mr. President

THE PRESIDENT. Are you running for something? [Laughter]

Q. No, sir, Mr. President; are you? [Laughter]

Somehow, even in the sea of faux journalism in the Sanford affair, one popped up as the lead swimmer -- David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press."

The people who were probably the happiest that Gregory got the job (besides the Republican Party and its most prominent members) were Roger Mudd, Marvin Kalb, Chris Wallace, and Garrick Utley -- pre-Russert hosts of the show -- guaranteeing them that they would never again be called the worst host in the history of the show.

Let's get to the juicy stuff. Here is the e-mail quote from Gregory that shows his "concern" for journalistic integrity.

Look, you guys have a lot of pitches .. I get it and I know this is a tough situation ... Let me just say this is the place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party ... This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to...and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.

This is modern-day TV journalism in action: Treating the hypocritical governor of South Carolina, and a reported serious presidential contender in 2012, in the same manner as trying to get an interview with Michael Jackson's doctor. The excuse is that "they're all celebrities, and we have to defer to them to get them on our show."

Uh, no. You don't get a legitimate interview if you don't treat your subject on equal footing.

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