The Daily Banter

The New and “Edgy” Meet the Press Explains the Midterms Using Chicken, Coffee and a “Nerd Screen”

There are a few things we know about the current status of Meet the Press. As Chez Pazienza pointed out, the way NBC News forced David Gregory out of his job was horrendously bad form. Like or dislike Gregory’s style, there’s no justifying the way he was tossed out. Nevertheless, NBC’s choice for a replacement was essentially a lateral move — swapping Gregory for MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who’s basically the same person, torn from the same establishment circuit. There’s really nothing Chuck Todd brings to the show that David Gregory didn’t already provide. Except for one thing.

Those of us old enough to remember Election 2008 recall Chuck Todd’s admittedly insightful sidebar reports on electoral math and poll results. It was still craptastical horserace pandering, but it was at least wonky enough to set it apart from the ceaselessly ludicrous “Who won the week?” and “Why can’t Obama close the deal?” segments. I mean, it was math rather than subjective observations based on green-room chit-chat, so it delivered actual news.

When he was announced as David Gregory’s replacement, many of us thought there was a chance Todd might bring this kind of objective-type wonkery to Meet the Press. Maybe the show would be a little more than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grandstanding every week or insufferable panel discussions that merely serve to reinforce rather than debunk the misinformation campaigns ricocheting around the echosphere.

Not a chance in hell.

On Sunday’s show this week, Todd introduced something called “The Nerd Screen.”

Please join me now in a group “oh… fuck… me.” Yes, our political discourse now involves something called “The Nerd Screen” — and the legacy of Lawrence E. Spivak, Garrick Utley and Tim Russert is officially dead. This was clearly a sickening effort to inject an edgy hashtaggable thing into the show — an obvious attempt to appeal to the online, social media, viral youth demographic. By the way, if you’re watching Meet the Press, you’re a nerd — we’re all nerds. There doesn’t need to be something in the show that’s specifically geared toward nerds since the whole show is for nerds.


(ht Shawn Sukumar)