Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gregory: "What is it about you, Mr. President, that you think is so hard to say yes to?"

I don't expect journalists to have degrees in history. But I do think that the least we should be able to expect from someone like David Gregory is that, when interviewing the President of the United States, he isn't completely oblivious to the recorded facts about the Republican Party's strategy developed just 4 years ago.

And yet this morning on Meet the Press, David Gregory completely ignored those facts and asked, "What is it about you, Mr. President, that you think is so hard to say yes to?"

I'd like to recommend some reading material to Mr. Gregory. The Republican Party's strategy since the day of President Obama's inauguration has been well documented. But perhaps nowhere more thoroughly than by Michael Grunwald. Here's how Ohio Senator George Voinovich summarized it:
If Obama was for it, we had to be against it.
It really is that simple. Congressional Republicans knew that they had no hope of winning the war of ideas after conservative policies had been so demolished during the Bush years. And they knew that the biggest threat to their power was the post-partisan outstretched hand that President Obama was offering. And so their decision was to become the party of "no."

To ignore this as the Republican's strategy is not even an effective way of trying to stay balanced in your reporting. It is nothing more than the turning of a blind eye to something the Republicans themselves have acknowledged - and that actually was successful enough to give them big gains in the 2010 midterm elections.

What an insulting question that was to ask this morning. But even more than being an insult to President Obama, it was insulting to us as American citizens who've watched all this happen - and insulting to your own reputation as a journalist who should be better informed on the facts.


  1. Even Dan Pheiffer called out Chuck Todd on Twitter for this lazy style of 'journalism'. They are SO afraid of telling the truth as if facts are partisan.


  2. David Gregory is a hack. And Chuck Todd has become one as well. In fact, the Sunday morning talk shows have descended into nothing more than hackery, bullshit talking points from various guests and, with a few exceptions (E.J. Dionne), the pundits' analyses on the shows are shallow, dishonest, predictably partisan and irrelevant. Other than watching the president this morning, I've stopped watching these shows completely. I have better things to do on Sunday mornings, like using my brain.

    1. Chris Todd and David Gregory are still vying for Tim Russert's old job, even tho the GE CEO who bought Russert is now retired. Neither of them can make the grade. Their journalist integrity is 0, as is their inability to fool most of us. S'pose they're waiting for a fox contract?

  3. I would disagree that GOP policies were discredited only during the Bush years. It was under Hoover, in fact.

    What is so astonishing is that what we are really fighting over is the New Deal, not in details but in its broadest strokes. Should the state function to stabilize growth? It's really about that. The GOP says "no."

    And then it is also about race. I have a feeling that Obama, as a young man with radical proclivities (i.e., a good kid), came to the conclusion that nothing was going to happen as long as race was such a divisive force in the US. More than anything, his presidency has thoroughly revised the meaning of race in the US.

    That's why the pushback. These media plants like Gregory and Todd are paid to shore up the one argument the GOP has made to the broader electorate that worked, which is that the GOP would sustain white privilege better than Democrats. This is diminishing in effectiveness, because the electorate is increasingly less white. Hence, the desperation, and straight up disrespect.

    1. Well said, I would add a good dose of fear to the desperation and disrespect. In this new America, a pound of white privilege doesn't go as far as it used too.


  4. I just thought Gregory exposed his own ignorance rather than insulting the President. He tried three times to get the President to say fixing SS was on his to-do list for his first year in office. All he did was set the table for the President to talk about the economy. I didn't see Gregory get any of what he wanted from that interview. He went there with an agenda to make the President look like a weak leader and PBO didn't oblige. He used the interview to get across his own talking points.

    I don't watch television so I had no idea just how ideologically Gregory sucked up to the Republicans. He really carries their water, doesn't he? I love how the President turned around the bs about the NRA saying gun control doesn't work. He schooled Gregory about how the American people are 'skeptical' about putting armed guards in schools. I think 'skeptical' is code for mf-crazy. I think the anger translators could have a field day with that one.

    I'd have to go back and re-watch it, but there was one big pivot that jumped out at me--the President completely ignored one of Gregory's last questions and pivoted back to the point he came there to make: protecting the middle class tax cuts.

    It was a good interview and Gregory showed an appropriate amount of respect for the office. His idea of 'tough questions' left a lot to be desired. The average American couldn't care less about Benghazi or Susan Rice...that was all Beltway-centric. I think the President dealt with Gregory's biased agenda beautifully.

  5. DC Journalists are part of the swamp. If they call out the Republicans for their despicable obsequious genuflecting to the Millionaires and Billionaires well those same Billionaires will insure they don't have a job.

    And it's hard to be a journalist the caliber of Amy Goodman when it's so much easier to claim "Both Sides Do It!" and keep getting invited to eat chateaubriand.

  6. I thought Gregory did Obama a favor with that idiotic question. It was an invitation, conveniently reiterated at the interview's end, to la the blame on the Republicans, to emphasize how sweetly reasonable he has been this many a year.

  7. David Gregory knows the history, smarty. It is just that he does not care. He has always been a water carrier for the Republican Party. I took the question as his attempt as a gotcha question.


  8. The quick answer is that he's young and black, and that scares the hell out of them.

  9. I didn't see the show and felt angry at first about Gregory's question. After I thought a minute I remembered how smart President Obama is and that he would know exactly the kind of crap Gregory would ask. In my opinion this was a "Please proceed, Governor" moment.

    This gives POTUS the opportunity to reach out to the audience that watches Gregory to give them real information and sound smart, in charge and Presidential at the same time. He gets his message across and Gregory looks like his usual brand of idiot. It reminds me of the Bill O'Reily interview before the Super Bowl. Any Fox watchers got the chance to actually hear what the President said and non-Fox watchers got the chance to learn that Fox has morans on camera.

  10. David Gregory already knew the answer to the question he asked..and he knew the POTUS wasn't going to take the bait. Until these pundits grow a set and be willing to call a spade a spade, we won't have a real conversation about what is going on in this country. GOP unwillingness to do what's best for the country because they're beholden to a promise to not work with the Black president, period. And pundits who spew the false equivalency of Dems & GOP are lazy and scared, and do the country a disservice.

  11. I like it when Pres Obama comes with a rope and let greogry hang himself with it.
    Pres Obama 101: let the idiot(gregory) expose his own republican talking points and expose the hidden agendas for all to see.
    sniff sniff sniff.


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