Skip to comments.NBC's Cognitive Dissonant Hack Syndrome
Posted on 04/23/2014 4:38:24 AM PDT by Kaslin
I've always thought entrenched left-wing journalists in Washington needed their heads examined. Much to my satisfaction, it appears the corporate media bosses of at least one Beltway anchor now agree.
According to The Washington Post this week, NBC News hired a "psychological consultant" to examine why flailing "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory has been bombing in the ratings. The overpriced shrinks (NBC prefers the euphemism "brand consultants") came from the New York-based brand fixer-upper Elastic Strategy.
They interviewed Gregory's wife. They interrogated his friends. They crunched their numbers. They compiled their reports. And after all that, the "experts" are still scratching their noggins:
What's the matter with David Gregory? And why don't people like to watch him?
I could have saved the honchos at NBC News a lot of time and trouble. The first answer is: David Gregory is a phony. The second answer is: He's a jerk.
And no amount of brand therapy and rehabilitation consulting can fix him.
Gregory's predecessor, Tim Russert, was highly respected on both sides of the political aisle. The former chief of staff for iconoclastic U.S. Sen. Daniel Moynihan turned "Meet the Press" into mandatory viewing for any American serious about politics and policy. Yes, he was liberal. But he never pretended to be anything he wasn't. He did his homework. He didn't pull punches. He helped enlighten the nation about our entitlement crisis. He conducted interviews, not one-sided partisan lectures.
Russert was also a decent man, as so many warm eulogies across the ideological divide attested. I had a chance to meet him a few times as an intern in the videotape library of the Washington political unit at NBC News in 1992. He was always friendly and engaging. (Andrea Mitchell was a whole 'nother story. Gah.) Before I left to work for the Los Angeles Daily News, I drafted a little memo on suggestions to improve data collection and entry. I never expected acknowledgment. But Russert took the time to respond and thank me. A lowly intern. I never forgot that.
Gregory is the anti-Russert. His boorish behavior around D.C. is legendary -- from his juvenile tantrums with the Bush press staff to his drunken radio appearances to his diva snit fits with innocent bystanders while filming news segments. One of the most telling and notorious anecdotes involves Russert himself, who reportedly reprimanded Gregory in 2008 for going ballistic on a poor waitress while the two TV stars dined at a D.C. restaurant. But "Gregory still treats most of ... the newsroom like s**t," an insider told the website Jossip. "Amazing how NBC cares more about food servers than about the people who have to deal with Gregory's arrogance every day."
Since Gregory doesn't have the intellectual heft to carry in-depth interview segments the way Russert did, "Meet the Press" producers have reduced substantive exchanges to a few minutes and larded the rest of the show with fluff and stunts.
That means: If it's Sunday, it's "Meet the Jerk."
Last fall, Gregory the gun-control activist masquerading as a Sunday talk-show journalist made headlines with his brazen hectoring of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre -- while illegally brandishing a 30-round ammunition magazine on national television. He has used the show to fawn over vulgar, misogynistic "comedian" Bill Maher and to repeatedly browbeat Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, over gay marriage.
As I've noted many times over 20-plus years in this business, the problem isn't bias. It's the pretense of non-bias. Gregory and his peers suffer from cognitive dissonant hack syndrome, a common affliction among incurable left-wing journalists who sanctimoniously pay lip service every day to neutrality and objectivity, while brazenly using their platforms to promote partisan political narratives.
Desperate NBC suits in denial tried to get Gregory to immerse himself more in social media to appeal to "younger viewers." But he detests the hoi polloi and refuses to respond to critics. You don't have to be a high-priced brand guru to know that for social media engagement to work, it requires an engaging personality to actually, you know, engage.
Another NBC muckety-muck gave his expert analysis on the network's David Gregory Problem: "You need to be who you are. We're trying to look at who David is."
Well, there's the rub, isn't it? Gregory, like many of his ilk, is a thin-skinned elite who lives in the Beltway bubble and can barely contain his contempt for his audience. With rare exceptions, the supposed watchdogs of Washington journalism are lapdogs for the establishment with "Don't You Know Who I Am?" egos as big as the politicians they sidle up to every weekend.
To the chagrin of NBC and its brand EMTs, Americans have discovered an effective cure: the "off" button on their remotes.
They missed the obvious......that REALLY bad haircut................Also, I despise this man.
It isn’t just that Tim Russert is gone....but the nation has taken another step or two.
We are probably on the edge of burn-out with political-talky-talk shows.
We’ve lost confidence with journalists who pretend to be journalists but are simply used-car salesmen with political agendas.
We found ‘entertainment’ or variety shows at the same time schedule, and just switched.
We started to find the league of experts, foundation guys, and political hacks on Sunday mornings to be less than competent.
Finally, something clicked in our mind....where politics was treated like some entertainment gimmick and we were dragged into debates with no real structure, no gains, and no success story.
I'm no mogul, but I think the time for doing that is BEFORE you trot him out in front of a camera...
But....the fourty-per-centers and all the other Progressive junior-high-schoolers love his specious arguments and “gotcha” games.
(It must be a psychological influenze that’s infecting
the left. Is there another explanation for it?)
“Since Gregory doesn’t have the intellectual heft to carry in-depth interview segments the way Russert did, “Meet the Press” producers have reduced substantive exchanges to a few minutes and larded the rest of the show with fluff and stunts.”
What, does his daddy own nbc? Just fire the POS if he can’t carry the water. Face it libs, as with airAmerica most people don’t want to hear your leftist commmunist crap.
Intelligent people who know what is going on in this country do not watch this smarmy jerk. His natural audience is addicted to the progressive kook-aid and don’t need to watch his predictable garbage and it’s a very small audience. If Democrats didn’t have the taxpayer-finananced Freeloader Bloc, they would never win an election.
Bryant Gumbel continues to get away with it.
Why don’t people watch Leftist news?
1. It only appeals to Leftists.
2. Most Leftists are too shallow to be interested in even feigning interest in the facts.
3. If they do watch, they never hear anything new or enlightening. In fact, they are left with a bad taste in their mouth about who they are and how unrealistic their views are.
I have to disagree with Michelle about Russert.
I have been the “keeper” of the Sunday Morning Talk Show Thread here on Free Republic for the past 16 years.
And for anyone that says Russert was fair minded... Well, maybe compared to Gregory, but he was anything but fair to conservatives. We used to joke on the thread about Russerts body language. When interviewing Republicans Russert would actually scowl, lean forward, tensely gripping the interview notes with both hands. When interviewing a democrat, Russert would smile, lean back, and spread his arms wide.
He was a nice guy, I’m sure, but he was also biased like all the rest.
“Bryant Gumbel continues to get away with it.”
Ah yes, but gumballs is “color coded”.
I produce three genre TV shows, now on the air. For me, I know that the hosts of my shows will and do beat out our competition, every time, because they ‘like’ people and can engage them with authenticity. Most of our competition have intelligence and substance but no genuine charisma... Just ego. Yet, I suppose this can be applied to most business pros. Where appropriate, I try to encourage my celebrity buddies and acquaintances to interact with their fans on Facebook. Makes a big difference - and the fans generally know when it’s just some assistant posting. (Conversely, I’ve advised Patton Oswalt to NOT interact with his fans because they’ll figure out he’s an authentic a-hole.)
interviews liberals---roses and kisses.
interviews conservatives---snark and stiletto's.
What a joke. His wife is the lawyer for Fannie Mae and Mac and has covered-up her own and DNC corruption for years. THAT is why Gregory is where he is. To coverup all real news.
Again, it’s all about integrity. A missing attribute in America today. As I was reminded this AM. “We ridicule honor and then are surprised to find traitors in our midst.”. GK Chesterton.
The traitors have to go!
Where is he these days? (Serious question.) I don't get HBO so I suppose he might still be over there.
What a smug nasty racist little piece of bleep he was.
I don’t know for sure but I think he still has a one-hour monthly sports show on HBO.
Yes he's still on....
Totally agree. The only way Russert looks fair is when compared to Gregory.
Correspondent Mary Carrillo goes one-on-one with transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox to learn about her struggles for acceptance and legitimacy in a sport where many still view her as a man.
Nothing but a freak show!
Perfect venue for Dumbell Gumbel.
What makes this douchebag any different than Bob Schieffer and George Stephanopoulos? I don’t watch any of them.
Well said, or put another way - stop pretneding and telling us you're a "journalist" when in fact you're a partisan pushing your big government products by interjecting your opinion and nothing near balance.
Two reasons: first he’s sitting in Russerts chair, and Russert was beloved AND died too young.
Second, he’s imploded in a spectacular manner. Taking down the top rated Sunday show with him.
Schieffer runs the traditional bottom of the barrel show. Stephy had the buffer of senior hacks Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts to buffer his turn from direct comparisons to David Brinkley.
I will add that I’m sure Michelle has some personal axe to grind with Gregory. It looks like they shared overlapping work and possibly social space in DC in the early 1990s. When Gregory was aggressively knifing peers to advance his career. Which is fine, since Michelle’s piece proves the truism that everyone you step on as you climb up the ladder will be there to kick you on your way down.
Best reply so far.
Interesting questions aren't they? One must assume that conservatives aren't going to watch him, and that leaves liberal viewers. But his ratings have tanked. So the question now is, "Why don't liberal viewers watch Gregory?"
I believe Russert perjured himsslf to get Scooter Libby
Don't forget the girls: Mara Liasson, whose eyes glow in the dark every time a school gets shot up; Rachel Madcow; Arianna Huffington-Puffington, who used to play at being conservative back when Ronald Reagan was still alive; the execrably smug Bonnie Erbe; and that screaming, man-hating, walking slander against humanity named Julianne Malvaux.
Because they know it all just as well as he does?
“Why don’t liberal viewers watch Gregory?”
Maybe he’s not enough to the left for them or they’re finally developing a sense of shame, or....?
(The psychology of liberals is a cosmic mystery.)