David Greggory, Lame Duck?

I’ve never really been much of a fan of David Gregory as a talking head, but he strikes me as a pretty good journalist, so it’s sort of sad to me to watch NBC really waste him on an ill-conceived, caught in the moment spell of vapidness like Race to the White House. In any event, an article in The Observer wonders how far Gregory’s horizon has fallen in the past 4 months:

But lame-duck presidents create lame-duck White House correspondents. And so identifying the silver-haired heartthrob with the big political story of the day was a blessing from the network.

From the moment the show kicked off on March 17, things looked grim. The format was essentially a high-tech version of, say, The McLaughlin Group, with various journalists sitting around debating topics of Mr. Gregory’s choosing.

There was one innovation: Instead of sitting around a table, the heads of the various guests appeared in boxes. An unfavorable review of the show in The New Republic promptly described the look as “intergalactic Nancy Grace.”

Which of course really says nothing about Gregory, but then neither does the show. And that, I think, is the real problem here. Race for the White House is an amazingly, epicly, unwatchable show. It’s 4 people you’re probably going to see at least a couple more times on MSNBC before 10:00 P.M. talking over one another, with at least one tossing out talking points, and maybe a tangential debate tossed in, with Gregory’s face looming over the nonsense. And because of the timing and the format, it’s on at 6:00 and the guests are inevitably people we’ve already heard from that day, by the time Gregory’s show is getting around to the discussion topics of the day, we’ve literally already heard everything that gets said. The show is just really unwatchable, and that’s not necessarily Gregory’s fault.

Also, the magazine makes a small note of Tom Brokaw, and in a comment not related to anything else, I just want to say how annoyingly pompous I find Brokaw to be these days. It’s lingered since somewhere in the mid primaries, but it’s gotten worse since he took over Meet the Press. Yes, Brokaw is an elder statesman of journalism so to speak, but he’s still a journalist by trade, not a political expert, which he seems to have forgotten. I think the tipping point was seeing him chide Chuck Todd over a bit of analysis on MTP recently, which just sort of struck me as really beyond his faculties (and I’m willing to allow that my man crush on Chuckie T. may be clouding my judgment). In any event, I just wanted to make note of it somewhere.