Brian Williams Will Be Temporary Host on Meet the Press

As the say in show business, the show must go on. NBC has chosen Brian Williams to guest host "Meet the Press" this week.

The guest will be:

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden, who were scheduled to be interviewed by Russert on “Meet the Press” last weekend, will be Williams’ guests on Sunday. It’s unclear who will host the program on June 29.

“Right now, we’re looking at it week by week,” Capus said. “Brian is enormously talented, and it seemed like a logical place to turn for this weekend. But I haven’t been able think beyond that.”

Who do you think should now be moderating Meet the Press?

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    Meet the Press - moderated (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 04:01:38 AM EST
    If I'm not mistaken, Meet the Press was originally a program in which public figures actually met the press. That is, there was a panel of reporters who posed questions. It was an era in which the press considered its' function to be the representative of the people. Reporters were of the same "class" as the rest of us, not actual or aspiring millionaires.

    I think this might be a better system than the "moderator" alone.

    The sole media figure posing the questions has the pitfall of the moderator considering him/herself to be the star of the show - rather than the story itself.

    In these days of all the reporters wanting to become media personalities, I'm not sure that any format could work... unless the moderator were to be Helen Thomas.

    I like that.... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:31:24 PM EST
    or even better, pick a random social security number out of a hat every week for a host.

    Maybe the questions that never ever get asked might see the light of day.


    Helen Thomas. (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:30:44 AM EST
    Sy Hersh, Walter Pincus.

    You know, Meet the Press, as in the press.

    Not Meet the Infotainment.

    I love Helen Thomas (none / 0) (#36)
    by Grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:15:07 PM EST
    She would be a huge improvement.  She's never been one to not ask the tough questions.  

    Moyers (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by p lukasiak on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:17:26 AM EST
    If there is one person who could return MTP to journalistic relevance, it would be Bill Moyers.

    Barring that, I think that Brokaw would not be a bad choice ---

    i have been a big fan of moyers (none / 0) (#26)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    and think overall he is excellent. i was disappointed in his softball interview with rev wright. some tougher more informative questions were in order.

    A cardboard cutout of Tim Russert (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:36:04 AM EST
    The time of mourning is soon passing and the time for some truthtelling about Tim Russert is fast approaching.

    Yesterday's Daily Howler (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:57:44 AM EST
    was an excellent start.

    In a world gone mad, (none / 0) (#9)
    by GMN on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:54:37 AM EST
    I now feel less alone knowing that there is at least one other person who holds this view.  

    BTD wrote:

    A cardboard cutout of Tim Russert
    The time of mourning is soon passing and the time for some truthtelling about Tim Russert is fast approaching.

    Aaron Brown (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by wasabi on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:38:52 AM EST
    He's not doing much these days, or at least I haven't seen him anywhere.   He's astute and quirky.

    Dana Priest (3.00 / 2) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:55:50 AM EST
    Woman, Pulitzer Prioze winning journalist, handles herself well on TV.

    I like Brian Williams (none / 0) (#1)
    by Grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:30:40 AM EST
    though I can't really see him hosting the show.  He does have a lot of credibility which might come in handy since this is a presidential election year.  

    Brian Williams has the most sympathetic eyebrows on TV.  They aren't arched like a lot of people's are.  They also aren't flat lines that just sit across the top of his eyes.  They are more like sympathetic cartoon character eyebrows.  ;-)

    Yuck! (none / 0) (#5)
    by BernieO on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:58:19 AM EST
    Brian Williams, part of the Irish Catholic mafia at NBC is full of himself and part of the problem there. (Before people get incensed, I am also Irish Catholic. I you want to know more about how NBC news is dominated by an Irish mafia. Read this weeks dailyhowler.com. Also a good read if you are sick of the beatification of the sainted Tim.)

    I am stunned that they are not putting Andrea Mitchell in. She has done this before and with all the charges of misogyny would be a good choice if they really want to improve their image with women. (I don't like her, but that is not the point.) Mitchell has the gravitas, experience, etc. If she bombs they would have an excuse for not selecting her. Otherwise it just looks like more of the good-ol'-boys club.


    I'd rather see Mitchell than Williams (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:08:49 AM EST
    that's for sure.  I don't like her commentary much, but she is smart and asks decent questions that she actually seems to have put some thought behind.

    I'm Irish Catholic too and have been amused and informed by The Daily Howler's dissection of that cabal. This notion that being taught by priests and nuns somehow makes one a natural political analyst is just laughable.

    I do a mean sentence diagram, however.


    Yikes! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    I don't like Andrea Mitchell.  

    I'd rather see them take a chance on Al Roker.  ;-)


    Jay Leno of course (none / 0) (#3)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:48:26 AM EST
    I seem to remember Jay is out of a job soon with Conan taking over the tonight show. So, here's his next gig. Previously the show was not about issues or digging deep, it was just about "gotcha" journalism. That of course does involve a staff digging, but not for depth of issues and any understanding of them, just where there maybe contradictions from one speech or answer to another. Jay could have a staff that found those things, or he could just keep it light and ask things about lifestyle, etc. Maybe a Larry King approach. The coverage of deep political issues would be the same either way. Notice how I did that without saying anything negative about anyone. Do I get a cookie. :-)

    An alternative would be to have a journalist who actually looked at issues deeply, tried to steer the guests away from their talking points and get at the meat of some things. No, not in the Chris Matthews style of saying your doing that but doing the opposite, and not in the Charlie Rose style of trying to do that but spending 90% of the time talking yourself, but a bit more in the Bill Moyers style, but not quite in that PBS slow talking fashion. Something in between. Actually I think Brian could probably do that. Heck, a number of the folks over there could do that if they were directed to do it the right way.

    Norah O'Donnell (none / 0) (#7)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:25:35 AM EST

    NBC has a big PR problem right now due to the sexist behavior of its male on-air talent. Putting a woman in the catbird seat of the news division will do a great deal to deflect it.

    Andrea Mitchell would seem to be the obvious choice in that regard, but she's dry as dust, and, more importantly, she's got too much baggage. Her marriage to Greenspan raises questions about objectivity as far as economic issues go, and the belief she's used her clout to keep her husband's critics like Paul Krugman off the air at the various NBC channels can only add to controversy. Her lying on the air about things such as public support for a Scooter Libby pardon is a further problem.

    The other female on-air talent at NBC are generally lightweights. Maria Bartiromo is an exception, but her specialty is economic issues, and foreign policy and Beltway political battles are usually the subject of choice on the Sunday morning shows.

    I know a lot of people like Rachel Maddow, but she often comes across as bratty, and her lesbian orientation is going to give advertisers fits. MTP isn't Ellen--the viewership skews a lot older, and middle-aged and elderly viewers are more likely to be put off. Also, I don't think a lot of "family-values" Republican figures would be willing to be seen on the air with her, so it's going to cause booking problems.

    That leaves O'Donnell. She was the network's White House correspondent for a couple of years, and she covered Congress for Roll Call before that. She knows her way around Washington, she's got the contacts and the interviewing chops, and she's paid her dues. She's at least as qualified as David Gregory, the obvious male choice. And I love the fact that she's a working mom for whom the job's schedule would be an ideal fit.

    Thanks for the opportunity to sound off on a frivoulous topic this morning. The brain cells are now fired up for serious work.

    hate to say but i think gregory is just (none / 0) (#27)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:50:25 AM EST
    too darn immature. is that the right word? i just think about doing that rap number with rove and insulting chelesa when i see his face. that guy lost all cred with me.

    GE will go in house (none / 0) (#13)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:13:56 AM EST
    and it's more likely that one of the good old boys who's been there for some time will be tapped.

    Stretch Gregory seems most likely.  Good on the politics and smarts, not too boring.  GOP friendly too.

    Tweety is just too toxic and high strung and spits too much.

    Shuster shot himself in the foot with Hillary and pimping.

    Morning Joe has found his niche.  Ditto for Hillary basher Olbermann.

    Norah O'Donnell (she's the brunette O'Donnell, no?) seems a little too Miss Congeniality (except when she's interrogating and interrupting Dem guests ...).

    Rachel Maddow does present that lesbian profile, which corp GE doesn't want to put too upfront by putting her in charge of their most high profile show.  She's also a lib Dem.  GE wants only centrist soft non-loyal Dems like Russert and Tweety who are flexible enough to sell out to their corporate sponsors.

    i also wonder about rachel when it comes (none / 0) (#28)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:52:27 AM EST
    to dealing with tough issues with the far left side of the democratic party. and there will be questions as there always are. being a cheerleader on countdown didn't help her creds. no thanks! there are others out there that aren't even being mentioned. maybe someone from the print side. you know a real journalists.

    Chuck Todd (none / 0) (#14)
    by standingup on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:25:39 AM EST
    I still like BTD's suggestion for Todd to move into the chair.  None of the females currently on staff at NBC/MSNBC are up to the job in my opinion.  However, I agree with ruffian on Dana Priest being a good candidate.  I just can't see NBC taking the risk of going outside their organization.  

    Personality too will be important, (none / 0) (#18)
    by brodie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:45:03 AM EST
    and Todd just strikes me as a green eyeshade numbers cruncher and a little too low key and low energy for the job -- though Dana Priest (is she now working for GE?) while a smart reporter is even more low energy and boring.

    Plus would corporate GE actually promote an anti-corporate look goateed guy to the high profile  MTP chair?  Unlikely.  


    I gues we disagree (none / 0) (#23)
    by standingup on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:55:12 AM EST
    I think Chuck has a great personality but unlike so many others, he doesn't let his personality get in the way of doing good analysis and reporting.  I would prefer someone intelligent who will focus on the issues instead of the gotcha type, sensationalist junk we get from most of the cable news types.  

    Dana still works for the WaPo.  I suppose it depends on what you are looking for in a host.  My preference is better and more objective coverage than the trend over the last few years.  


    He's Not MY Choice (none / 0) (#24)
    by flashman on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:28:01 AM EST
    But I'm betting he'll be the man.

    MTP Moderator should have a College degree (none / 0) (#15)
    by aztrias on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:29:27 AM EST
    Brian Williams never finished college.  

    Sorry but I can't respect a someone who's not finished a four year degree and obviously been gifted at birth with the right looks and voice.

    My list would be (none / 0) (#16)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:31:45 AM EST
    1. Chuck Todd - Seems intelligent and generally prepared when he talks.  

    2. David Gregory - Willing to ask tough questions but I am not sure he would do well in this format.

    Devid Gregory = Sellout! (none / 0) (#25)
    by flashman on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    I liked him much better when we was in the White House Press Corps.  After getting his own show to hose, he became just another monkey in the MSNBC circus.

    gregory has a history of conduct that (none / 0) (#29)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:53:30 AM EST
    leaves me saying wth! he leaves me cold.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#30)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:02:33 AM EST
    His temperment may not be good for MTP.  But I think he would be willing to ask good questions.

    if he does get it, i sure hope so. (none / 0) (#38)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:45:26 PM EST
    i have a better idea: (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpinva on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:41:09 AM EST
    just dump the show entirely. it had evolved to the point of "entertainment", rather than serious information and discussion of the day's issues, with lots of help from mr. russert.

    its departure from the airwaves will not be noticed.

    Suggested Replacement (none / 0) (#19)
    by 07001 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:52:45 AM EST
    I think NBC will keep it in house, that said, #1. Chuck Todd, young,no ego, likeable, knowledgable and will grow in that chair.  I'd love to see Helen Thomas for at least one broadcast. I also like the format as mentioned above....Meet The Real Press... Sy Hirsch and gang....

    Tom Brokaw (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:56:45 AM EST
    But I don't think he's really interested.

    why do you say that? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by p lukasiak on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:42:16 AM EST
    I mean, he came out of retirement to be part of MSNBC's election coverage -- and has been pretty open about his disdain with the nature of that coverage.

    Brokaw represents the last link to the glory days of television journalism -- he wasn't Cronkite, or Brinkley, or Murrow...but he learned his craft by watching them.  (Jennings has passed, and Rather is "discredited").  

    I just get the impression that Brokaw would jump at the chance to show how television journalism can and should be done.  The only question is whether NBC would give him sufficient editorial control and a long enough contract, because Brokaw would probably insist that the show be done HIS way, without any interference from the corporate suits....


    Unquestionably... (none / 0) (#31)
    by dmk47 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:14:45 AM EST
    Jeremy Paxman! He does the Russert thing much, much better than Russert ever did. Watch him destroy John Bolton and Michael Howard.

    Second Choice: Chuck Todd

    Third: Andrea Mitchell

    Under absolutely no circumstances: David Gregory

    American Citizens should host (none / 0) (#32)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:33:37 AM EST
    And it should be retitled "Meet The People", since the mainstream press long ago gave up their right to be considered a genuine check on the people's government.

    Seriously, let three citizens have at it.  No town hall b.s., no polite nonsense, let the people have at them.

    Christiane Amanpour (none / 0) (#34)
    by sidereal on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    Though I believe she's on a long term contract with CNN.

    I wish they would go back to ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:04:03 PM EST
    the old format, where the guest actually MET THE PRESS, and the moderator just facilitated this.