Loose Lips

Warning: Don’t Diss Meet The Press To David Gregory in a Crowded Ballroom

Don't Diss "Meet the Press" to David GregoryNot that there isn't already a mountain of evidence out there, but if you're looking for cold hard proof that Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is the darling of the national media, you would have done well to attend a panel discussion on "college completion and the American future" today at the Washington Hilton's International Ballroom.

Meet the Press' David Gregory was the moderator and kicked things off like this:

Before we begin, we have Chancellor Michelle Rhee here, and I just want to say publicly what I say privately, which is, thank you for what you’ve done, thank you for your commitment, for your leadership, for your stick-to-it-ness and for the result that you have achieved. Washington, D.C. will miss you greatly... But your commitment to kids and to education endures and there will be a great many people lining up to support you and your efforts.

Whoa!

LL isn't saying Gregory isn't entitled to his opinion, but it's hard to imagine he would dare say something like that publicly about any other polarizing national figure.With Rhee, for some reason, the national media feels free to gush. (To be fair, Gregory did ask what LL thought were some pointed questions to Rhee about how sustainable her reform efforts are—since she's out of a job after tomorrow.)

More interesting was Gregory's exchange with an guy in the audience who, instead of asking Rhee or the other panelist about education issues, gave Gregory da business for letting politicians get away with not discussing what the man said were the important issues, including "the need for taxes," a "bloated military budget" and a broken down two-party system.

“I listen to Meet the Press and I think a lot of people in the room, we end up turning it off, because during the election season, you’re letting politicians get away with softball answers and you’re not really forcing the conversations," said the man, who didn't give his name.

Well, sweet readers, Gregory wasn't going to let this off-topic heckling roll off his back.

“Sir, sir, you know what, with all due respect, I don’t know which program you’re watching because every week—I’m not going to get in a debate with you—I ask about taxes, I ask about how you pay for taxes," Gregory said, later adding: "And by the way sir, I’ve also dedicated the program to talking about education and about reform as well.”

At this point, the man tried to interject, but Gregory wouldn't have it: “No, sir, I get the last word here, you asked the question... Just because people don’t listen or don’t take action behind it is not something I can directly control.”

The man finally got a word in edgewise, and said: “I like the fact that you ask them, but you know, when we hear the answers they seem to be soundbite answers.”

To which Gregory gave this soundbite answer: “You know what sir, you know where your recourse is—Election Day.”

Moral of the story: If you must critique MTP, do so gently, with Gregory out of earshot.

Photo by pvsbond via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license

  • Albatross

    The D.C. Beltway class protects its own and circles the wagons whenever any of us Muggles have the nerve to speak up. I'm sure David Gregory is having a "no unscreened questions from the filthy public" clause written into his future appearance contracts, along with more pate, because that stuff is seriously tasty.

  • http://www.politicususa.com Phil Perspective

    Sounds like FluffyHead can't take the heat, so he should get out of the kitchen.

  • Grant

    "I ask about how you pay for taxes"

    That's deepthink, that is.

  • http://www.twitter.com/empeos Edwin Perello

    Can we please have more of this taking journalists, interviewers to task for lack of "stick-to-it-ness"?

  • Adolph Fischer

    “You know what sir, you know where your recourse is—Election Day.” There's also, "stop watching nitwits like me on TV".

  • BCLance

    What an idiot. How does he have a TV show?

  • Southeast Resident

    What a pompous ass! He is going to tell us about all the glorious things that Michelle Rhee did. He isn't a good reporter if he can't be balanced enough to point out what she did wrong too. She overspent and didn't control costs causing layoffs, put her cronies in place and protected their useless positions, and showed teachers brave enough to teach in poor performing schools the door instead of focusing on correcting unruly behavior in the classrooms. Let either one of them spend a year in those teachers shoes, I bet that they would come to their senses, put the blame where it belongs, and get off of the teachers backs.

  • tina

    Wow! I can't believe that he thought it was appropriate to gush over a political figure like that. MTP died with Russert.

  • Anothernative

    Guy's like that wouldn't dare step out there and be really opinionated, to scared of rocking the boat but want's to be viewed as being in touch with the countries direction. He's a joke to contious people, don't waste your time looking for a champion of any cause in the likes of him. What someone should have asked him is where outside of the (Washington Post) did he get his information on Rhee.

  • tired

    I do not like David Gregory and if he wants to toot Rhee's horn then his ass should hire her. Enough already about her another damn Sarah Palin and Tina your are absolutely right since Tim Russert passed away that show as been pathetic.

  • Alan Suderman

    Wow, you guys really don't like Gregory. I should have probably included the fact that he came across as a genuine and smart guy. Just thought his strong praise of Rhee was weird and his back-and-forth with the heckler was funny.

  • Cornwalrus Jackson

    "What an idiot. How does he have a TV show?"

    Im afraid you just answered your own question

  • jdub

    And I believe his children attend private school.

  • gina a

    Yeah, I am beyond sick of everyone who creams their jeans over everything Rhee has "done", and yet, *surprise* has made sure to set up their own precious sensitive darling geniuses on an island of privilege, in other words any of DC's exclusive private schools, that cost upwards of $30k a year. Please, I am begging you, come over into my neck of the woods (NOT Ward 3-that so does not count) and see what we're still dealing with. I know my kids will do fine, for the most part, because they have two parents, with lots of enriching activities, and are being raised in an upper middle class household. But I get sick to my stomach when I step into any of the ward 3 newly renovated schools-lots of light, gorgeous classrooms, OMG bathrooms that WORK!!, perky teachers, extra staff, new computers in every classroom that have *gasp* something called the interwebs! Yeah, thanks a lot Michelle Rhee for ditching out just as the job was getting hard. Don't like your boss? Quit. Lesson learned by the students: Don't like your teacher? Drop out. I used to hold out hope for Rhee, just for continuity sake, but now I am totally disgusted. Good riddance.

  • Daphne Chyprious

    His protectors need to make sure Gregory never reads the Bobblespeak Translations and other blogs like it. There aren't enough smelling salts to revive him.

  • DC Guy

    Interesting, the dude doesn't send his kids to DCPS. Why the gush on his part?

  • SEis4ME

    Well Alan, with their endorsement, your employer embraced many of the same warm, completely misappropriated feelings about Michelle Rhee.

    Gregory is only repeating (wrongly) what he has seen and heard perpetuated by DC and National media.

  • downtown rez

    People have critisized Rhee for cultivating a national audience and national recognition for DCPS's school reform efforts. They've said she's interested only in her own reputation, implied that she devotes more attention to the press than the children, etc.
    IMO Rhee is smart for doing this. With a national audience and national recognition comes national attention. It will be that much harder to backslide with so many eyes upon DCPS.

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  • SEis4ME

    So the national attention she has garnered (for herself)is helpful to DC because people are watching whether reforms are institutionalized?

    As a resident, I would much rather have this attention when it is proven that these novel ideas have actually worked. In short, "Mission Accomplished" was a slogan. The war still waged on. Based on objective observers, the fruits of her labor remains to be seen and are also exagerrated. Our kids are not science projects.

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  • efavorite

    "Rhee is smart for doing this. With a national audience and national recognition comes national attention. It will be that much harder to backslide with so many eyes upon DCPS."

    Right - as if that's why Rhee is going for national attention - to continue to help the children of DC after she left them.

    Always thinking of children's interests before adults' interests.

  • efavorite

    I think what you're seeing, Alan, is that when some DC residents see a national media figure going gaga over Rhee, that figure immediately loses credibility, because it becomes obvious that the person has not been reading the news carefully enough.

    Why would I ever take anything he says at face-value again?

    Please mention that the next time you rub shoulders with him.

  • drpolisci

    Mr Suderman, you are so correct. I do not like Mr. Gregory. I refuse to watch Meet the Press. He did not deserve the position. His feelings come through a lot of times when he is interviewing folks. He is a jerk and I have better things to do on Sunday than to watch an idiot.

  • Really?

    Agree, with drpolisci! I peeped Mr. Gregory's obsession with Rhee during the Meet the Press show where he had Rhee, Randi, Rob Bob and some other guy. Now to be fair, which Mr. Gregory can’t be, Randi doesn't do a great job of presenting her position. But, during that show he made no bones about his belief in Rhee and her BS, which he licked up like a good doggie.

  • Jorie

    I hate to say this but in this picture he looks like a monkey....BTW: i do not watch MTP....Fareed Zakaria GPS and I am done...try it guys.

  • Southeast Resident

    @drez, you are the very reason why there needs to be a good investigation of her tenure before the tracks can be covered up. When that curtain gets pulled back, all of those myths and that s**** that she did wrong is gonna come falling out. We only have gotten bits and pieces of her phony story so far. I wish we could send you packing with her. This region would have one less certified fool!

  • ward4 gets new council member

    I WISH HIS KIDS ATTENDED A SCHOOL WHERE SHE FIRED ONE OF THEIR TEACHERS AND SEE HOW HE WOULD FEEL THEN.

  • http://huffintonpost.com Tino Grant

    Mr. Gregory is not Mr. Russert, I agree with Tino, MTP died with him. I stop watching MTP when Mr. Gregory started hosting because he is not fair with his guess. Watch him on Sunday he loves to cut off his guess when they are speaking and he always let the Republican say all they spin and never ask them to answere his questions like he does to the none Republican guess. His next job will be on the FOX channel because they do not report the news, they report the host opinons.

  • mark sabin

    Recourse at the polls?

    Somebody please tell me where I can find David Gregory's replacement on the ballot.

    I will "recourse" him in a New York minute

  • Ms. Priss

    He's an empty suit and part of the good old boy network. The gentleman was right, he allows politicians to fillibuster and say anything without debate from him.

    Our news industry keep recycling the same limited white script readers who only know the white view of the world but have opinions about everythng.

    If you watch our corporate media, it's apparent, they're passing around the same script with a different cast of readers.

    Thank god for Rachel Maddow, the only real journalist left on TV in the U.S.?

  • Five To Go

    Ding Dong, the witch is gone.
    Which old witch?
    That Rhee, witch!

    Tim Russert was Meet the Press!

  • Roscoe Patrick

    CLICK - sound of turning off Meet The Press. I always thought that Gregory was an extraordinarily poor replacement for Tim Russert. He has demonstrated that he is far from an objective journalist and that he has substituted opinion for fact. He's hoping that FOX will reach out for him.

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  • Jay

    Gregory is an obsequious pressroom boy around the really influential senators and representatives.

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