Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tom Brokaw simply cannot be the host of Meet the Press any longer. In his heyday, what made Brokaw such a stellar journalist was his ability to tackle an intense story in a thorough nature, but still remain calm and placid. During an election, a crisis, and even the LA riots of '92, I always turned to Brokaw, because I knew he would frame the story in a palatable way, and keep me calm. Even if the story gave me reason to lose my mind and panic, somehow Brokaw kept me in a good frame of mine, and caused me think. This may sound like I am being over dramatic, but it is true. And that's no slight to his other colleagues/competitors which were Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, I just always appreciated Brokaw's style more.

I think the only time I saw Brokaw lose his cool a bit was during 9/11, and even with that he gets a pass. I didn't see too many journalists keep their composure during that event, because not only was it happening quickly, but in many cases these journalists had lost friends and family like "regular" people. During several occasions, Brokaw's voice would crack and his eyes would water, and I knew that this country was in serious trouble, because even the great Tom Brokaw was visibly shaken.

Even Brokaw's replacement, Mr. Brian Williams has the traits and characteristics that made Brokaw great. He speaks in slow measured sentences, he's always on the verge of breaking into a smile without being smug, and he just has this look that says, "Yeah I know the news sucks, but at least I'm giving it to you in a nice way". That's from the Brokaw school of delivering news. BUT..

Meet the Press is not a show where calm attitudes and soothing voices are the way to go. Many times presidential candidates, senators, governors, etc are on the show to push their own agenda and to make you believe that they aren't lying about anything. Tim Russert was adept at cutting these people off, and getting them to stick to the point at hand. Not only that, be would dig up an audio clip of them contradicting themselves, just to show his guest at the time, that he was not be messed with. Tim was fair, but he was also very intense and quick on his feet. Brokaw has to realize that he has to step it up a bit in the intensity department, and he's still trying to be Joe Cool on Meet the Press, and it is a bad fit. At first I thought it was just me missing Russert, but after watching him this morning, I realize that he's just a bad fit. He's signed on until the November election, and then hopefully he'll be replaced. I have some replacement suggestions.

1)David Gregory. He's currently the Chief White House Correspondent for NBC, and he's highly respected. He can a bit goofy at times, but I blame that on the Today show environment. I think he would step and be serious for Meet the Press. Plus he's 6"7, and he can intimidate the hell out of everyone.

2)David Letterman. I know he's not the first name that comes to mind when you think of politics, but Dave is clearly no fool. And if you've ever watched him conduct an interview on his show, you know that he is a master at keeping his guests off balance and on their toes. If nothing else, it would be nice to laugh and learn on Sunday morning.

3) Dave Chappelle.. He has no job, so instantly that qualifies him. He's smart, he knows the issues, he's quick witted, and he would bring a unique perspective to the Meet the Press franchise. Plus he's unemployed

but yeah Brokaw must go.


soft and subtle said...

Hey chief, wanted to stop pass to say keep doing what you do (blog). I've noticed people may not comment as often on the weekends than they do during the week...doesn’t mean they’re not reading your entries. I for one don’t comment on a daily basis but I read your blogs almost everyday. As for Dave Chappell, he’s about to start a mini tour in nine cities and he’s acting in Wanda Sykes’ sitcom. I’m not sure how old the sitcom is but I was watching it and he’s playing a principle character. So I'm not sure if he'll be up for the job but anything's possible.

rashad said...

soft and subtle,
That sitcom you saw is at least 4 or 5 years old. But if you could give me more info on that tour, that would be terrific.

£ex said...

i haven't watched meet the press since Russert died.


Did you notice all your replacement suggestions had the name Dave? I'm going to keep with the theme and throw in a David Hasselhoff. Cuz, you know, nobody hassles the hoff!

Chubbs said...

I love David Gregory...he'd be my pick...he's got that lovable, yet authorative and dignified quality that's rare, and came naturally for Tim. Still miss the big sweetie... :-( And like Lex, I haven't been able to watch MTP since he passed.