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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 
Nobody cares about David and Cokie right now. People are tired.

by digby

It's hard to believe that anyone who doesn't hate David Gregory with a mad passion would cooperate with an article like this:
“MTP’s” meltdown has sounded alarm bells inside NBC News and attracted the attention of its new president, Deborah Turness, who arrived from Britain’s ITV News in August. Gregory’s job does not appear to be in any immediate jeopardy, but there are plenty of signs of concern.

Last year, the network undertook an unusual assessment of the 43-year-old journalist, commissioning a psychological consultant to interview his friends and even his wife. The idea, according to a network spokeswoman, Meghan Pianta, was “to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.” But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years.
Ouch.

The story isn't just about Gregory although he is the Sunday host featured most prominently. Apparently all the Sunday shows are getting terrible ratings compared to the Golden Russert Years, with old guy Bob Schieffer at Face the Nation getting the highest numbers. It chronicles the depserate measures NBC and ABC are undertaking to boost their audience, none of which will probably succeed.

I don't know if these Sunday institutions will ever regain their previous prestige. The cynicism about American politics is so pervasive that watching them is more like gawking at a trainwreck these days. It's possible that if politics takes a turn for the better (or becomes more interesting) then people will tune back in. But I suspect that political shows are less and less interesting to the average non-political junkie. And that's most of the people.

Consider this: We just came through a political period that was intensely exciting. We had a scandal plagued presidency of the most titillating kind. We had an impeachment. We had a stolen election. We had 9/11. We had a controversial war. We had a global economic meltdown. We had an election of the first African American president riding on the hope for a better day. Right now we're just in a period of stasis, nothing major happening for good or ill. It's just a bunch of little events telling the same story over and over again.

People are tired. They want Game of Thrones not David Gregory and Cokie Roberts. And you cannot blame them. But the news networks shouldn't despair. Something horrible and dramatic will happen and everyone will be forced to pay attention.

Meanwhile, one hopes that people are just absorbing the one major message of our time: the wealthy interests are out of control. It may not add up to much in the short run, but in the long run it can change the way people think about our system without them even knowing it.


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