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October 13, 2015

Rachel Maddow for Meet the Press?

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 1st 2008 12:12PM
MaddowMeet the Press, NBC's venerable (six decades!) political affairs news program and a staple of Sunday morning TV, has been in flux ever since the untimely death of Tim Russert. Tom Brokaw has been sitting in the big chair, brought out of semi-retirement and keeping the show together in Tim's stead. But NBC has confirmed that Brokaw is leaving on December 7. They have not confirmed who will become the new face of Meet the Press.

Last week, Bob speculated about Ted Koppel joining NBC to anchor the show, and he was certainly be a credible choice. Tina Brown at The Daily Beast web site has another idea; she says that Rachel Maddow should take over Meet the Press.

My first reaction to Brown's idea was, "No, not Rachel." But that was just because I wouldn't want Rachel to give up The Rachel Maddow Show, her prime time MSNBC show. I enjoy her daily take on the world of politics. She's smart, insightful, a good interviewer, and despite her liberal leanings, surprisingly critical of the left. She could bring all the critical thinking to MTP.

But would she be able to do five prime time hours a week, and Meet the Press, too? That would seem to be the question, and considering her youth and energy, she might be game.

From NBC's point of view, Brown is right that Rachel would be an inspired choice. Not just because she's a woman; Gwen Ifill could meet that criteria, and why should gender matter anyway? No, Rachel would be inspiring because she has charisma. She's not just another talking head. She has star power and could really keep Meet the Press at the top of the heap among the Sunday shows, a position it's held for quite a while.

If not Maddow, NBC will kick around the names David Gregory, Chuck Todd, maybe even Andrea Mitchell. All are qualified, but does even one of them generate the enthusiasm of Rachel Maddow? For a network sorely in need of keeping the successes they have -- like in the news division -- it might be wise to heed Tina Brown's unsolicited advice.

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I dig Rachel. She's very good. I could see also Bill Moyers who is one of the fairest interviewers around. But I think a different kind of program should be envisioned for MTP. I think the panel format asking questions would be best. After all it's called "Meet the Press" and that's not exactly singular. Part of the program could be where the panelists have a conversation about the issues raised. Also have a segment where viewers responses and questions from the previous week are dealt with. The journalists can be from all segments of the media.

December 06 2008 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But Rachel doesn't fantasize about putting falafel on genitalia or has an addiction to painkillers that makes her a slurring, bumbling idiot, cpost916.

December 03 2008 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe D

I think Rachel would be a good choice. For the poster that suggested that they might as well give it to Billo because he is as right as she is left, you forgetting a key point. O'Reilly is basically an entertainer/reporter. He has no political background having worked at Inside Edition and at television stations.

Meanwhile Rachel has a Doctorate in Political Science and was a Rhodes Scholar. Yes, she leans (ok, tilts) very left, but whose to say she could not be bipartisan on the MTP? Intelligence wise, Rachel would definitely be the top choice.

Out of all the talking heads, how many have even an undergrad degree in Poly Sci? Most probably have just journalism degrees. For example, Billo was a history major and then got a masters in broadcast journalism.

December 02 2008 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe D's comment

So I guess Peter Jennings would have been a horrible choice based on your interpretation of needing a college degree in Poly Sci (he was a high school drop-out and was not even born an American Citizen). I majored in business and minored in philosophy but knew more about politics then my college roommate (poli sci major), point being that your major does not really matter (kind of like the math major who is a math whiz but can't teach math because they are socially awkward) . On top of that you say Bill O'Reilly is just an entertainment reporter and no political background which discounts the fact he has had the number one news and politics show on cable television for years - Keith Olberman does NFL broadcasting but I am sure he gets a pass because he is on the left. Taking it to another medium your analysis would say Rush Limbaugh is a bad talking head since he barely even attended college and, political views aside, he is the most successful talking head out of all talking heads.

Rachel is just another academia liberal, which is just fine, but that stance does not work for this television show or what it stands (stood?) for (at least in my humble opinion).

December 03 2008 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My guts tell me Rachel would get the highest ratings for MTP - she certainly has star quality - hot looks, intelligence, charm - I have never been into politics much but I've watched her show every day lately and I love it !!

December 02 2008 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally I think Maddow has the skills, knowledge and charisma to do a fine job but I just don't see her as a likely pick. After the NBC/MSNBC feud this year over MSNBC's election coverage, I don't think the NBC news division would find her a palatable choice since they view MSNBC as a non-objective entity that is diluting the NBC News name.

Further, the RNC could view her as a really biased choice and urge GOP members not to book MTP as they conflate Maddow with her positions on issues on her Air America and MSNBC shows.

I just don't think NBC News wants MTP to become controversial and seen as non-objective.

December 01 2008 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rachel as a moderator? She never has more than one guest at a time on her show, which I find less stressful. I can absorb more info when only one person is talking at a time.

December 01 2008 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She is only critical of the left when they don't go left enough. I agree with Craig. Got to be someone that at least appears impartial. Sounds like this is just a liberal bloggers fantasy.

December 01 2008 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Garrett's comment

Agreed. Rachel is intellectually honest which is very refreshing, but politically she's Keith Olbermann without all the hyperbole and hysterics. She gives very little to the middle. It'd be like a righty suggesting Sean Hannity.

December 01 2008 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As much as I agree with her viewpoint, you have to have someone who gives the appearance at least of being impartial. Horrible idea.

December 01 2008 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me? That would be a horrible decision and would discredit this show's incredible non-partisan history. Let her have her show on MS-DNC and keep MTP the way it is. You might as well have O'Reilly take over the job, that would be the equivalent of suggesting Rachel take the reins. Give the job to Chuck Todd and call it a day, all the other NBC/MS-DNC clowns would be a disaster especially David Gregory or Andrea Mitchell.

December 01 2008 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My "sleeper" candidate was Bryant Gumbel until I heard about this, Maddow would be great in this role. But it would piss off just about every NBC newsman who's been there over one year. It would be fun.

December 01 2008 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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