Turning In His Grave
In the wake of Walter Cronkite's passing, the degradation of TV news is on full display over the weekend with the release of emails between various (alleged) TV news outlets and Mark Sanford's communications director, all seeking access by promising a safe platform for Sanford to spin the story about his absence as he sees fit.
TPM Muckraker's Zachary Roth had the story back on Friday, by noting in nauseating detail how low David Gregory of NBC was willing to go to get exclusive access to Sanford for "Meet the Press":
Look, you guys have a lot of pitches .. I get it and I know this is a tough situation ... Let me just say this is the place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party ... This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to...and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it. [emphasis mine]
As Marcy Wheeler has noted previously, this is the same "Meet the Press" that allowed Dick Cheney to run his view of current events virtually unopposed when the revered Tim Russert ran the place. And Huffington Post's Josh Nelson summarizes the mess today in a broader story, while others have noted this morning that Gregory openly misstated the case for health care reform just today on MTP, using GOP talking points.
The only way to deal with fluffing like this from the media for the GOP elites is to call them out on it and mock them. I expect to see the likes of Fox News and the rest of the cable (alleged) news channels make appeals like this because all of them, CNN included, have blurred the lines between news and political opinion in an effort to get ratings. But when you see the likes of David Gregory
and ABC's Jake Tapper sell Cronkite's legacy to get access, then you know that the GOP will always be able to rise from the dead in this country, because the media will be there to give them a hand out of their self-dug holes.
Update: Upon reflection, Tapper's involvement was very limited compared to the efforts Gregory made.