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Does Chuck Todd have the journalistic chops to moderate MTP?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Tucsondriver, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Tucsondriver

    Tucsondriver Member

    An excellent political analyst? Absolutely. Solid interviewer? Sure. I just don't view him as a news guy, or the type of person who has the heft that I think a Meet the Press moderator should have.

    If you don't know much about Todd's news background, that's because he doesn't have much of a news background. He went straight from being a political operative in college (he didn't graduate, according to his Wikipedia entry) to an insider newsletter called the Hotline (never heard of it). He's been NBC's political director since 2007.

    Being a veteran journalist apparently isn't a qualification for hosting a Sunday talk show (George Stephanopoulos was a career operative), but for some reason (maybe wrongly) I've always held MTP to a higher standard.

    For whatever faults David Gregory supposedly had (I actually thought he was pretty good), he came from a journalistic background. He got his hands dirty doing a lot of actual reporting and came to the position with solid news judgement and pretty good understanding of world politics.

    Andrea Mitchell comes to mind as someone who would have brought more heft to the position. Todd seems to have much less.
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    The knock on Gregory was that he wasn't that into politics - that MTP was just the next rung up the ladder so he took it. Todd knows the leg affairs directors, the lobbyists, the staff chiefs. I think he also understands polling. He may not understand "good TV" - but he knows what questions to ask.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    You know Russert's background wasn't in journalism, right? He went straight from Democratic politics to NBC News.

    He also hadn't spent much time at all in front of the camera before he was hired for MTP.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Oh, and I bet even Jay Farrar has heard of the Hotline.

    If you've never heard of it, you probably shouldn't be questioning Todd's credentials to host MTP.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Yup and Todd worked for Russert. He'll do just fine.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Todd will do well, but they're not letting him do the same show Russert did.

    Hopefully they move back to more long interviews, but I doubt it.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    It's not the quality of the questions that has deteriorated the Sunday Morning talk and MTP it is the simplistic answers by seemingly simplistic politicians. No politician seems capable of carrying on a rational and thoughtful interview, providing reasoned answers to questions on difficult subjects. Everything is either geared to sound bites or maintaining an existing narrative.

    Todd can't become Russert, because that doesn't work now. Politicians cannot be confronted with prior inconsistent statements because they are consistent, simple and irrrational at times, but consistent.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Politicians have always tried to answer what ever question they were asked by just reciting their talking points.

    A good interviewer can politely cut off the rote answer and push them to answer the question that was asked. They also can ask good follow up questions, based on the answers they get, as opposed to simply moving on to the next pre-planned question.

    Russert was good at this. Gregory was not. I think Todd will be pretty good at it.

    But, the format of the show has changed. It's now about quick segments. To get something out of these guys, you need to give the host a little time, and they're not going to do that.

    Hopefully Todd will do well, and the show will evolve to play to his strengths.
  9. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Given the number of news outlets and the usual cast of politicians that are put before the general news consuming public, those talking points have been repeated so often byt he time they get MTP that its like mining for gold today in Coloma California
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    In general it seems like the media have gotten away from really putting
    politicians on the hook. The days of Russert and Sam Donaldson are long gone.
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