To see what Cheney aide Cathie Martin meant when she explained that Cheney knew he could go on Meet the Press and "control the message" -- and to see in action David Gregory's model of sycophantic, unchallenging "journalism" -- one could do no better than to examine Gregory's embarrassingly deferential "interview" yesterday with Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni. It's a perfect template for how our American press corps (with some rare exceptions) functions.
Whatever one's views are on Israel's attack on Gaza -- pro, con or otherwise -- there's no denying that it's an extremely controversial matter -- at least it is in the world that exists outside of mainstream American political discourse. Even within Israel, there are scathing criticisms of what the Israeli Government is doing -- on both strategic and moral grounds. Yet none of those objections made their way into David Gregory's interview of Livni. He didn't present her with a single argument against the Israeli attack. He didn't challenge a single word she uttered. He was even more sycophantic with her than the average American journalist is with the average American political leader.
Actually, the only time Gregory challenged her at all was, in essence, to demand that Israel take even more aggressive action than they're talking already. He was essentially pushing her into invading Gaza and deposing its democratically elected government ("Aren't you making the case for pushing Hamas from power? . . . . only the replacement of Hamas by Fatah, by more moderate leaders, appears to be the only answer"). It was almost as though his goal were to make Israel appear excessively restrained and pacifistic.
I honestly couldn't have said it any better. But its worth the entire read because he ties it into the how Gregory sees the press' role and how the press failed us leading up to the Iraq War.
If this interview was indicative of what David Gregory's level of asshatery will be on MTP going forward, you can pretty much count on me passing on that crap to start my Sunday morning.
In the interest of fairness I am posting the offending video so you can make your own decision on the quality of journalism, or lack thereof, Gregory exhibits in the interview.