Monday, December 29, 2008

Greenwald PWNS Gregory

As fate would have it I was commenting over at Swampland this morning when another long time frequent commenter said that David Gregory had "challenged" Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni on the military action the Israelis have taken in the Gaza strip yesterday on Meet The Press but not as much as I would have liked. I admit that I didn't watch MTP yesterday as I am not a big fan of David Gregory. So I went to the MTP website to watch the clip of the interview and I could find not even a trace of Gregory "challenging" Livni. In fact to me it seemed almost like a scripted back and forth meant to be used to convince Americans that Israel is right in their actions. Gregory didn't mention the Israeli closing of their border which has created almost inhumane conditions for the residents of the Gaza strip including being reduced to eating grass to survive, he didn't mention the Hamas enforcement of the cease fire agreement when it was in effect, he didn't even mention the fact that Israel had been planning this attack even during the time when they were supposedly engaged in "good faith" negotiations for a new ceasefire agreement with Hamas. Glenn Greenwald wasn't impressed either:

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.


  1. sgw, wvng here. How can we create a dynamic where asshats like Gregory pay for asshattery? James, la and I went round and round about that the other day, ending with a sense of utter futility. We have no leverage at all.

    I rarely watch TeeVee news, because it is mostly so gawdamnawful, but caught a bit of CNN on Saturday. In between covering the Gaza mess, they kept cycling thru pieces placing Obama next to Blago with words like corruption and scandal in the mix. After the Obama team issued a full accounting that provides all of their contacts in full context and objective observers say there is no there there - which was obvious from the very start. Good to see the Clinton Rules are fully in effect once again, great to see the Times joining in the fun: What Ifs from the New York Times. I mean, what harm could it do?

  2. wvng

    Honestly I have no idea. With print media you can always cancel your subscription and encourage others to do so. But with cable networks its a lot harder. I suppose maybe you could target the businesses that advertise during different shows but how many people would actually join the boycott? Ratings would be a way but I don't know ANYBODY who ever had one of those Nielson boxes in their house and they are the only ones that count. Really the only thing I think we can do is continue to speak out about it and spread the word around to all of our friends and family members and encourage them to do the same. That way even if the cable news shows continue their ass clownish ways nobody will believe them thus rendering them impotent.

    I know thats wishful thinking but its all I got.


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