NBC Panel Discusses Biden Reality Show: 'The Most Entertaining Man in Politics'

During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Willie Geist touted an online White House petition to get Vice President Joe Biden his own reality show. Panelist and left-wing MSNBC host Alex Wagner raved: "Incredible idea, can I be the cameraman?...he's the most entertaining man in politics." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Wagner continued to gush over the gaffe-prone VP: "He says stuff off-the-cuff, he pushes the envelope....Joe Biden is an incredible figure in American politics. He has pushed the President to embrace gay marriage, inadvertently. He has these moments of color and humor. He's also killer, I mean he was the one that went in and cleaned up the entire fiscal cliff deal at the very last minute."

Attorney Star Jones dismissed the absurd notion: "He's the vice president! Do your job! We don't want to see you on television. Alex, are you out of your mind?...I want him working, I don't want him playing to the cameras. I don't want him appealing to you and your base..."

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch observed: "Here's the interesting lesson for politicians, Chris Christie and Joe Biden, in reality TV, the word is 'real.' People want real people as politicians now....we want to see warts, we want to see human beings.... that's the road map for future politicians."

Geist wrapped up the exchange by reiterating Wagner's praise for Biden: "And as Alex points out, he's been at the center of the fiscal cliff deal, and now at the center of the gun control debate."

The panel discussion was the second time in a week that the NBC morning show devoted air time to the ridiculous idea of a Biden reality show. On Sunday's Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker actually offered a full report on the topic: "The Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo, and now Joe Biden?...more than 1,000 people...petitioning for a C-SPAN reality TV show starring the ever-entertaining and unpredictable veep."

Welker noted: "...people took to social media and weighed in on potential names for the reality show. Some of the popular titles, 'Literally Joe,' 'Ridin' With Biden,' and 'Biden Time.'"

While Welker mentioned that "the Vice President's candor has, at times, backfired," she then observed: "Analysts say even those who don't agree with Biden's politics, often enjoy watching him." Time magazine's Mark Halperin asserted: "This vice president gets made fun of, but there's also a lot of affection for him. What would be better in a television show than a guy you can laugh at and a guy you can laugh with?"

That led Welker to conclude: "And part of that appeal is just Joe being Joe."


Here is a full transcript of the January 10 panel discussion:

9:11AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: VP TV. This is a very interesting one. There is a petition on the White House website right now that calls for a reality show that follows the life and times of Vice President Joe Biden. They want to see everything he does, and let's be honest, this was launched because of a few moments last week. Let's watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You've got a million-dollar smile.

JOE BIDEN: There's a lot to smile about today....I want you next to me. I want you next to me....Need any help working on your pecs, let me know....Holy mackerel.

GEIST: That was that ceremonial swearing in of new members of Congress. Alex Wagner, VP TV, good idea or not?

ALEX WAGNER: Incredible idea, can I be the cameraman? I – I mean, look, he's the most entertaining man in politics. He says stuff off-the-cuff, he pushes the envelope. This is the man that said, let us not forget, "Even if we do everything right with absolute certainty, there's a 30% chance we're gonna get it totally wrong." Said this in public. Joe Biden is an incredible figure in American politics. He has pushed the President to embrace gay marriage, inadvertently. He has these moments of color and humor. He's also killer, I mean he was the one that went in and cleaned up the entire fiscal cliff deal at the very last minute.

STAR JONES: He's the vice president! Do your job! We don't want to see you on television. Alex, are you out of your mind?

GEIST: You don't want to see this show?

JONES: No. I want him working.

GEIST: Really?

WAGNER: It's a C-SPAN program, come on, Star.

JONES: I want him working, I don't want him playing to the cameras. I don't want him appealing to you and your base so I want to look at Snooki all the time, because that is not what his job is.

DONNY DEUTSCH: But here's the lesson, guys. Here's the interesting lesson for politicians, Chris Christie and Joe Biden, in reality TV, the word is "real." People want real people as politicians now. And whether you're on either side of the aisle, and Alex deals with these people everyday, forget whether he has a show or not, is that we want to see warts, we want to see human beings. We're done with this very, very stiff thing, that's the road map for future politicians.

JONES: We don't want to see how the sausage is made, I do not think so.

GEIST: And as Alex points out, he's been at the center of the fiscal cliff deal, and now at the center of the gun control debate.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC