Essay: Is David Gregory Liberal Enough?
Editor's Note: This first appeared this morning in Human Events.
|More Than Mere Shouting Distance From Objectivity|
"Let's talk for a moment about consumer responsibility when it comes to the auto industry. As soon as gas prices began to drop, consumers moved back to the larger cars once again, the SUVs and the big gas consumers. Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4.00 a gallon - where people are prepared to pay for that - and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to consumers that these days are gone. We're not going to have gasoline that you can just fill-up for $20 anymore."
Brokaw's last stand as MTP host served as the perfect lead-in to his final official MTP duty -- introducing his permanent successor, longtime NBC and MSNBC White House reporter David Gregory.
Beyond Gregory's extensive liberal pedigree, a major conflict of interest should prevent him from hosting MTP, given some of the most important issues currently facing our nation.
Gregory's wife is Beth Wilkinson. Wilkinson was until very recently the $3 million per annum (in salary and bonuses) executive vice president of the failed home loan giant Fannie Mae. She resigned this past September 20th when the federal government took over operational control.
How qualified was she for this rich gig? The New York Times, on June 16, 2006 reported her hire this way: "Ms. Wilkinson, for example, knew nothing about the mortgage-backed securities at the core of Fannie Mae's business."
These sorts of hirings from amongst the unqualified Connected Class played a huge role in the failures of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. No one in the media, however, noted Wilkinson's now-proven cluelessness when she departed, nor did they bother to mention her relationship to and with Gregory.
Gregory himself continuously fails to mention his wife's direct connection to the home mortgage crisis (and subsequent meltdown). He said nothing of it on August 10th when he appeared on his future show (MTP) specifically to discuss the Fannie Mae debacle.
Keep all of this in mind every time you tune in on Sunday mornings to watch Gregory report on Fannie Mae and the ongoing economic damage it helped deliver.
As for his liberal bias, there are examples aplenty. In choosing Gregory, it's beyond reasonable doubt that NBC has lurched MTP significantly Left-ward since the death of Tim Russert, the last permanent MTP moderator.
On October 14, 1998 Gregory slurred Christian conservatives by wondering aloud on camera if they might have played a part in the stoning death of homosexual high school student Matthew Shepard.
"(G)ay rights groups ...(p)ortray(ed) Shepard as a casualty of a new cultural war against gays and lesbians, a war declared this summer by a coalition of religious right groups including the Christian Coalition which funded advertisements in major newspapers and commercials on TV promoting a campaign to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality. The ads were controversial for portraying gays and lesbians as sinners who had made poor choices despite the growing belief that homosexuality may be genetic... Have the ads fostered a climate of anti-gay hate that leads to incidents like the killing of Matthew Shepard?"
On August 19, 1999 Gregory went into full-on President Bill Clinton defense mode when Republican National Committee Communications Director Cliff May mentioned - as an example of media bias - how they were handling Juanita Broaddrick's charge of rape against the former Arkansas Attorney General. It apparently didn't faze Gregory that even though Broaddrick had made the allegation on his network's airwaves that February (with Lisa Myers on Dateline NBC), NBC's Nightly News still hadn't yet run a single Broaddrick story six months later.
May: "We have right now a credible allegation by Juanita Broaddrick that while Attorney General Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her and he won't answer..."
Gregory (talking over May's last words): "Now hold on. You know what Cliff; I'm not going to let you go there. We are not talking about this today. We're not going to turn that into this...."
May (in background): "...double standard..."
Gregory: "Cliff, I'm going to stop you. I'm hosting the program. It is not a double standard. We have a clear focus today. I'm asking the questions."
Gregory really hit his bias stride during the George W. Bush Administration, as my colleague Tim Graham's just released Media Reality Check documents in exquisite detail. Some of Gregory's more ridiculous Bush Derangement Syndrome moments include:
A July 11, 2005 exchange on the Plame leak probe between a fuming Gregory and Press Secretary Scott McClellan.
Gregory: "This is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?..Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate [to comment]?"
McClellan: "If you'll let me finish..."
Gregory: "No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!"
A May 18, 2006 condescension session with President Bush on MSNBC's Hardball.
Gregory: "In the most recent survey, your disapproval rating is now one point lower than Richard Nixon's before he resigned the presidency....Do you think it's possible that, like Nixon and Watergate, that the American people have rendered a final judgment of disapproval on you and your war in Iraq?"
During September 1, 2004 convention coverage, Gregory waxes poetic about the (media-imagined) Dark Lord.
Gregory: "One of the obstacles for Dick Cheney tonight is the fact that he has become a dark figure....There are those who believe that Dick Cheney has led this administration and this President down a path of recklessness, that maybe his approach, his dark approach to this constant battle against another civilization, is actually the wrong approach for ultimately keeping America safe."
And there are many, many more from which these nuggets are culled.
Speaking of his new gig on Monday, Gregory promised "I'm gonna be focused on trying to live up to the values and the integrity of this program, making this a place for tough questions, accountability, fairness, and also respect to our guests here."