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WaPo removes brutal Brokaw quote from tough article on NBC’s David Gregory

The Washington Post deleted an online quote from NBC News old timer Tom Brokaw about the lackluster performance of David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” after Brokaw complained that it made him appear unsupportive of the struggling Sunday show host.

On Sunday, the Post published an article questioning Gregory’s ability to turn ratings around on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which thrived under former host Tim Russert but has lost serious ground to competitors since Gregory took over in December 2008.

Much was made of the news that NBC hired a shrink to evaluate Gregory and his performance — a story that NBC later claimed was mischaracterized.

And it now looks like Paul Farhi, the Post reporter behind the story, is also under fire from Brokaw for allegedly taking his quote out of context.

Politico reports that the quote, available in the paper’s print addition, was excised from the online publication after Brokaw complained.

“David knew what he was in for when he took the job,” Brokaw reportedly claimed. “Media habits are changing and the competition is getting better. . . . I won’t get into whether David is the right guy. NBC has already said he’s got the job and that’s what counts. But he deserves a fair shot at evolving the program.”

Farhi said that although the quote is an accurate one, Brokaw contacted him after the article ran and ”said the setup may have left the impression he wasn’t fully behind Gregory (he is).”

“Rather than try to repair/re-write, I just dropped it altogether,” Farhi explained.

Brokaw briefly succeeded Russert following the “Meet the Press” host’s sudden death in the summer of 2008, handing the reins over to Gregory after a six-month stint at the then top-rated Sunday news program.

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