Can NBC send Tom Brokaw on a nice, long vacation to a remote beach without Wifi? For NBC “MTP” host David Gregory‘s sake that might be the best option right about now.
To assume that the veteran NBC newsman might understand the media landscape as he conducts news interviews with reporters and craps all over the Sunday shows would be asking a lot. Maybe he popped another accidental Ambien?
Last night in Politico, Brokaw had a chance to walk back comments he made to The Washington Post‘s Paul Farhi, who pulled Brokaw’s damning quotes against Gregory after he whined and said he really does support Gregory at the helm of “Meet the Press.” But Brokaw didn’t take that chance in an interview with Politico — instead, he shat all over things and made Gregory’s branding problem worse. “They’re not the signature events they once were,” he said generally of the Sunday shows (pssst..which include Gregory’s). Later in the story, he added, “It remains a very important four hours of television, but I long for more imagination, new voices and more outside looking in. New voices and bold choices.”
And that translates to “more” support for Gregory, obviously.
Earlier, Brokaw had complained that Farhi framed his comments in a light that didn’t reflect his support for Gregory. Right. So it’s not Brokaw’s words that are the problem, it’s just his words that are the problem. The quotes were accurate, confirmed Farhi. But Farhi doesn’t like a fight, especially with a news God and Washington bigwig like Brokaw. So he stripped the story of his quotes, only one of which was actually harsh: “I won’t get into whether David is the right guy.” Really? Brokaw really does back Gregory, especially if you think of it as him stabbing Gregory in the back with his double-talk.
In essence, Brokaw managed to dig a hole for Gregory this week. A hole that is more like a gaping pit at this point.
Does NBC’s branding consultant need to have a chat with Brokaw? A non-psycological assessment perhaps?