The Mirror

Why does NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ need a shrink?

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Unbelievably delayed lede much?

In a story in Sunday’s Washington Post, media writer Paul Farhi waits 11 graphs to get to the most important nugget of news in his entire story on NBC’s failing third place Sunday show, “Meet the Press.”

The network has hired a psychologist to come in and take the temperature of things. The shrink even interviewed host David Gregory‘s friends and wife.


An excerpt from the story: “Last year, the network undertook an unusual assessment of the 43-year-old journalist, commissioning a psychological consultant to interview his friends and even his wife. The idea, according to a network spokeswoman, Meghan Pianta, was ‘to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.’ But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years.”

Gregory is cut from a different mold than his predecessor, Tim Russert, who was at least perceived as a working-class Buffalo-bred man of the people even though as the years progressed he wasn’t quite as ordinary as everyone might have wanted to believe. For years, Gregory was extremely particular about his hair, getting it chopped at the chic chic Ilo salon in Georgetown. He also once infamously reacted angrily to a makeup artist for daring to touch his hair.

Recent reporters indicate Gregory isn’t entirely at ease with Twitter like his cohorts CNN’s Jake Tapper and NBC’s Chuck Todd, long considered the newsman who should have succeeded Russert. But Gregory can hardly be blamed for not wanting to dive into what can often be the idiocy of Twitter.

Maybe a psychological assessment isn’t such a bad thing. After all, Gregory had something of a diva moment last year when he had an outburst over a parking situation in his ritzy Washington neighborhood. There was, ironically, a charity event in his ‘hood and Gregory got pissed over the lack of parking that ensued. According to a report in WaPo, he was yelling and waving his arms. And why did the towering 6’5″ TV journo need a parking space when he reportedly lives in a 2.5 million home? The mystery persists.

If all that’s not embarrassing enough, Farhi employs a play on the sign-off that has never felt quite right coming from Gregory: “If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press.” Farhi writes, “If it’s Sunday, it’s not necessarily Meet the Press.”