In a mindboggling bit of lunacy, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Meet The Press is struggling because host David Gregory is too liberal.
LIMBAUGH: Look. This is not hard. If you view half the country with disdain, if you view the way over half the country thinks with derision, you are going to produce a program that reflects that. Now, who in the world wants to watch a program where what they think and what they believe and what they cherish and what they hold dear is gonna be laughed at, mocked, and made fun of every Sunday? Meet the Press long ago ceased being a news program. When Tim Russert passed away and passed the torch, it ceased being a news program. It became an agenda arm of the Democrat Party. The old audience of Meet the Depressed didn’t view it that way. This really is a mind-boggling thing. Why wouldn’t you fire the guy and go hire somebody the audience likes?
If you don’t want to fire him because that would look bad for the news and look bad for liberalism, just like firing Dan Rather would, reassign him to something. You know, put him somewhere where the audience likes him. Give him the Moscow bureau assignment or whatever. Send him over to North Korea, let him shine some light there. He could relate to people there, I guess. Send him to Beijing. I don’t know. Maybe Havana, try to open a new pathway. But this is just mind-boggling. (laughing) Are they telling us that there’s nobody that’s better psychologically prepared at NBC to host this show?
Hell, I could do it. I could bring the ratings of this show back to where they were inside of a month, with no guests! Inside of a week, with no guests! That’s the problem. They’d make me do guests. I mean, it’s Meet the Press.
Here we have another example of Rush Limbaugh talking about something that he knows nothing about. The problem isn’t that Gregory is too liberal. The main issues are that Gregory is too willing to push Republican talking points as fact and that he is a completely unlikable moderator.
Limbaugh’s boast that he could restore Meet The Press to the top of the ratings was a bit delusion. Limbaugh’s radio audience is about 1.4 million. With Gregory, Meet The Press averages twice as many viewers as Limbaugh has listeners. The 1.5 million viewers that Fox News Sunday draw would probably be in the ballpark for what a right wing MTP would pull in.
NBC News is almost suicidal over Gregory running the Sunday stalwart into the ground. Can you imagine if the show was drawing half as many viewers? The lack of balance is killing Meet The Press. If network television would ever wise up, they would realize that there is a huge audience out there for a left of center Sunday morning host.
Limbaugh’s claims that Gregory is failing because he is too liberal is based on the myth that America is a conservative country, but the nation is clearly moving to the left. Eventually, some smart person on network television will figure this out, and stop boring their shrinking audiences with so many Republican appearances. If the Sunday shows want the audience to come back, the worst they could do would be to hire an extreme conservative. Rush Limbaugh’s audience is even older (66 years old) than that of Fox News (65 years old).
The fact that Limbaugh thinks David Gregory is too liberal illustrates how far out of the mainstream the conservative movement has fallen.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association