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Her new vision for “Meet the Press” includes adding a regular panel of journalists who will question guests, something of a return to the venerable show’s original format. "The show needs more edge," she said. "It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago. We need more of a coffeehouse conversation."
Can you feel the edginess of week-old news on Sunday-morning television in the age of "we've got a ton more options on TV and online as well as the Flappy Bird sequel on our phones, so why wouldn't we watch that instead?" I was on Meet The Press once, and David Gregory asked me off-camera what they could do to attract more online attention. I answered, "stop having John McCain on every other week." Of course he didn't take my advice.
And how "consequential" can a medium be where people have little idea what they're talking about? How about this gem from this past weekend?
More than a week after Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was indicted on two felony counts, the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan shared her concerns about the case on national television yesterday. The exchange was one of my favorite of any Sunday show this year.
NOONAN: I think, yes, it was local Democratic overreach. It’s just a dumb case. I don’t think it should have been brought. Naturally he looks like someone who is…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the prosecutor is a former Republican, I think.
NOONAN: That may be. But when you look at this case, it just looks crazy.
[...]For the record, Democratic officials in Travis County recused themselves from the case, and the prosecutor in this case, Michael McCrum, worked in the Bush/Quayle administration. What’s more, McCrum, who enjoys a solid reputation as a credible attorney, was appointed to oversee this case by a Republican judge. [...]
But hey, having super edgy coffee shop conversations with a bunch of Beltway hacks will rescue Sunday-morning political TV from its long slide to irrelevance, won't it? And if that doesn't work, they can give Poochie the Dog a shot.