The Hazards of Live TV: #25,164
A few months ago when I wrote my epic story on MSNBC’s POV Metamorphosis I posited some questions that should be watched going forward. One of them was this…
3) How does NBC News and its staff fit in with Griffin’s POV designs for MSNBC? There may be no remaining firewall between MSNBC dayside and POV primetime because of all the crossover appearances taking place between the two, the increase of POV analysis shows, and the POV style seepage in most of its “newscasts”. But there is considerably more firewall remaining between NBC News and MSNBC in terms of POV creep.
But this could turn out to be very dicey going forward. Say a POV host or a POV inclined news anchor asks a loaded POV type question of an NBC News journalist; how does the NBC News person deal with that? Will they be expected to respond in kind? Will they push back against the question? Do they duck the question? What happens? This, I believe, is probably the single thorniest issue that will confront the two networks and the news division, especially where political and controversial news is involved.
I mention this because of what transpired on Martin Bashir’s show this afternoon. Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell writes about Martin Bashir trying to browbeat Luke Russert into agreeing with his conclusions…
When Russert refused to comply, Bashir became annoyed, interrupting the reporter by saying, “No. No. Luke, he’s right.”
Bashir said that “we sometimes see the White House say that there are those on Capitol Hill who are literally rooting for failure,” and then played a clip of Carney talking about that sentiment.
“I think that when you have a situation where action is not being taken on Capitol Hill — where it is obvious as outside economists will tell you what actions Congress could take to create jobs — there’s at least a failure to act,” Carney said in the soundbite.
“Very quickly, Luke. He’s right, isn’t he?” Bashir asked Russert, clearly hoping for the reporter to come out in total agreement with the White House.
Russert’s brow furrowed as he tried to answer in a diplomatic, journalistic fashion, saying, “It would seem that there is a desire on Capitol Hill not to allow the president…”
“Luke. He’s right,” Bashir interrupted.
“Not to allow the president to look good in any capacity,” continued Russert, before being interrupted again by Bashir, who insisted, “Luke, a quick answer. A quick answer!” (Code for: I want you to agree with Carney one-hundred percent.)