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.)


29 Responses to “The Hazards of Live TV: #25,164”

  1. paminwi Says:

    Martin Bashir is a tool!

  2. Martin Bashir knows exactly what he’s talking about. The Republicans don’t give a damn about helping the economy now; their sole focus is winning the election, and they’ll let us all sink to get it. Nevertheless, Bashir is silly to browbeat Russert. He knows the young man is not a commentator.

  3. Saw that show, and, I felt that Martin was pushing much farther than the facts warranted, given any reasonable respect to the guest – even if he is one of your own people. Martin can be truely an excellent interviewer, but, there are times when his style gets a tad out of control, for any sense of reasonable fairness. They are rare, but, this was one of those times.

  4. “Silly” has such a fun-loving tone. Bashir was trying a bully routine on Russert. Tim was nobody’s toadie and neither is his boy.

    Bottom line, Obama was claiming that reemployment was excelerating. It is not. He looks the fool. Worse, he looks impotent. Distraction of blame won’t fool people.

  5. I’ve never seen a party so blatantly focus on nothing but getting back in power before. It’s Mitch McConnell’s mission statement, and it’s disgusting.

  6. Oh please Joe…the Democrats were just as brutal about getting back Congress under Bush…

  7. erich500 Says:

    Much of what President Obama wants to do economically is opposed by the Republicans for ideological reasons. They believe what he wants to do simply won’t work. Period. And vice versa.

    It doesn’t matter what state the economy is in. Or whether it’s an election year (where a stalemate occurs anyway). The two sides are far apart and only an election will (perhaps) settle things.

    Anyway, at this point, there’s little he can do about the economy except at the margins. The cake has been cooked.

    To be sure, Republicans are embracing the Leninist view of “the worse the better”. But that’s been the operating principle of the party of out power in an election year for a long long time. Here and in every multi-party democracy.

    This is not new.

  8. erich500 Says:

    “Oh please Joe…the Democrats were just as brutal about getting back Congress under Bush…”

    Especially during an election year. This type of brinkmanship has been going on for a long time.

    As we know, in an election season everything freezes up. Neither party wants to compromise, both want to draw deep differences and rally their bases. Country be damned.

    Nothing gets done.

  9. lonestar77 Says:

    Joe is the Bill Walton of internet commentary.

  10. ^ Got a comment about Bashir, or are you just gonna focus on Joe?

  11. lonestar77 Says:

    Haha. Actually, I commented about Bashir earlier. It was well thought out and profoundly smart if I do say so myself. But, it’s not there. I don’t know what happened. And, I don’t feel like repeating myself.

  12. It was probably erased by liberal media bias.

  13. Or the g@y-N@zi-moderation-mafia. –

  14. lonestar77 Says:

    ^ 🙂

  15. They can’t handle the truth.

  16. Kudos to Russert for standing firm against Bashir. He gained some respect in my book because I would have pegged little Russert as a ripe target for falling right into Bashir’s trap.

    Whether or not I agree with Bashir, it really isn’t Russert’s place to make that kind of commentary. Maybe the kid has some standards after all.

  17. ^^ Laura, isn’t that what Jack Nicholson said right before he got his a$$ handed to him by that whippersnapper Tom Cruise? 🙂

  18. Luke must of needed to shower after that appearance.

  19. Or the g@y-N@zi-moderation-mafia. –

    Wasn’t me. Nothing in the sin bin…

  20. mlong5000 Says:

    The GOP don’t have to do anything to hurt economy the Dems doing just find on their own.

  21. There are a number of MSNBC hosts that partake in this type of bullying. Bashir, Ratigan , Matthews, Scarborough and occasionally O’Donnell come to mind. The usual victims are NBC reporters like Luke Russert, Mike Viqueira and Kelly O’Donnell.

    It’s a stupid transparent tactic that only make the offending host look like the bully he’s behaving like and they should be reprimanded severely by NBC brass whenever it occurs.

  22. It’s an intentional setup which gets on my nerves. The reporter stands by grimly while the commentator does their job, which is to point out the obvious from their POV. It’s done constantly on MJ: Joe asks an endless leading “isn’t it true” question of a reporter in no position to accept or reject his thesis.

  23. lonestar77 Says:

    I don’t mind it so much on MJ because of the nature of the show.

  24. Msnbc’s coverage is unwatchable tonight. Did Big Ed REALLY think Walker would lose?

  25. Looks that way, Andy. There wasn’t a single poll supporting this conclusion. Recalls almost always fail, and this was a big backfire. The one we had here in California that succeeded ended up backfiring, too. Short of criminal misconduct in office, I see no use for them.

  26. mlong5000 Says:

    Watching Mad ED come close to tears was almost worth watching MSNBC for tonight that and that Idiot on CNN crying that democracy was over because their guy loss. LOL!!!!!!!!

  27. imnotblue Says:


    That’s not true. This is the first recall to fail. Trying to HAVE a recall, often fails… but once it’s been declared, it usually succeeds.

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